We all like to treat our dogs like they’re our babies. We want them to be pampered and to have the best possible life. This means feeding them right.
However, we all know that dogs like to eat things they shouldn’t eat, so we’re in control of ensuring that they enjoy a tasty but healthy and nutritious diet.
So, what does this mean in terms of beef hot dogs?
In this post, we’ll reveal everything you need to know about beef hot dogs and whether or not they’re a good choice for your dog.
Can dogs eat hot dogs?
So, let’s get straight to it, can you serve hot dogs to your dog? Unless beef aggravates a particular food allergy your dog has, a hot dog made out of beef will be safe. However, make sure that you check the ingredient list.
Hot dogs are made in different ways, so we cannot categorically say that all beef hot dogs will be good for your dog. You need to always make sure you check out the ingredient list.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that hot dogs are the best treats for dogs. You cannot go wrong with plain beef, which has no salt or other seasoning.
Making sure you serve hot dogs safely
Your dogs can technically eat beef hot dogs. However, that certainly doesn’t mean you should feed your dog hot dogs every day of the week. I’m pretty sure we’d all love that, but you can have too much of a good thing, right?
While hot dogs are safe because they’re not poisonous or toxic to dogs, they’re not a healthy option for a treat. Hot dogs are high in sodium and fat, and consuming too much sodium and fat can cause gastrointestinal upset. Plus, some of the additives found in hot dogs aren’t ideal for your fluffy friend either, such as preservatives and coloring.
This is why we must stress it again; always check the ingredient list!
You should take a look at the nutritional information too. Some hot dogs are high in calories, so there can be some issues on the scale if you feed your dog too many hot dogs.
For example, if you have a small dog, such as a Chihuahua, which only needs between 225 and 250 calories per day, you can see how too many hot dogs wouldn’t be the best thing for an animal of this size.
Also, make sure you never serve raw hot dogs to your dog. Yes, cooked hot dogs are safe, but raw dogs are not. You can find a lot of bacteria in raw hot dogs, so your dog could become sick if he or she eats uncooked franks.
Understanding why hot dogs shouldn’t be the first choice for your dog
As we’ve touched upon, you should never feed your dog raw hot dogs because of the food-borne bacteria. However, unhealthy fat is the real issue here.
Firstly, bratwurst, sausages, and hot dogs can be high in fat. It’s what makes these hot dogs taste so amazing, whether they’re made from beef or any other type of meat. So, while hot dogs aren’t necessarily toxic, a lot of fat can result in vomiting, diarrhea, or an upset stomach.
Plus, if your dog has a high-fat diet, it can result in pancreatitis and heart disease in dogs.
So, surely the solution is to simply look for a low-fat beef hot dog to serve your dog instead?
Well, vets have thrown around some loose benchmarks regarding treats and calories. Most agree that your dog’s daily calories should only comprise around 10 percent of treats. The rest of your dog’s daily calorie consumption should come from a carefully balanced diet, with all the minerals and vitamins your dog needs.
Overfeeding can have bad consequences for your pet.
Doing the math when working out how much food to give your dog
Ultimately, when deciding whether or not to serve your dog hot dogs, it comes down to basic math. A whole hot dog is typically around 150 calories. However, you do need to check the label.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), depending on the size of your dog, the total calories should be approximately between 200 and 1,300 calories per day. What this means is that only between 20 and 130 calories per day should come from treats.
A large, healthy 90-pound dog may be able to eat an entire hot dog in just a matter of seconds. However, this means that all of your dog’s treat calories have been consumed at that moment.
When it comes to small dogs, it’s even worse. A 20-pound dog would consume one-third of his or her daily calories by eating a hot dog. Plus, they’ll be eating almost four times the treats they’re supposed to have. This shows why a beef hot dog is not always the best idea. And, if you decide to go down this route, make sure you’re careful when portioning based on the size of your dog.
Can you serve hot dogs to puppies?
Puppies usually have a more sensitive digestive system when compared with adult dogs. If they eat high-fat or rich foods, they are more prone to having an upset stomach. Some puppies may be able to tolerate little pieces of hot dog, especially if they’re used as high-reward training treats.
However, it’s important to note that puppies require fewer calories than bigger dogs. They also need higher protein content in their diet to help with development and growth. It’s vital to make sure they have a well-balanced diet, so you should only ever feed hot dogs in very small quantities.
What happens if your dog eats a hot dog by accident?
We’ve all been there; you turn your head for a minute, and your dog jumps up and eats something off your plate. So, what happens if your dog snatches a hot dog while you’re busy talking or taking a sip of your drink? Well, firstly, don’t panic. It probably won’t cause any harm to your pup.
If the hot dog does upset your dog’s stomach, he or she may feel a little bit uncomfortable and have some digestive issues, like diarrhea. However, this should pass within a day. If your dog is vomiting with diarrhea or if diarrhea persists, you should call your vet, as this can result in extreme dehydration, so you need to be careful.
Make sure there is plenty of water available for your dog. The salt in the hot dog will likely make your dog quite thirsty.
Can you use beef hot dogs as training treats?
Hot dog pieces are sometimes used as a high-value treat to reward dogs in behavioral training as hot dogs taste amazing. They’re also a good way of hiding a pill so your dog will take it.
If you are going to use hot dog pieces to hide medication, use the smallest piece you can to hide the pill. Your dog will enjoy the aroma and taste of the hot dog, so you don’t need to give your dog an entire hot dog.
Becoming dog treat savvy
There are two steps you need to take to become dog treat savvy;
- Know your dog’s calories
- Switch to treats that are less calorie-dense
Don’t take guesses when figuring out how much food to feed your dog. A bowl of dog food doesn’t mean much if you don’t compare it to the serving amount that’s displayed on the can or bag.
Of course, all dogs are different as well. Some dogs are more active than others. If you’re unsure whether you’re feeding your dog too little or too much, the best thing you can do is simply ask your vet for a bit of guidance.
Next, we recommend switching to dog treats that are less calorie-dense whenever possible. Dogs often like textures that crackle and crunch, like carrots and celery stalks, so consider this when you’re looking for something new and healthy to give your dog.
Ultimately, it all comes down to moderation. You don’t have to stop giving your dog treats. After all, eating can be emotionally rewarding and fun. However, it’s about thinking about your dog’s health and long-term goals. Give your dog the right nutrients in the right amounts to ensure you have the healthiest, strongest, best buddy for years to come.
How to ensure your dog has a safe and healthy diet?
We hope this guide has helped you understand whether you should be serving your dog hot dogs. It’s important to remember a few things here:
- Not all hot dogs are created the same, so always check the ingredient list
- Make sure you’re serving your dog the right calories based on the size of your dog
- Never serve your dog a raw hot dog
- Hot dogs should be served as a rare treat rather than being the main feature in a dog’s diet