Can German Shepherds Eat Hot Dogs? (Risks & Alternatives)

  • By: Justin
  • Date: April 15, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Do you worry about your German Shepherd’s diet and wonder if they can safely enjoy a hot dog?

You’re not alone!

Feeding your dog the wrong treat can lead to health problems, making your furry friend suffer.

But don’t worry – I have the solution for you!

In this blog post, I will answer the question Can German Shepherds eat hot dogs? I will also identify the potential dangers and offer alternative treats to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Say goodbye to confusion and hello to a well-informed, worry-free feeding experience!

Can German Shepherds Eat Hot Dogs?

Can German Shepherds Eat Hot Dogs?

German Shepherds, like other dogs, should avoid hot dogs due to the potentially harmful ingredients they contain. Hot dogs often have sodium nitrate, MSG, and seasonings like garlic and onion powder, which are toxic to dogs.

Their high salt content can lead to dehydration and high blood pressure, a choking hazard for larger dogs like German Shepherds.

Dr. Greg, a veterinarian in a YouTube video, suggests that if your German Shepherd accidentally eats a hot dog, there’s no need to panic. The dog may experience bellyache or diarrhea but should pass within a day.

Ensure to provide plenty of water to prevent dehydration, and consult a veterinarian if diarrhea or vomiting persists.

Instead of hot dogs, treat your German Shepherd to plain, unseasoned meats like beef, pork, or chicken during a barbecue. This ensures a safer, healthier, and more enjoyable treat for your beloved pet. (1.)(2.)

Reasons Why Hot Dogs Are Not Recommend For German Shepherds To Eat

Here are some reasons to avoid hot dogs for your German Shepherd.

Toxic seasonings: Garlic and onion powder, common hot dog ingredients, can be toxic to dogs, causing health complications.

High salt content: Excessive salt in hot dogs may lead to dehydration, high blood pressure, and kidney problems in dogs over time. (1.)

Choking hazard: Hot dogs can pose a choking risk, especially for larger dogs that might try to swallow them without chewing properly.

Dehydration: The high sodium content in hot dogs can cause your dog to become dehydrated, leading to various health problems.

Chemical preservatives: Processed meats like hot dogs often contain chemical preservatives, which may not benefit your dog’s health.

Inadequate nutrition: Feeding your dog hot dogs doesn’t supply them with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in a balanced diet.

Risk of obesity: Regularly feeding your dog hot dogs can contribute to obesity due to their high fat and calorie content.

Digestive issues: Hot dogs can cause gastrointestinal discomforts, such as diarrhea or vomiting, and Pancreatitis, especially in dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies. (2.)

Artificial coloring and flavoring: Some hot dogs contain artificial colors and flavors, which can harm dogs and cause allergic reactions or other health issues.

Also Read: Is It Ok To Give Your German Shepherd Cucumbers?

Nutritional Values Of Hot Dogs for German Shepherds

The table below presents the nutritional content of one Oscar Mayer hot dog (45g)without condiments. (1.)(2.)

NutrientAmount% Daily Value
Total Fat12g18%
Saturated Fat4g20%
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrate1g0%
Vitamin C9mg10%

What Yo Do If Your German Shepherd Accidentally Eats a Hot Dog

Oh no! Don’t freak out if your German Shepherd accidentally scarfs down a hot dog!
Just take these steps:

  • Keep calm, one hot dog won’t hurt your pup too much.
  • Keep an eye on your German Shepherd for any tummy troubles like diarrhea or bellyaches, which should go away within a day.
  • If your GSD has diarrhea or vomits a lot, call up your vet since they could get super dehydrated.
  • Ensure your pup has plenty of water since all that salty goodness can make them pretty parched.
  • If you think your dog has swallowed a hot dog or some other object, call the vet pronto! They might need to induce vomiting or remove the object before things worsen.
  • If your dog starts choking, check their mouth for any foreign objects. But if there’s something deep down there, don’t pull it out yourself! Take your dog to the vet ASAP to have it safely removed.
  • Keep an eye on your pup for any signs of trouble, especially if they’re a picky eater or have a sensitive stomach.
  • If your dog is choking, bleeding, or their tummy seems blocked, don’t wait around! Get them to the vet right away.

And remember, while one hot dog isn’t the end of the world, they’re loaded with stuff that’s not so good for your dog’s health.

So watch their diet and try to keep them away from human food as much as possible.

Is Eating Hot Dogs Safe for My German Shepherd?

Healthy Alternatives To Hot Dogs For German Shepherds

As a dog owner, I know how tempting it can be to give your German Shepherd a hot dog as a treat, but it’s essential to choose healthy alternatives that are good for their health.

Here are some options:

Stick to plain dog food, especially breed-specific ones, for a German Shepherd’s nutritional needs.

Feed meat: Stick to unsalted and unseasoned options such as beef, chicken, pork, turkey, salmon, tuna, and eggs, avoiding anything cured or processed.

Fruits and vegetables: Such as apples, bananas, berries, carrots, peas, pumpkins, and oatmeal are great options.

Berries: They are ideal for sharing with your German Shepherd, especially in the summer, and frozen berries can also be a welcome treat in hot weather to help cool your dog down and keep them hydrated.

Carrots: They are low in calories and can be used to clean and strengthen your dog’s teeth.

Cooked pasta: This can be a great way to add weight to your dog if they have weight issues.

Cheese: This is a good source of protein and calcium, but make sure your dog isn’t lactose intolerant.

Vegetables: Such as pumpkin, corn, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and more are also safe for German Shepherds.

Homemade Treats: You can make your own dog treats at home using simple, wholesome ingredients.

Many recipes available online are easy to follow and can provide your German Shepherd with a delicious and healthy snack.

Additionally, by choosing healthy options for hot dogs, dogs can enjoy a tasty treat that is also good for their health.

Conclusion – Is Eating Hot Dogs Safe for My German Shepherd?

In conclusion, hot dogs are not recommended for German Shepherds due to their potentially harmful ingredients and poor nutritional value.

They can cause health complications such as dehydration, high blood pressure, choking hazards, obesity, and digestive issues.

However, if your German Shepherd accidentally eats a hot dog, it is best to keep calm and watch for any tummy troubles.

Choosing healthy alternatives to hot dogs is essential, such as plain unseasoned meats, fruits and vegetables, cooked pasta, and cheese.

By selecting healthy treats, dogs can enjoy a tasty snack that is also good for their health.

Remember to always prioritize your dog’s well-being by providing them with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.

Justin- Writer & Chief Editor of


Justin is a protection dog enthusiast. He has years of experience teaching and training dogs. He enjoys sharing what he’s learned. Read More

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