Can Pugs Eat Hot Dogs? A Look At The Benefits And Safety

Now that the warm weather is here, more families are socializing in backyards with picnic spreads of hamburgers, hotdogs and other delicious food. These are fun occasions for both you and your dog, but can can Pugs eat hotdogs? What happens if they sneak one without you knowing or if a child gives them one with beans and cheese?

Can Pugs Eat Hot Dogs?

Yes, they are NOT toxic to dogs, but they do present some hazards as they are high in sodium nitrate, dextrose (sugar), artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and other ingredients that are not good for dogs. Hot dogs also contain seasonings and spices such as pepper, white and black pepper, cumin, nutmeg, paprika, garlic puree, and garlic and onions can be toxic to your pet.

Note: This article is written by someone who owned a Pug for 16 years, not a veterinarian, and shouldn’t be a substitute for professional advice. If your Pug has eaten something potentially dangerous or is showing signs of illness, you should contact your vet immediately!

can pugs eat hot dogs

Are There Any Benefits To Feeding Hot Dogs To Pugs?

No, even though hot dogs contain protein, which is good for dogs, they do not provide any health benefits for dogs. Many pet owners use hot dogs as a training treat, because dogs love them.

There’s nothing wrong with giving hot dogs as an occasional snack, as they are an acceptable source of protein.

The next time you cookout and want to share with your pooch, make sure you’re cooking some healthy hot dogs. I’ve put together some of the healthiest and the worst hot dogs for both you and your Pug.

BrandCaloriesSodium Healthy
Applegate Naturals Beef Hot Dogs110500mgYes
Organic Prairie Organic Uncured Grassfed Hot Dogs160450mgYes
Ball Park Beef Franks180510mgWorst
Sabrett Natural Casing Beef Frankfurters170470mgWorst
Low Fat Boar’s Head Lite Beef Frankfurters90270mgYes
Oscar Mayer Classic Uncured Wieners110420mgYes
Kayem Beef and Pork Hot Dogs140430mgWorst

Regardless of whether a hot dog is organic, low fat, or considered healthy, it should still be fed in moderation to your pooch!

Nutritional Facts

One hot dog without buns or condiments contains the following nutrients according to the USDA:

  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Calories: 290
  • Carbohydrates: 13 grams
  • Sugars: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 810mg

Hot dogs are high in salt and are not great for canines.

Are Hot Dogs Safe For Pugs?

what are hot dogs
Hot dogs are high in salt, fat, and just. not a good option for Pugs.

As mentioned above, hot dogs are not toxic to dogs, however, they do pose a choking threat and other health issues if fed every day.

Let’s take a closer look at why this doesn’t make a great snack for your furbaby.

Choking Hazards

Pugs love to eat their food fast, and you’ve probably given them a treat that they swallowed before you could say “good girl.”

Giving your dog a hot dog can easily get trapped in their throat causing them to choke. When giving your four-legged friend a bite of a hot dog, make sure you cut it up into manageable bite-size pieces.

High Sodium Content

As a general rule, foods with high amounts of sodium should never be added to your pet’s diet. A high salt diet can lead to a range of health issues including excessive thirst, depression, diarrhea, depression, and sodium ion poisoning.


Processed hot dogs have low nutritional value and are high in harmful preservatives. Sodium nitrate has been known to cause a blood disorder called methaemoglobin in dogs.

Sodium nitrate is a chemical that is found in hot dogs, bacon, bologna. sausage, and other processed deli meats. It is used to preserve foods and gives the meats that pink coloration we’re used to seeing.

High-Fat Content

Hot dogs are high in fat and as a general rule dogs need fats in their daily diet. However, too much fat can result in health issues such as acute pancreatitis, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

Good high-quality dog food will have the appropriate level of fat to provide your dog with the energy they need to stay active.

Medical Conditions

If your pup has allergies, diabetes, or is sedentary for any reason, you should forgo any hot dog sharing. Even a small piece can trigger a negative reaction that may require medical attention.

Can Pugs Eat Raw Hot Dogs?

hot dog with beans and cheese
Hot dogs should be cooked and shouldn’t contain any toppings or seasonings.

No, it’s never a good idea to feed your dog raw meats of any kind. Even though they are pre-cooked some can become contaminated with bacteria while being processed and packaged at the plant.

Can Pugs Eat Soy Hot Dogs?

Soy is not harmful to dogs and if they like it, a small piece should be fine. If you love cooking vegetarian hot dogs on the grill, opt for healthier options such as; Morningstar Farms Veggie Dogs, or Lightlife Smart Dogs.

Always read the ingredients on the packaging to ensure they don’t have any harmful ingredients that can be toxic to your pooch. If you’re not sure what type of soy dogs to feed your dog, consult with your veterinarian.

Can Pugs Eat Cooked Hot Dogs?

grilled hot dogs
Cook the hot dog and cut it into small bite size pieces to prevent choking hazards.

Yes, as long as it is fed in small amounts and cooled to room temperature. Never give your dog a whole hot dog as it can cause them to choke and a small dog like a Pug should only have a couple of bite-size pieces.

If your Pug is less than a year old, you should forego the hot dog and stick with feeding them a high quality dog food.

Can Pugs Eat Polish Hot Dogs?

can dogs eat hot dog sausages
Avoid giving your dog sausage hot dogs as they may contain garlic or other seasonings that are bad for dogs.

No, polish sausage is made of pork and beef and is known to contain strong flavors of marjoram, pimentos, cloves, smoke, and garlic. As you know garlic is extremely toxic for Pugs.

What To Do If Your Pug Ate A Hot Dog?

Sometimes Pugs don’t always do what they’re supposed to do, even if they’ve been properly trained. If your Pug has snuck a hot dog while you’re busy entertaining guests at your Memorial day BBQ, there’s no need to panic.

As long as they managed to get them down without choking.

Without Bun

There’s a good chance that your pooch didn’t have time to eat a whole pack. If they only ate one or two, they will most likely experience an upset tummy that can cause them to vomit and maybe even some diarrhea.

That’s totally normal, especially, after a dog eats too much of anything so fast. The gastrointestinal tract is trying to get rid of the hot dogs. You’ll want to monitor your dog closely to make sure that she doesn’t get worse or start showing other signs such as:

  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Incoordination

These are all signs of sodium poisoning and you’ll want to take her to the vet or emergency clinic immediately.

With Condiments

If your Pug managed to eat a hot dog that was loaded with mustard, chili, relish, onions, sauerkraut, and cheese, then you’ll want to take her to the vet or contact the Pet Poison Hotline.

There are several condiments that are toxic to dogs such as garlic, onions, salt, and etc.

Make sure you keep all temptations including leftovers away from your pooch. All garbage should be thrown in a trash can that your dog can’t get into. The tasty smell will surely entice your pooch, and they’ll likely try to break into the trash can.

Best Way To Prepare Hot Dogs For Pugs

If you just can’t help yourself but you share everything with your Pug, here are the steps to feed them hot dogs safely. Don’t feed them hot dogs every day, this should only be used as an training or occasional treat.

  • Opt for a healthy hot dog brand. (check the table above)
  • Avoid hot dogs with garlic or other flavorings.
  • Cook the hot dog and let it cool to warm temperature.
  • Don’t use any seasonings, or garnish.
  • Cut it into bite-size pieces to avoid choking.
  • Keep the servings to small size!

Alternatives To Hot Dogs For Pugs

If your Pug loves eating hot dogs or just enjoys hanging out by the grill hoping something falls on the floor while you’re cooking, you may want to consider throwing a healthier option on the grill for them. You may want to consider grilling some veggies for your Pug.

Here’s some foods that are not only tasty, but are good for your pooch.

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Burgers (opt for grass-fed or organic beef)
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers

Final Word On Feeding Pugs Hot Dogs

While hot dogs are not toxic to Pugs, they do contain many ingredients that do not make them a good snack or treat. If you want to give them something at your next barbecue, opt for some plain beef, chicken, or salmon, just make sure that it doesn’t have any seasoning on it.

Cut it up into small bite-size pieces and keep your dog’s snacks and treats to no more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet requirements.

References And Further Reading – A Guide to Common Ingredients in Hot Dogs

Black Pug Site