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I am considering feeding my dachshund some hot dogs and/or sausages. I witnessed my friend feed his dachshund multiple sausages, and the dog seemed fine afterwards.

Is this wise?

Beyond having society label him a "cannibal", are there any actual inherent dangers to feeding my dachshund (or, for that matter, any canine) a hot dog or variant thereof (frankfurter, sausage, bratwurst, kielbasa, blood sausage, etc.)? If there are dangers, what are they?

Does it matter if the hot dog is pork, beef (Kosher or not), other meat (chicken, turkey), or vegetarian (soy, etc.)? Are there safe hot dog-esque alternatives?

Essentially, I'd like to know how safe it is to feed hot dogs to a dog.

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    The dog is only a cannibal if the sausage is made out of dog meat – Huangism Jan 14 '15 at 15:23
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    @Huangism - "hot dog dog" and "wiener dog" are very common slang for "dachshund", hence the blatantly tongue-in-cheek comment. – JoshDM Jan 14 '15 at 15:38
  • Yea I can see the humour in that – Huangism Jan 14 '15 at 15:39
  • My Dachshund won't touch a hot dog. One sniff and she heads the other way. – CGCampbell Apr 11 '16 at 13:49
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There's nothing inherently wrong with hot dogs. In fact, they're a popular treat used in training. But, they are treats, and as such should be given in moderation.

The meat shouldn't make a difference really (though pork should be cooked to avoid parasites, the same as you would if you were planning on eating it). What matters is what has been added to the meat. For safety, I would suggest avoiding flavored hot dogs, as they usually contain ingredients that can be harmful to dogs (e.g. Cheese-filled or beer batter bratwursts).

Although it's important to check the ingredients even with plain hot dogs, as all hot dogs will have various amounts of sodium added. Sausages worry me a little bit, because generally they're packed with various spices, which can include garlic and salt.

Since hot dogs are generally considered safe for dogs, there haven't been any alternatives that I know of, but there are pet-safe condiments you can add if you want. Something like Petchup and/or Muttstard should be fine to add if your dog likes them. (For cats, see Catchup and Meowstard)

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    Indeed, I usually use hot dogs as treats (cut in small pieces). I've found some with lower salt content than regular hot dogs, I assumed it would be better. – Cedric H. Apr 2 '14 at 18:31
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Hot dogs are not bad for dogs in moderation but be careful because they are high in sodium and fat and low in real nutritional content. If you want to give fido a treat or use it for training I say go for it. Use common sense, you don't want to feed your dog hot dogs as their main food source just like you wouldn't recommend hot dogs as a staple food source for a person.

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I feel it's important to point out that if you have small dogs like I do (I have 3 and 4 pound Yorkshire Terriers) a hot dog is about the same size as their little throats. They can get stuck in the throat and it could kill your dog. If I'm giving my dogs a treat of hot dogs I cut them up really good.

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I have a five year old Dachshund. I give her a little bit of finely cut up hot-dogs in her evening meal and she seems to do fine. Never more than a half of hot-dog. I also stick pills in a piece of hot-dog and she gobbles it up.

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Hot dogs do not provide a nutritionally balanced meal, are often high in fat, contain low quality meats, spices, dies, preservatives and a number of things your dog (or a person) does not need. Onions are toxic to cats and hot dogs often have onion powder and other spices. I don't know if they contain anything toxic to dogs.

Feeding cats and dogs human food will also lead to begging and food stealing behaviors. Once the animal figures out what you are eating is tasty they will try to get some for themselves. This may be a pain to guests as they get jumped on while eating. Personally I don't like a dog sitting attentively and staring at me (begging) while I am at the dinner table. To me its a sign the owners don't know much about dogs.

Also Imagine a 90 pound Alaskan Malamute who also wants a bite of the pizza a toddler is running around with. There also may be some nipped fingers as well.

Consult a both a medical doctor and a veterinarian and they will tell you that you and your dog should stay away from hot dogs, or perhaps enjoy them in very moderate amounts.

If you just have to give him a yummy human style meat treat maybe some plain cooked lean beef or chicken.

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    "Consult a both a medical doctor and a veterinarian and they will tell you that you and your dog should stay away from hot dogs, or perhaps enjoy them in very moderate amounts." I don't know what to think about that part. If they would go against the hot dogs for the same reasons as before, what does it add to the answer? If they'd tell the contrary, it contradicts the first part. – Cedric H. Apr 8 '14 at 14:58
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    @CedricH. Agreed. I'm not sure what "A vet would tell you this" adds to the post. It's almost like the illusion of a credible source, without actually being one. Further, "To me [it's] a sign the owners don't know much about dogs." sounds overly judgemental. – starsplusplus Apr 8 '14 at 23:13
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    In my experience feeding hotdogs as training treats doesn't make dogs behave more or less inappropriately around humans eating. I tend to see that they behave badly around humans eating when they are rewarded by the people for doing so by feeding them off their plates. – Beth Whitezel Apr 9 '14 at 6:22
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    Next time you are at your vet ask them if they think hot dogs are good dog treats. If they tell you something akin to "Yes, hot dogs are fine, give them as many as you like without overfeeding the animal" then post a comment here and I will remove the statement, and apologize for saying something inaccurate. To me it is a bit like saying "ask any doctor and they will tell you smoking is bad for you." To me stating the position of medical professionals when you are confident of the prevailing professional opinion is good supporting evidence. – Beo Apr 9 '14 at 14:30
  • The key to any treat, training or otherwise, is moderation. It's not an all or nothing thing, as this answer and subsequent comments assert, and vets will encourage hot dogs and similar items as "high value" training treats, in moderation. – Allison C May 4 at 17:41
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Hotdogs used to give my dachshund terrible, bloody, diarrhea. Her diet was always vegetarian so that could have been why she couldn't handle it on the rare occasions she ate meat.

We always fed my dog a grain-based dog food. When we picked her up after a trip to the kennel, they fed her a piece of a hotdog on her way out. Later that day, she had the stomach issues mentioned above.

On other occasions, we gave her a lamb bone on Easter (we're Greek and make a lamb soup). Every year we left any meat on it, she also had the stomach problems, but she was always "fine" the next day.

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