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Giving your dog those hot dogs is harmful, here’s why

Monday, June 4, 2018, 8:34 AM -

Seasonal BBQs with your family and friends are a favourite pastime when the winter coats go into storage. Delicious food and snacks normally accompany these gatherings, and while we as people may not always follow the ‘moderation is key’ advice, it needs to be followed for our pets.

Your pet may be the highlight of the party for your guests, especially if they can do adorable tricks and know how to pull out those puppy dog eyes for a treat!

As adorable as your pup might be, Kallie Milleman, Communications Coordinator at the Ontario SPCA, says you should avoid feeding your pet treats off the BBQ—like hotdogs, or whatever you’re preparing for your patio party.

High-fat, high-calorie foods like hotdogs, hamburgers, and cheese, can quickly contribute to weight gain in pets. Milleman adds that you want to limit treats to 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake to avoid an impact on weight gain and throwing off the balance of nutrients in their diet.

According to experts, the prevalence of obesity in dogs and cats is steadily rising. Subsequently, so too are obesity-related disorders, such as osteoarthritis and diabetes mellitus. “The issue of excess body weight in dogs isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It is both a medical and animal welfare issue. Increased weight can lead to a decreased life-span and reduced quality of life in your pets,” says Dr. Allison Wara, Veterinary Clinical Nutritionist at Royal Canin Canada.

This is not to say treats should be forbidden. There are many different types of treats you can feed your dog, but if you’re purchasing store-bought treats, it’s a good idea to read the label for calorie content and stick to the 10 per cent rule. Quite often the manufacturer will put a daily recommended amount right on the packaging, so you’ll have an idea of what is healthy for your size of dog.

To support a long and thriving relationship with your pet, maintaining a healthy weight will go a long way! Take the time to ensure that you are providing them with the right resources to stay happy and healthy—and enjoy BBQ season as much as we do!


German, A. Weight management in obese pets: the tailoring concept and how it can improve results. Acta Vet Scand 2016; 58(Suppl 1):57.

Association for Pet Obesity Prevention

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