Did someone say McDonald’s? We can all agree that America’s favorite burger slinger is an irresistible indulgence for most people. When you want to grab a quick, convenient lunch, Mcdonald’s is the go-to place for most of us, thanks to its crave-worthy menu.
We love doing life with our fur babies and will gladly share our delicious treats with them. If anything, who can resist those puppy eyes begging for a bite. It’s heartbreaking to say no. But can dogs eat McDonald’s?
For instance, Fido accidentally wolfed on your McDonald’s burger, or you’re on a road trip with no access to dog food and gave them a bite. Should you be concerned?
Most McDonald’s foods contain simple carbs that spike your dog’s blood sugar levels. And don’t even get us started on the heart killer trans fats. McDonald’s treats are also high in hidden sugars and calories, devastatingly impacting your pup’s health. We are not saying you boycott McDonald’s but save the treats for occasions rather than daily or weekly indulgences.
And for the sake of your fur baby’s health, if you can’t skip McDonald’s foods entirely, you should scrape off some harmful ingredients before tossing the meal to Fido. Read on to find out which McDonald’s ingredients are a no-no for your furry friend and how to feed your dog McDonald’s safely.
What Can a Dog Eat from McDonald’s?
Below is a range of food items from McDonald’s that your dog could eat. We also highlight the nutritional values of each food and its potential dangers to your pup’s health. You’ll also find the calories in each food item vis-a-vis the daily calorie limits of two popular breeds.
It is worth noting that:
- Dogs need 25 calories per pound of their body weight daily to maintain a healthy body.
- Dog treats and snacks should account for no more than 10% of their total daily caloric intake.
Considering the above data, you can decide if a certain McDonald’s food is something you should feed Chewy. Here are the weights of two popular dog breeds to help determine what you can order for your furry friend without compromising their recommended daily caloric intake.
- The average German Shepherd is 70 pounds – should not eat more than 2400 calories daily.
- The average Golden Retriever is 65 pounds – should not eat more than 1700 calories daily.
We cannot overemphasize why you shouldn’t feed your dog at McDonald’s. The nutritional value of these foods is so low that your canine is better off eating high-quality, balanced dog food.
Can Dogs Have McDonald’s Fries?
A few fries are unlikely to harm your dog, but it doesn’t mean you should deliberately feed your canine companion McDonald’s fries. If you don’t have any other food to give Fido, you can offer plain, unsalted McDonald’s fries with no ketchup or sauce.
The fries don’t offer your pup any nutritional goodness. They are cooked in unhealthy saturated and trans fats, which can cause gastrointestinal issues for your pup. We cannot fail to mention the high salt and carbs that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, seizures, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, pancreatitis, and cancer.
From the calorie content below, McDonald’s fries won’t be a serious issue in moderation. But with the chock-full of harmful ingredients, it’s not something you want to offer Fido regularly or even at all.
- McDonald’s Large Fries contain 498 calories: 21% German Shepherd / 30% Golden Retriever daily intake.
- McDonald’s Medium Fries contain 378 calories: 16% German Shepherd / 23% Golden Retriever daily intake.
Can My Dog have McDonald’s McFlurry?
The McFlurry ice cream is tasty and refreshing but detrimental to your pup’s health. Before spoiling Fido with a scoop of McFlurry, you should remember that the ice cream is loaded with sugar, dairy, chocolate, and soy. Most dogs are lactose-intolerant, while some have allergies to proteins in dairy and soy.
Dairy and sugar are bad for your furry friend’s stomach and can cause diarrhea, gas, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Chocolate for dogs is a no-no as even the tiniest amount could lead to dehydration, vomiting, hyperactivity, seizures, and tremors.
- McDonald’s M&M McFlurry regular size contains 640 calories: 27% German Shepherd / 38% Golden Retriever daily recommended dietary allowance.
- McDonald’s M&M McFlurry snack size contains 420 calories: 18% German Shepherd / 25% Golden Retriever daily recommended dietary allowance.
What about McDonald’s Burger?
It is okay to feed your dog a McDonald’s burger only if it’s the meaty part without any extras or condiments. Even so, it doesn’t offer any nutritional value to your dog since it’s processed meat seasoned with salt, spices, and pepper. Seasonings such as garlic, onion, and spices can harm your pup.
Feeding your furry pal seasoned meat can cause digestive upset and, worse, pancreatitis. The bun also contains unnecessary carbs and calories, which are unhealthy and could lead to weight gain and diabetes. Furthermore, many pups are lactose intolerant, so eating cheese regularly can cause digestive upset.
If you have to treat Fido to a McDonald’s burger, ensure you order it without any GI-upsetting ingredients like the bun, onion, cheese, garlic, pepper, and sauces. Regarding calories, here’s how much each McDonald’s burger accounts for.
- McDonald’s Big Mac (550 calories): 23% German Shepherd / 33% Golden Retriever daily intake.
- McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder plus Cheese (740 calories): 31% German Shepherd / 44% Golden Retriever daily intake.
- McDonald’s Cheeseburger (300 calories): 13% German Shepherd / 18% Golden Retriever daily intake.
Can My Dog Have McDonald’s Hash browns and Spicy Chicken Nuggets?
Chicken is a terrific source of lean protein, but this isn’t the case with McDonald’s chicken. Chicken nuggets are likely to make your pup sick and cause long-term health complications if consumed regularly.
They are heavily processed, fried, spiced, and salted—the same case with hashbrowns. Plain potatoes are safe, but their high salt content is dangerous for your pup. It can cause excessive urination, thirst, and sodium ion poisoning.
There’s also the frying oil and batter to worry about, which can cause stomach upset and serious health conditions like heart problems, hyperlipidemia, and pancreatitis. Finally, McDonald’s hash browns contain soybean or corn oil, to which some dogs are allergic to soy and corn.
- McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets 6 pieces (250 calories): 11% German Shepherd / 15% Golden Retriever daily intake.
- McDonald’s Hash Browns (140 calories): 6% German Shepherd / 9% Golden Retriever daily intake.
Should My Dog Have McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal?
McDonald’s is serving a nutritious breakfast, and we love it! You can eat at McDonald’s even on a healthy diet. One such food is the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal. It is high in fiber and low in saturated fat, a good choice for those watching their cholesterol intake.
Plus, the fruity goodness of cranberries, apples, and raisins makes it a cocktail of nutrients. This breakfast combo is ticking all the right boxes but is it healthy for your dog? The McDonald’s fruit & maple oatmeal is a bad choice for dogs because it is more sugary than a Snickers bar, and raisins are toxic to canines.
Although you have the option to order it without the extra brown sugar, you still have the raisins to worry about. Plus, there’s the light cream which can lead to unpleasant digestive issues.
- McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal contains 320 calories: 14% German Shepherd / 19% Golden Retriever daily intake.
Is McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Okay for My Dog?
Fish is good for your dog’s diet if it is not fried, seasoned, with bones, or a species likely to have high mercury like tuna. Fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Fried fish harms your pup and can cause gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreatitis from the butter, heavy oils, and seasonings used during the cooking process. So, this rules out McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish for Fido. Besides, there have been reported cases of bones in the meal, which can choke your dog and cause obstruction at worst.
- McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish contains 390 calories: 17% for German Shepherd / 23% for Golden Retriever daily intake.
Can McDonald’s Apple Fritter Make My Dog Sick?
There’s nothing quite like biting into an apple fritter seasoned with cinnamon and coated with sweet glaze icing and then washing it down with McCafe Premium Roast Coffee. But even if Fido is drooling and begging for it, we don’t encourage you to give your dog a bite. Yes, the ingredients are not toxic, but your pup doesn’t need the extra sugar.
Furthermore, the fritters don’t offer any nutritional value, and the extra oils from deep frying can cause pancreatitis. Stick to plain apples or apples with unsalted peanut butter.
- McDonald’s Apple Fritter contains 510 calories: 22% calories German Shepherd / 30% calories Golden Retriever.
What About McDonald’s Honey Mustard Sauce?
Smooth? Tangy? Zesty? Sweet? This signature sauce from McDonald’s is the perfect blend of honey, vinegar, mustard, and spices. But should your dog have it? No. Honey mustard is not safe for your pup. The seeds used to process mustard contain toxic compounds known as glucosinolates, which can wreak havoc on your canine’s digestive system.
Organic honey is beneficial to canines in small servings as it helps treat several infections, heal wounds, and soothes your furry friend’s tummy. But when mixed with mustard, it becomes dangerous to our furry pals.
- McDonald’s Honey Mustard Sauce contains 60 calories: 3% German Shepherd / 4% Golden Retriever daily intake.
What Happens If My Dog Eats McDonald’s?
We can all agree that McDonald’s lacks critical dog-specific nutrients that are essential for your furry friend to develop, grow and live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
And if you have to spoil your Chewy to a McDonald’s treat, ensure it has the bun, batters, dressings, sauces, and salts removed. But this doesn’t mean you indulge your dog in these processed foods. These foods can have detrimental health consequences when consumed in large quantities.
Most McDonald’s foods have empty calories, leading to weight gain and obesity. They also contain spices, flavoring, and potentially dangerous additives for your fur baby.
High-fat foods have been linked to pancreatitis, which can be fatal.
Cooked bones in some Filet-O-Fish can cause choking or splinter and puncture the intestines. Grapes, chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, caffeine, and garlic are all very toxic to dogs. Sesame seeds, mayo, pickles, and ketchup can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.
In addition to the chock-full of fats and sugar in McDonald’s foods, the salt content is problematic. Too much salt can cause vomiting, excessive urination, thirst, diarrhea, seizures, tremors, and even death.
If your pup suffers from diabetes, heart disease, lactose intolerance, or kidney disease, these foods rich in carbs, sugar, and salt could worsen their condition.
How to Safely Feed McDonald’s Foods?
A chicken nugget here and there won’t kill your Fido, but it’s not safe for your dog. The extra oils, seasoning, condiments, and toppings in most McDonald’s foods rule them out of the dog-safe foods in one swoop!
You might be thinking, can I take these ingredients out from the food before giving them to my dog? It’s worth noting that some traces can remain, and most foods are marinated with these spices and seasoning for hours before they are cooked.
Alternatively, you can order something like a McDonald’s burger without GI-distress-causing ingredients such as pickles, onions, cheese, garlic, and sauces. But, it does not hold significant nutritional value for your furry friend.
There’s only one food on the McDonald’s menu that is entirely safe, healthy, and nutritious: apple slices. They are not only healthy but also bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C.
Are There Any Dog-Friendly Restaurants or Food Chains?
We are happy to inform you that although McDonald’s is off the table for Fido, there are restaurants and stores with menu items suitable for your four-legged pal. They include:
- Starbucks – Are Puppuccinos Safe For Dogs?
- Dairy Queen
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Shake Shack
- In-N-Out Burger
- Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar
- Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt
It’s a simple pleasure to share a meal with your canine companion. However, that McDonald’s treat may cause harm to your fur baby, adding up to hefty vet bills and, finally, a shorter life.
We don’t think too much about the sugar in a scoop of McFlurry or the fat in that bite of McNuggets when we toss it to Fido, with those big brown puppy eyes begging us for a bite. And even though your dog doesn’t have a wedding dress to fit into in a month, he is much smaller than you, with a body that is not accustomed to eating all that junk we stuff our bodies with.