Did you know that the name “hot dog” came from the fact that the German sausages, also known as frankfurters and wieners, were likened to the long and thin dachshund dogs in the 1800s? But does this means that dogs are entitled to eating sausages?
It is safe to give your pup small amounts of certain types of sausage from time to time. But this meat product should not be your pet’s number one source of protein.
If you want to reward your four-legged friend with a delicious treat and wonder if dogs can eat sausage, read through our detailed guide.
So, can dogs eat sausages?
While technically, pups can eat sausages, the real question is whether they should eat them.
A few pieces of certain types of sausage are okay as an occasional treat. But these processed meat products should not be a regular main dish for your four-legged companion.
The reason is that sausages contain added ingredients such as saturated fat, fat, spices, salt, and others, which can be harmful both for canines and humans when eaten in large amounts regularly. In other words, if you want you and your pup to eat healthily, then sausages should not be at the top of your list.
Another thing to remember is that many store-bought sausages contain artificial coloring, ingredients, and flavorings, some of which can be toxic to canines. So, make sure to read the labels and ingredient lists before feeding some to your pet.
Last but not least, even though sausages contain meat, many have less than 50% of it. They may be delicious but are not the best sources of protein for your dog.
Instead, stick to whole meats like lean turkey, chicken, or fish when planning your pup’s diet. These are excellent protein sources and do not contain any potentially harmful or dangerous ingredients for dogs.
Is sausage meat safe for dogs?
While sausage meat contains more pork and protein than regular sausage, it still can contain a lot of salt, seasoning, added fat, and other ingredients which can harm or endanger your pup, especially when consumed regularly and in large quantities.
Please note that raw sausage meat can contain harmful pathogens such as salmonella or E.coli, which can make you and your furbaby very sick. So, always cook the sausage meat first before human or animal consumption.
Are sausage rolls okay for dogs?
Just like with sausages, canines can eat sausage rolls, but only occasionally and in small quantities. But it will be best for your pup’s wellbeing if you avoid entirely feeding it any sausage or sausage rolls.
Sausage rolls are highly processed meat products that contain a lot of salt and fat and are high in calories.
You can give your pet a tiny bit on special occasions safely. But be careful not to overdo it to prevent the negative consequences of weight gain and high blood pressure.
What about flavored sausages?
You may love salami, liver, chorizo, garlic, or other flavored sausages, but you should not share them with your furry friend.
First, like the other sausages, they are high in sodium, fat, and calories. But even worse, most flavored ones are packed with seasoning and ingredients, which can cause harm and even poison your dog.
Sausages containing onions and garlic are a definite no-no for pups because these plants from the Allium family are highly toxic to them. Nutmeg is also known to be poisonous to dogs.
Even without being toxic, many of the seasonings used for making the flavored sausages so irresistible can cause digestive upsets in canines.
Are sausages good or bad for dogs?
Although they are a favorite food for people in the country and worldwide, sausages are not a healthy food choice, which is valid for humans and dogs.
But while our organisms can handle some delicious sausage, canines are not so well-equipped for that. The reason is that dogs are smaller than us and require a much lower caloric intake than their dog parents. Sausages are very high in calories and fat, which can cause quick weight gain and lead to obesity and severe health problems in pups.
A medium-sized dog requires somewhere between 600 to 800 calories per day to stay well and fit. A single piece of sausage can quickly add up to a large portion of these daily calories. Besides the high calories, the added fat can also harm your best friend.
For example, an average pork sausage has 110-176 calories, amounting to a quarter or more of the daily calorie intake of a medium-sized dog.
The high sodium (salt) content in sausages is another problem, as well as the high-fat content.
On average, a single sausage can contain about 3.4g of saturated fat, 8g of fat, and 0.93g of sodium.
This is a lot for a dog, especially smaller dogs or pups with underlying health issues such as kidney, liver, or heart diseases which all require low-sodium diets.
Nutmeg, onion, and garlic are all toxic for dogs and are also commonly used for making different kinds of sausages. Large amounts of any of these ingredients can destroy red blood cells and lead to severe anemia and even death in dogs.
Last but not least, some studies show that sausages, hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats can cause cancer.
Unfortunately, the occurrences of cancer in canines have been increasing, just as they are among humans. Statistics show that one out of every four dogs is diagnosed with cancer, and the numbers increase as the pup ages.
To reduce the risk of cancer and hopefully prolong your pet’s lifespan, it is recommended that you steer away from giving it any processed meat altogether.
What about using sausage as a treat?
Tiny slices of regular sausage will not kill your pup, so you can reward it with a bit but only occasionally.
Using pieces of sausage as regular training treats is not recommended. The reason is that the rewards can quickly add up and lead to harmful consequences for your pet.
Instead, leave the small bits of sausage for exceptional occasions or rewards.
Never give your four-legged companion a whole sausage or a flavored sausage that contains nutmeg, onions, garlic, or other potentially poisonous ingredients.
Even if your pup does not get poisoned by it, a whole sausage can cause digestive problems due to the high fat and spices. In some severe cases, ingesting too much fat can lead to an inflammation of the dog’s pancreas and even painful chronic pancreatitis.
If you are wondering which alternatives for delicious treats are safer for your pup, you can opt for doggy treats or small pieces of cooked lean whole meat such as chicken or turkey. You can even peel and slice up some carrots, which are healthy, and dogs usually love them.
Final verdict – can canines eat sausage?
Yes, they can eat sausage, but they shouldn’t.
Sausages are highly processed, containing little meat and a lot of fat, salt, saturated fat, and other unhealthy ingredients compared to lean meat. They are high in calories and are not the best sources of protein.
Plus, in some cases, the sausages can contain ingredients that can poison your dog. Some of them include nutmeg, leeks, onions, and garlic.
While an occasional treat or nibble is not likely to harm your pup, it is recommended to avoid feeding sausages to your dog altogether.
You can choose much healthier and safer delicious alternatives as treats for your pet. Some suggestions include pieces of whole lean meat, carrots, and even slices of apple, watermelon, and other dog-friendly fruits.
But the treats should not be more than 10% of the recommended caloric intake for your dog. The rest of its diet should consist of good quality, balanced, healthy dog food.