A bunch of food, such as a cheeseburger, onion rings, and pizza.

Can Dogs Eat Fast Food?

7 mins |

Let’s admit it, fast food is our forever favorite guilty pleasure! And just like that, our dogs may beg for a bite of that delicious “human food.” But, before passing your dog a bite, ask yourself: can dogs eat fast food? Let us help you find the answer. 

Just like us, dogs are attracted to the smell of tasty fast food. However, just because we can eat it, does not mean it is safe for them to eat. In general, fast food is not fatal to dogs, but it’s extremely unhealthy, and it should be your last choice. Also, always consult with your veterinarian before making a change to your dog’s diet, even a small one.

Can Dogs Eat Hamburgers?

Hamburgers are delicious; even our furry friends know that. Not only will your dog enjoy your hamburger because of its great taste, but it can also be a nutritious source of protein in addition to its balanced diet. 

But before you share a bite, you need to know how to do it correctly, otherwise, the tasty reward can pose a severe risk to your dog’s health. 

If by “hamburger” you mean the whole sandwich, then no, you definitely should not share it with your dog. 

The ingredients are the most important thing you should consider when deciding whether to give your dog a bite of your tasty hamburger (or any food, for that matter). 

When appropriately prepared without ingredients that are harmful to their health, one small portion of hamburger can be a great reward after successful training. 

What Hamburger Ingredients Are Safe For Dogs?

Here are the hamburger ingredients that are safe for dogs.


Since dogs are carnivores, it’s perfectly fine to include meat in their diet. 

But remember that only plain unseasoned hamburger meat is safe for your dog. 

Often, the packed patties you find in stores are pre-seasoned and mixed with other ingredients, such as preservatives, stabilizers, flavors, and other additives that can be harmful to your dog’s health.  

The best way to serve your dog a plain hamburger patty is to prepare it in your own kitchen, without adding any seasonings. That, plus check the packaging for the hamburger to make sure it’s unseasoned.

Unseasoned, cooked hamburger meat contains a high percentage of protein, and it makes a healthy supplement to your dog’s regular diet. This stands true for beef, pork, turkey, lamb, and, of course, chicken meat. 

This meat contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help maintain healthy skin and fur and boost the immune system. 

Cooked ground meat also contains some essential vitamins and minerals such as B3, B6, B12, zinc, selenium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, etc. 


Lettuce is not toxic or harmful to your furry friend’s health. So, it’s perfectly fine if you combine it with a cooked unseasoned meat patty. 

It contains nutrients such as vitamins A, K, C, and beta-carotene. It is also very rich in fiber, which promotes food digestion. Since it has high water content and lacks calories and fats, lettuce is a great treat if your dog needs to lose weight.

What Hamburger Ingredients Are Bad for Dogs?

Here are the hamburger ingredients that are bad for dogs, starting with onions.


Even though this is one of the must-have ingredients in a hamburger, whether it is mixed into the meat or there are onion rings used as toppings, you should keep it away from your dog. 

All onion parts, whether cooked or raw are toxic for dogs, including the bulb, leaves, juice, and processed powders. Onions contain compounds that can lead to hemolysis, and consequently anemia and lack of oxygen distribution through the body. 


Hamburger without a piece of melty cheese? Almost impossible. But you may want to think twice before giving it to your dog.  

Although cheese is highly nutritious, it is also high in fat, which can cause weight gain and obesity. It also contains high dosages of sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure, excessive thirst, and frequent urination.

Some dogs are lactose intolerant, which means cheese and other dairy-based products may upset their gastrointestinal system, leading to diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting. 

Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?

Before domestication, dogs’ diets consisted mostly of raw meat, so a raw diet is more closely related to their biological needs.

Raw meat contains good bacteria and digestive enzymes, which play a significant role in maintaining healthy intestinal flora, promoting efficient digestion and better absorption of nutrients. 

Besides the many benefits of feeding your furry friend raw meat, there are some potential risks though. Raw meat contains pathogens that can lead to foodborne infections and severe impairment of your dog’s health. 

Can Dogs Eat French Fries?

We can all agree that a hamburger combined with crispy french fries is a golden standard. French fries aren’t toxic for dogs, so if your dog steals a few fries off your plate, you don’t need to rush to your’s vet office. 

But considering they are extremely unhealthy junk food, with no nutritional value, excessive consumption will cause serious health issues. 

Why Are French Fries Bad For Dogs?

French fries are fried in oil, and that makes them high in fat and calories. In the short term, fat can cause digestive upset, followed by lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. But what’s more worrying is the fact that fat can drive your dog to obesity, heart disease, and pancreatitis in the long term. 

Salt is another problematic ingredient in french fries that can lead to excessive thirst, dehydration, and high blood pressure, leading to kidney failure in the long term. 

Can Dogs Eat Pizza?

As delicious as pizza is, your dog shouldn’t eat it. Traditional pizza recipe has minimal nutritious value and it’s full of empty calories, which leads to obesity. 

Carbohydrates are hard to digest, and their high content in pizza crust will make your dog lethargic. Additionally, pizza crust contains a high amount of salt and spices, but also garlic and onion powder which are extremely toxic for dogs. 

The same thing is true for pizza sauce. Even though it contains tomatoes, it is also mixed with a lot of garlic, onion powder, herbs, salt, and even sugar, which is not the best meal for your puppy.

Meat like salami, bacon, and pepperoni is highly processed, fatty, and salty, so instead of providing nutrients, it will upset for dog’s digestive system. 

What Can Happen If A Dog Eats Fast Food?

A closeup of some hot dogs with toppings and chips.
Looks delicious, but a dog shouldn’t eat this.

Fast food contains a lot of unhealthy ingredients that can upset a dog’s stomach. 

If a small piece of your junk meal accidentally ends up in your dog’s mouth, it’s probably not a big deal, but you should be aware that it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy in your dog. In this case, contact your veterinarian and follow their advice. 

If fast food is often a part of your dog’s diet, you are exposing it to a high risk of gaining weight, which can lead to diabetes, and also pancreatitis, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and heart disease, which are life-threatening conditions and can seriously impair your dog’s health. So, we don’t recommend doing that.

To Sum Up – Can Dogs Eat Fast Food?

In conclusion, the bottom line is that dogs should not eat fast food at all. Even if some ingredients may have benefits for the dog’s health, it’s highly recommended that you keep your fast food meals away from your dog. 

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Can dogs eat fast food?” you can keep on being the awesome owner that you are for them. 

That said, have you ever shared a piece of fast food with your dog? Let us know in the comments!

Sandra is a veterinary undergraduate student based in Macedonia. She combines her two passions: veterinary medicine and writing, and she also tends to raise awareness about animal welfare as much as she can. As a student, she has attended many seminars and conferences related to the veterinary profession, and currently, she is focused on veterinary content writing. Although she owns a cat, she strongly claims that “dogs are her favorite people”.