It’s an instinct shared by many pet owners. You’re enjoying a food you like, and your pet also wants a piece. It’s hard not to give in to the temptation and give your furry friend a bite. After all, if it’s safe for you, it’s safe for them, right?
Unfortunately, the truth is that’s not always the case. Plus, we often eat plenty of foods that aren’t good for us. Our bodies have mechanisms that can cope with processed foods, but our pets do not.
A hot dog may seem like a harmless stick of meat, not far removed from any rat or bird your cat killed and dragged home. However, looks can be deceiving. A hot dog is vastly different from any food your cat would naturally have in their diet. Experts will tell you that hot dogs are not a food you should feed your cat, but if you want to know more, read on.
No, You Shouldn’t Feed Your Cat Hot-Dogs!
But, Aren’t Cats Carnivores?
Most of us are aware that cats are clever hunters. To us, eating a dead pigeon seems disgusting. On the other hand, we eat hot dogs without giving it a second thought. So, to us, a hot dog seems like a healthier, safer bet. Why wouldn’t we want to share some with our cats?
On the surface, this logic seems to make sense. Pigeons and rats carry diseases that we know aren’t present in our hot dog meat. But the meat that your cat would be eating in the wild is very different from the processed meat in a hot dog.
Wild Meats vs. Processed Meats
If it’s all meat, why should I avoid feeding my cat a hot dog when they can eat rats outside? Our bodies have evolved to digest the processed foods that we eat. Before we created processed products, they did not exist on Earth.
A hot dog isn’t just ordinary meat, though it looks like it on the surface. It’s an amalgam of several meats and parts of animals, plus many chemicals and preservatives.
Moreover, hot dogs have an incredibly high-fat content. In the wild, very few animals have as much fat. A cat’s natural diet consists almost entirely of very lean meats.
Humans aren’t the only ones with an obesity problem today. Many pets are as overweight as their owners, and part of the problem is that they’re being fed processed foods that were never meant to be a part of their diet.
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What’s in a Hot Dog That’s Bad for Your Cat
In truth, hot dogs aren’t healthy for humans, either. It’s recommended that humans avoid consuming hot dogs frequently, especially in large amounts. Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients in a hot dog that you don’t want to feed your cat or yourself!
High Sodium Content
Everyone knows that too much sodium in your diet can cause problems. In humans, it can cause high blood pressure, but with cats, the effects can be even more detrimental.
Though excessive sodium isn’t good for humans, our bodies can still process large amounts fairly easily. However, cats’ bodies aren’t built to process sodium since it’s not in a cat’s natural food sources.
The extra sodium can cause dehydration in your cat, even in small amounts. Your cat could even get sodium-ion poisoning if you regularly feed them too much sodium. This can cause elevated blood pressure, tremors, seizures, anxiety, depression, nausea, vomiting, and more.
Too Much Fat
We’ve already mentioned the high-fat content of hot dogs, but it’s one of the biggest reasons not to feed them to your cat. Cats’ digestive systems don’t have a way to process all that fat, so it gets stored. This will contribute to an obese and unhealthy cat with a shorter and less enjoyable life.
Nitrates and Nitrites
All sorts of preservatives and chemicals are found in hot dogs, including nitrates and nitrites. Since hot dogs are made to have a long shelf life and be ready to eat without being cooked, they contain far more preservatives than most other foods.
Though our bodies have learned to adapt to the high amount of preservatives and other chemicals that have become a significant part of our diet, our pets still can’t process the chemicals as effectively. This means that they’re twice as toxic to our four-legged friends, so it’s not worth risking.
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In the end, every pet owner has to make their own decisions about their pet’s life. But if you want to help your cat live their best life, hot dogs should not be a part of their diet.
These foods contain too much fat, which will be easily stored and contribute to your cat being overweight since they can’t process fat like humans. Plus, the excess sodium can dehydrate your cat and make them sick. Finally, the preservatives and chemicals in hot dogs are unhealthy for your cat, which is another reason why hot dogs aren’t a good food to feed your furry loved one.