How to Cook Hot Dogs for Dog Treats (Easy Recipe)

Hot dogs make a great inexpensive treat for your dog. There are a myriad of ways you can prepare them that will be safe and delicious. Dog trainers all over the world swear by using these as a stronger incentive for more demanding tasks. The only thing you should ensure, though, is that the hot dogs are 100% beef.

What is the best oven method for cooking hot dogs?

Cooking hot dogs in the oven is good if you have many hot dogs to cook. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Slice each hot dog in fourths lengthwise and then cut into tiny pie-shaped pieces. These should be about the same thickness as a nickel. Spread them out in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper.

When the oven is ready, put them in for about 30 to 45 minutes. After about 20 minutes, begin watching them to ensure nothing is burning or turning too brown. When they’re done, they’ll be light and crispy. Allow them to cool and put them in a sealable sandwich bag so they’ll keep for a long time.

Can you use a microwave to cook hot dogs as treats? 

As one of the most common methods for owners and trainers to cook hot dogs for dogs as a treat, the microwave is king. However, note that different microwaves cook at various rates and strengths. Regardless, it is the fastest way to get hot dog treats for your pup in a matter of minutes.

Slice the Hot Dogs

As with the oven method, slice the hot dogs in fourths lengthwise and then into nickel-sized pie shapes. At this point, you can make them bigger or shaped in other ways depending on your needs. If you’re looking for neat, even pieces, freeze the hot dogs a little bit before cutting them.

Cooking for Texture

Then, on a microwave-safe dish, place a piece of paper toweling. Put the chopped hot dog pieces on the towel-lined dish and then top that with yet another piece of paper toweling. This helps make them more crispy and/or jerky-like. Cook in five second intervals until they are the texture you are looking for.

Don’t crowd the hot dogs onto the dish or pile a ton on top of each other. You want air to flow through the pieces as they cook. If you have a lot of hot dogs, you may have to do this in several batches.

Storage

Allow the pieces to cool when finished cooking. You can store these in an air-tight container in either the fridge or cupboard. But, if the texture is soft or jerky-like, then you want to ensure you keep them in the cupboard.

Do you boil hot dogs different for dogs? 

The way you boil hot dogs as treats for your dog will be the same as you would for yourself. Simply boil a small pot of water, place a hot dog in and cook it for a few minutes until warmed. Allow it to cool for a bit and slice the hot dog into smaller pieces.

Can you give hot dogs out of the package to a dog?

Hot dogs come already fully cooked. So, it’s okay to give them as is right out of the package. Although this method isn’t advisable, your dog will be fine eating them this way. It’s always better to give your dog meat that’s been thoroughly warmed first to prevent any nausea, vomiting or digestive issues.

Can you give a dog dehydrated hot dogs as a treat?

If you have a food dehydrator or can manage to borrow one, you’ll have the best dog food treat preparation device. These will last the longest when stored in an airtight container. Dehydrating provides the best nutrition that you can get out of a hot dog.

Using Your Oven as a Dehydrator

However, you can use your oven as a dehydrator if one isn’t available. Cut them as you would for baking in the oven. Simply put them on a baking sheet with some parchment at bake them at 200°F for 2½ hours. Make sure you shake the pan around every 30 minutes so the pieces dry evenly.

Don’t worry if the pieces feel spongy once finished drying. They will harden more upon cooling. Be sure you store them in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag.

Can you give a dog frozen hot dogs as a treat?

If your dog doesn’t mind cold foods, frozen hot dogs are fine to give as a treat. Simply cut them up into smaller pieces and put them in a freezer bag. Take them out and let some thaw as needed. If you’re going to a class or undertaking a personal training session, they should thaw by the time you need to use them.

With what frequency should dogs eat hot dogs?

Although it’s fine to give hot dogs to your dog as a treat, this should be sparing. Of course this will be up to you and your dog’s training schedule along with dietary and health requirements. But, once or twice a week should be sufficient enough.

Hot Dogs Should Only Be Treats

Remember, hot dogs should never make up the mainstay of their diet. If you notice they want hot dogs more than their regular kibble, set the hot dogs aside for awhile to desensitize the dog from wanting them. When they stop desiring hot dogs more than their regular food, you can reintroduce the hot dogs. But even then, be incredibly sparing about it.

Training Situations

This is why it’s best to give these as a bonus incentive rather than a regular treat, like a biscuit. You want your dog to associate certain good things when they properly obey particular tasks, duties and commands. If they get a hot dog, it will be something “fancy” to them and will let the dog know they’re doing really, really good.