• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Can Dogs Eat McDonald’s? Vet Approved Risks & FAQ


Jun 13, 2023
mcdonalds fries nuggets burger


mcdonalds fries nuggets burger
Dr. Lauren Demos Photo

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Is McDonald’s healthy for dogs? In general, Mcdonald’s is not a healthy option for dogs. Most foods at McDonald’s are higher in fat, carbs, or salt than is ideal for dogs. Dogs should have a diet high in protein and moderate in fat. Their “plant food” should include a variety of whole grains and healthy vegetables to help them get all the necessary nutrients. Food made for dogs is balanced to meet all their nutritional needs.

But most people who feed their dogs McDonald’s food know it’s an occasional thing, not a replacement for their main meal. In a pinch, some options would make an adequate meal for dogs. So, if you need to feed your dog McDonald’s, look for the best options that will give your dog healthy proteins without lots of fat, salt, and processed carbs.


Dangerous Ingredients in McDonald’s Food

Most McDonald’s food isn’t especially healthy, but some of it can be downright dangerous to dogs. Onions are toxic to dogs and found in lots of McDonald’s foods—only a few grams can put your dog in big danger. Dogs are also in danger from garlic and other related herbs.

Another major problem in fast food is sodium. Sodium poisoning is a serious worry for dogs, especially smaller ones. As little as 1,500 mg of sodium per pound of weight can poison a dog. That means that if you divide your dog’s weight by four, that’s roughly how many teaspoons of salt they’d need to make them very sick. Most McDonald’s foods won’t have that much sodium, but it’s still healthiest to avoid it as much as possible. Skip out on ketchup, pickles, and other add-ons that will add extra salt.

mcdonalds sign
Image Credit: Waid1995, Pixabay

Are Dogs Allowed Inside McDonald’s?

If you plan to feed your dog McDonald’s, you’ll have to do it outside. McDonald’s doesn’t allow pets inside their stores. That means that unless you have a service dog, you’d better stick to the drive-thru.

What’s the Healthiest McDonald’s Food for Dogs?

So, if you do decide to feed your dog some McDonald’s food, what is the best choice? One great option is a McDonald’s Grilled Chicken sandwich. You can order it without a bun or toppings to cut down on unhealthy ingredients. A plain grilled chicken breast from McDonald’s is 120 calories. It has 29 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fat. It also has 400 mg of sodium. Eating all chicken breasts wouldn’t be good for your dog, but it’s a great high-protein snack or emergency meal.

Can Dogs Eat a McDonald’s Hamburger?

McDonald’s Hamburgers are another option many pet owners choose. If Grilled Chicken is leaner than ideal, a hamburger is the opposite. Like the Grilled Chicken sandwich, you should hold the bun, ketchup, and other toppings. A McDonald’s hamburger patty is 90 calories, with 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat. A 50% fat patty isn’t the healthiest for your pet, but it probably won’t hurt it, either.

mcdonalds fries and burger
Image Credit: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels

What About Fries and Ice Cream?

French fries and ice cream are both common treats for humans, but they’re bad for dogs. French fries are deep-fried in fat and covered in salt. They’re low-protein and can easily be oversalted.

Dairy products like ice cream also aren’t the best for your dog. They aren’t built to process sugars like humans can, and the cream in ice cream can lead to an upset stomach. If it’s a hot day, your dog might like a cup of ice cubes and some cool water instead.

Are McChickens or Chicken Nuggets Okay?

Chicken nuggets, McChicken, and other breaded chicken products aren’t the best for your dog. The breading is usually deep fried, leading to lots of unhealthy fat. It’s also made of white flour—not ideal for dogs, who should be getting whole grains. Some breaded chicken products at McDonald’s also have extremely high sodium content. Overall, it’s probably not going to hurt your dog, but it isn’t the best choice either.


Last Thoughts

McDonald’s food might not be the same as your favorite dog food, but that doesn’t make it inedible. Although some options are dangerous or unhealthy for your dog, there are good choices out there. A plain grilled chicken filet is the best choice for dogs from McDonald’s. Burger patties can be a little fatty but are generally pretty good too. Whatever you feed your dog, make sure to check its nutrition facts to see how safe and healthy it is.

Featured Image Credit: ready made, Pexels

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