Can Dogs Eat Cheeseburgers? (3 Risks)

Cheeseburgers are a really excellent all-around snack suitable for a picnic, travel, lunch, dinner, and other occasions. Most of us enjoy this common food very much, and sometimes, we even choose to share it with our furry companions. Your dog may also enjoy part of a cheeseburger from time to time, but do you know the risk associated with giving cheeseburgers to your canine pal?

They may not get sick from just one little bite, but can dogs eat cheeseburgers?

can dogs eat cheeseburgers
Can Dogs Eat Cheeseburgers?

No. Never offer your dog anything that wasn’t intended for him or her. Dogs should not be fed human food for any reason, and this includes cheeseburgers. They contain a lot of fat, salt, onions, garlic, pickles, and other ingredients that are not suitable for dogs. Onions and garlic are toxic to canines, and excessive quantities of salt and fat can result in conditions such as sodium ion poisoning and even pancreatitis in some severe cases.

Even if you remove all potentially harmful ingredients like onions and various condiments, a simple cheeseburger will still contain a significant amount of salt and oil compared to what is safe for a dog to consume. So, in general, avoid giving cheeseburgers to your dogs.

Let’s discuss the potential health risks in more detail.

Related Reading: Is Cream Cheese Safe For Dogs?

Harmful Ingredients Found in Cheeseburgers (Not Suitable for Canines)


Onions are harmful to dogs in all forms, whether left in a solid form as part of a meal or even just their liquids being present. In addition, processed onion powders can be damaging to a canine’s health as well. There are no exceptions regarding the health risks of onions and canines, regardless of what form the onion may take.

When a dog consumes onions, he or she may develop hemolytic anemia. As a result of the presence of n-propyl disulfide in onions, the red blood cells in a dog’s body will be damaged, causing them to break down and leave the dog with insufficient quantities of red blood cells to allow their bodies to perform essential activities. When this occurs, your dog will experience symptoms such as vomiting, fatigue, appetite loss, and even reddish colored urine. 

Consequently, onions should never be provided to your pet under any circumstances, and if your pup does ingest onions, you should contact a veterinarian right away to have him or her examined.


However, even though pickles are generally not hazardous to dogs, you should avoid giving them to your furry friend. This is because of the exceptionally high salt content that is often found in both the brine and the pickles themselves.

As previously stated, too much salt can cause salt poisoning in your pooch. On top of that, the salt-water brine may often contain ingredients such as onions and garlic too, which are also toxic to our canine companions.


What good is a burger if it doesn’t come with a lovely slice of melted cheese on top? If you intend to offer part of a cheeseburger to your pup, you may want to leave the cheese out of the equation. This is due to the fact that the majority of dogs are lactose intolerant and may have allergic responses to dairy products.

If the dog does have lactose intolerance, the cheese may cause digestive discomfort of various sorts, and this may manifest as increased flatulence and diarrhea in the dog.


If dogs consume excessive amounts of salt, they may suffer from sodium ion toxicity (also called salt poisoning). Salt poisoning can be fatal to canines, and some of the signs and symptoms of this occurring include the following:

  • Cramps or shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Coma
  • Diarrhea (clear or watery)
  • Dizziness
  • No desire to eat
  • Lethargy
  • Death


Garlic is also believed to harbor chemicals that may harm your dog’s red blood cells and result in anemia. Garlic also causes several gastrointestinal disorders in dogs. These include vomiting, incontinence, and stomach pain and discomfort.


Tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard are the condiments that are most commonly associated with cheeseburgers. Unfortunately, all of these are a no-no when it comes to dogs.

First, most of these condiments are typically enhanced with seasonings that can be hazardous to dogs even when consumed in small quantities. Second, nearly all condiments are exceptionally high in sodium, and dogs are incapable of processing significant levels of sodium (as discussed above).

Finally, unless they are created from scratch, most condiments are filled with preservatives, which we all know are not a very healthy complement to any meal. These are harmful for canines just as much as they’re harmful for human beings.

Related Reading: Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon? (Detailed Explanation)

Risk Factors Associated with Cheeseburgers

The risk factors and dangers of regularly feeding your pup cheeseburgers are listed below, along with their severity.

1. Obesity

A typical cheeseburger contains around 350-550 calories. Toppings such as cheese and bacon, as well as most sauces, considerably increase the calorie content of this meal.

Cheeseburgers are, as a result, a meal that your pet should entirely avoid if you are attempting to assist your dog in losing weight or avoiding obesity. A dog’s daily calorie needs vary based on its breed, age, size, and level of activity. However, adding in a nearly-500-calorie treat is bound to cause weight problems in any dog.

2. Allergic reactions

Canines can be allergic to nearly all of the ingredients used in cheeseburgers, and this can lead to mild to severe allergic reactions. The gluten in burger buns and the lactose in dairy items such as cheese or butter are some of the most typical triggers to watch out for. In some cases, it is also possible that your dog can allergic to the meat itself as well. Although it’s a far less mentioned allergy, beef allergies are most often seen in breeds such as Pit Bull Terriers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers.

3. Toxicity issues (involving different organs of the dog’s body)

If the cheeseburger or the toppings utilized include potentially dangerous components such as garlic, onions, synthetic preservatives, or even flavor enhancers, your dog may have an adverse reaction to any of these.

The effects are most typically noticed initially in the digestive system, but they can also have an impact on other systems and organs such as the brain, lungs, blood, heart, and kidneys if cheeseburgers are consumed in large quantities.

Can I Make a Cheeseburger That’s Safe for My Dog?

If you’re very determined to share a cheeseburger with your dog, stick to plain (no seasonings!) and thoroughly cooked burger meat, and your pup should have no trouble devouring it. Avoid the toppings and ingredients listed above, but still be mindful of watching your dog’s calorie intake as well as avoiding excessively fatty beef when making a dog-friendly burger patty.

If your dog consumes cheeseburgers in excessive quantities or on a regular basis though, he or she is much more prone to have health complications. It’s best to stick with foods and treats specifically formulated for canines and avoid causing any harm to your companion.

cheeseburgers for dogs
Cheeseburgers for Dogs


Is it okay for dogs to eat a cheeseburger bun?

Simply put, a cheeseburger bun is just another type of bread, and many of the ingredients used when producing bread products are not dog-friendly. Although a bit of plain, white, unprocessed bread may be safe for a dog to consume, breads are very carb-heavy and offer no nutritional value, so it’s best to avoid feeding your canine any bread products.

If your dog manages to get ahold of a white bread cheeseburger bun, even one with sesame seeds, they will be fine. It’s best to avoid making a habit of feeding them such though as their carbohydrate sources are best when in vegetable form.

Is there a healthier alternative to cheeseburgers for canines?

Instead of giving your dog a cheeseburger, it’s far more advisable to provide him with a dog-safe treat instead. Avoid offering your pet fast food such as Big Macs, chicken wings, french fries, or other things that are deemed “junk food” even by humans.

The following foods are excellent dog snacks:

  • Carrots
  • Apples (with no seeds or pulp)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin

Your dog may also consume popcorn if he enjoys it, and it smells delicious as well!

If your veterinarian gives you the go-ahead, your puppy may additionally be allowed to consume cottage cheese in very small quantities as its fermentation process reduces the levels of lactose present and thereby reduce any issues caused by most dairy products.

If your dog notices that you’re eating something delicious, hide one of his treat in with your meal and give him pieces of that treat every now and then to distract him. In addition to giving him the appearance that he’s getting some of your meal, doing so will also assist in giving him the notion that he’s sharing something with you too rather than simply being refused service.

Remember to contact your veterinarian before introducing any new items to your dog’s diet, though.

Is it possible for dogs to consume the meat ONLY from burgers?

Plain cheeseburger meat (i.e., just the beef patty) is undoubtedly edible by dogs and may potentially serve as a good protein supplement for them.

However, cooking the meat with pepper, garlic, salt, and other spices should be avoided since these ingredients may cause major illness in your dog. Be sure that the beef patty you’re providing for them has not come into contact with any of the risky ingredients mentioned above, and your dog should be perfectly fine.

Related Reading: Can Dogs Eat Chocolate Pudding?

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.