Are hot dogs made of dogs? Truth revealed

For many people, the hot dog is an all-American food that can be found almost anytime, anywhere. When I was young, I always wonder why these lovely treats are called hot dogs when I don’t think that people shouldn’t eat dogs. Now that I know the answer, I would like to share the truth on why hot dogs aren’t made of dogs and why it’s made of other meat products.

It’s no secret that hotdogs are made of the finely chopped meat of pigs however, common misconceptions were they contain only pork sausage or worse, dog meat. The fact is, hotdogs are typically made of beef or pork and other ingredients.

This blog post will not only talk about what is the main ingredient of hot dogs, but I would also answer why the word “hotdog” became popular even if these lovely sausages aren’t made of dogs. We will be diving into hotdog’s history from the jokes made by sausage vendors to the shape of hotdogs and why they’re called hot dogs today.

are hotdogs made of dogs

Are hotdogs made of dogs?

Hot dogs are not made out of dogs meats but rather they are made out of mostly pigs’ meat and its trimmings, seasonings, other flavorings, and some preservatives that are well blended all together.

Hotdogs’ ingredients are finely grounded together with their other ingredients to form a smooth batter. From there, it will be put on a casing or molder to form a smooth version of sausage.

These hotdogs are typically served as it is or can be paired with a slice of bun with cheese, relish, ketchup, mayo, mustard, or anything you like, from your favorite fast food chain or at home.

The common misconception about the word hotdog shouldn’t be taken literally because there is a beautiful history behind it.

Wondering why hotdogs are called hotdogs? Let’s dig into the details below.

Where did the name hot dog come from?

The word “hotdog” was used in America to describe the American version of German sausages when it was introduced by German immigrants.

Common sausages that we are familiar with are the wiener or frankfurter (commonly called franks). Their names came from the places where they were first invented.

Weiner sausage came from Vienna, Austria wherein the German language for it is called “wein” meanwhile, frankfurter sausage (franks) came from Frankfurt, Germany.

The difference between these two sausages is that franks are large types of sausage that are made out of pork while weiners are a smaller types of sausages made out of pork and beef.

Sausage Frank vs Sausage Weiner
Sausage Frank vs Sausage Weiner

On the other hand, hotdogs are like these sausages too.

Hotdogs are a slender and long type of sausage that is commonly made out of mostly pork and other meat products like beef, chicken, and turkey.

Technically, all of them are assembled types of meat in a casing made from animals’ empty intestines but, can also be “skinless” when they don’t use one.

They can be grilled, fried, or even boiled depending on your preference. You can also eat them as it is or have a bun with them.

When does the word hot dog came?

The word hot dog came from “dachshund sausage” because hotdogs resemble a dachshund dog breed type. Over time, since dachshund is hard to spell and pronounce, people started referring to them as hotdogs.

Historians said that the word “hot dog” has been around since the 1800s.

It was used to describe some sausages that were alleged to use dog meats at that time.

The history of Germans eating dog meat can be traced back to the 19th and 20th centuries in places like Anhalt, Bavaria, Saxony, and Silesia.

This becomes then an inside joke for some sausage vendors that they’re not selling sausages but rather hotdogs.

Moreover, that is not the hotdogs we popularly know now because modern-day hotdogs are more processed than sausages.

Continue in the next section to learn how its history unfolds.

Who came up with the word “hot dog”?

The word hotdog was popularized by Tad Dorgan in his sports comics in the 1900s but historians said that it was circulating since the 1800s.


At first, hotdogs were called a “dachshund sausage” because it resembles a dachshund, a dog breed introduced in America, which is characterized by its slender but long body.

However, the word “dachshund” is somehow difficult to spell, remember and pronounce, that’s why a sports cartoonist, named Tad Dorgan (Thomas Aloysius Dorgan), wrote it in his comics as “hot dog” instead.

It was based on what he observed from the marketing strategy of vendors at New York Polo Grounds in 1901 where they shouted “They’re red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!”.

How hotdogs are made the real story?

Hotdogs are made using most of the pigs’ meats and other meat products with their trimmings, seasoning and other flavorings, and preservatives. They aren’t made out of dog meat.

The history of hotdogs started in the ancient history of Rome where the custom of preparation for pigs is to starve them first then remove their internal organs before slaughter.

As the legend says, under the rule of Emperor Nero there is a cook named Gaius, who discovered that pigs’ intestines can be used as a food casing for a mixture of ground meat with herbs and spices.

It is when he saw a roasted pig’s intestine that was failed to be removed and is somehow edible upon cooking.

From then on, sausages spread like fire across Europe and have been so popular in Germany.

Meanwhile, when the migration of Germans to America came about in the 1860s, they’ve introduced their sausages and even dogs (Dachshund breed) to the Americans.

A German man named Charles Feltman created his hotdog business at Coney Island. His business is a blast but not until his Jewish immigrant worker named Nathan Handwerker entered the game.

Nathan Handwerker saved money from his previous work and opened a hotdog business same with his boss. The thing is, he sold his products lower than his competitors making his business more popular.

Hotdogs’ popularity also gained more recognition when Chris von de Ahe of the St Louis Browns, marketed hotdogs alongside their beers, and Harry Stevens of New York Giants baseball stadium sold food items like it as well.

And the rest is history.


Hotdogs are not made from dogs meat. It is called a “hotdog” because it is served hot and its shape resembles the slender and long shape of a dachshund dog.

These hotdogs are processed assembled meat with many other ingredients, which include preservatives, spices, and a casing.

Hotdogs are a favorite food for many people, commonly enjoyed with buns, fries, and soda anywhere and any time of the day, especially at baseball games!

Interested in other foodstuff? Try these other articles out.


Similar Posts