Before we get started, let me make one thing clear. I am not suggesting in any way, shape, or form, that you let your dog eat Burger King food. Vets and canine nutritionists would all say that you should not really be feeding your dog something from BK, as the nutritional value of fast food is low and should not be part of a canine diet.
However, there might be occasions where your dog might accidently steal and eat some Burger King food. Alternatively, you might not have any other food options available and have to let the chew on a BK burger, fries, or chicken nuggets.
But whilst the occasional Burger King treat is understandable, should you really be letting your dog have Burger King? Here’s the short answer followed by a helpful guide to what your dog might be able to eat from the BK menu
Can dogs eat Burger King? Whilst most Burger King food isn’t toxic to dogs, it is an unhealthy meal choice. There are some ingredients in Burger King burgers and other food choices that are harmful to dogs in large quantities, such as onions. There is also a lot of salt and rich sauce in BK food which could upset your dog’s stomach.
Whilst dogs can have some Burger King food, it should only really be as a last resort, or a rare treat, depending on what item from the menu it is. You will also need to remove some of the ingredients before letting them eat it. If you scroll down, I will explain what Burger King can be harmful to a dog.
That being said, if you really are determined to feed your dog something from Burger King, there is a right way and a wrong way of going about it. This article will explore how to safely give your dog Burger King as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
What can a dog have from Burger King?
I’ve looked at the entire BK menu and put together a selection of what could loosely be described as Burger King dog-friendly food, with each of the item’s nutritional values and potential dangers to your dog listed.
To help you out, I’ve explained how many calories are in each BK item and then crunched some numbers for you based on the following criteria:
- Dogs should only eat 25 calories for each pound they weigh each day.
- Dogs should only have treats as 10% of their total daily food intake (the 90/10 rule).
This should let you make a better-informed decision on what you will let your dog have from Burger King if you really are certain it’s something you want to feed your dog.
I then decided to research and list the weights of two popular dog breeds. This should give you good understanding of what you can order from Burger King without compromising your dog’s recommended daily calorie limits.
- Average French Bulldog is 25 pounds: Should eat no more than 625 calories daily.
- Average Labrador is 70 pounds: Should eat no more than 1,750 calories daily.
Just so we’re clear though, I would rather you didn’t let your dog eat anything from the Burger King menu. All of the data presented below on what a dog can have from Burger King is for informational purposes only.
Can my dog eat a Burger King burger?
Burger King whopper burgers can be ok feed to your dog, providing it’s just the meat patty part. However, bear in mind that it doesn’t provide a lot of nutritional value due to the fact that it is largely processed meat which has also been prepared with salts and peppers.
If you really do want to let your dog have a Burger King burger, make sure you order it without any possible stomach upset-inducing ingredients such as processed cheese, onion, pickles, and sauces.
Handy Hint: For more information on a study I did into the nutritional values of a BK Whopper and how it impacts a dog’s diet, please read this blog post.
Alternatively, you can always take this stuff out, but bear in mind that traces may remain.
Whilst these traces might not be inherently harmful (unless it is onion which is toxic to dogs), they certainly aren’t healthy and will almost definitely cause some kind of stomach upset.
This is why it is beneficial to just feed your dog the BK whopper patty itself if you’re getting them food from Burger King, as it will fill them up without making them feel unwell.
In terms of calories counting, here’s how much each Burger King burger could account for both a French Bulldog and a Labrador (two different sized breeds):
- Standard BK Whopper (627 calories): 100% French Bulldog / 36% Labrador daily intake.
- BK Whopper with Cheese (703 calories): 112% French Bulldog / 40% Labrador daily intake.
- BK Double Whopper with Cheese (941 calories): 151% French Bulldog / 54% Labrador daily intake.
As you can see, for a small to medium sized dog like a Frenchie, just one standard Burger King burger without cheese will account for their entire daily calorie limit!
Can my dog eat Burger King fries?
A few Burger King French fries are not going to poison your dog. And in truth, it won’t be a huge problem providing they are eaten in moderation. However, potatoes are very carbohydrate heavy, and usually come with way too much salt.
Based on that, it’s wise to make your dog avoid French fries completely (here’s a study I compiled to show why).
You also need to consider that cooking method of Burger King fries. Yep, it’s all that greasy and unhealthy oil and frying. The type of oil that fries are cooked in are not good for dogs to eat as they include a lot of trans and saturated fats; these are the bad kind of fats that our canine friends (and us) should be avoiding.
In high quantities, fat can lead to upset stomachs for dogs, and in the longer term could even cause diabetes, obesity, or pancreatitis.
- Burger King Large Fries (386 calories): 62% French Bulldog / 22% Labrador daily intake.
- Burger King Regular Fries (282 calories): 45% French Bulldog / 16% Labrador daily intake.
Can dogs eat Burger King chicken nuggets and hash browns?
In the same way as the burger patties, the chicken in Burger King chicken nuggets is filling, but again doesn’t provide much in the way of nutrition for a dog due to how processed they are. It’s the same with the potatoes in BK hash browns.
Whilst you might think it fine to let your dog eat chicken nuggets and hash browns from Burger King, just stop a moment and think about what they are coated and then cooked in.
Yep, the battered breadcrumb coating, and then the nuggets and hash browns being cooked in a fryer. When you put it like that, it’s not really a dog-friendly food you would want to order from Burger King is it?
In medical terms, batter coating on the nugget serves little purpose other than blocking your dog’s arteries, raising their cholesterol and being difficult for them to chew, swallow and digest.
If you really do want to let your dog eat Burger King chicken nuggets, please peel off the batter first, so it’s just the chicken element that’s left.
You might struggle to do that with the hash browns, so avoid feeding these to your dog altogether. You can read more here about why hash browns are bad for dogs.
- Burger King Nuggets 6 Pieces (257 calories): 41% French Bulldog / 15% Labrador daily intake.
- Burger King Hash Browns 15 Pieces (190 calories): 30% French Bulldog / 11% Labrador daily intake.
Can dogs eat chicken fries from burger king
Chicken fries from Burger King are made in the same way as nuggets, so the advice is the same; I would not let my dog eat chicken fries. Here’s a breakdown of the calories too:
- Burger King Chicken Fries 20 Pieces (707 calories): 113% French Bulldog / 40% Labrador daily intake.
Can my dog eat Burger King ice cream?
There are many different varieties of ice cream available at Burger King, so I’ve just decided to focus on one; the standard chocolate sundae.
Whilst a little ice cream probably is fine for most dogs, and they will lap it up, I would not personally let my dog eat a Burger King ice cream cone or sundae at all.
Ice cream contains larges levels of milk and sugar. Sugar is a bad food choice for dogs, and dairy-based products will often lead to stomach upsets, gas, and even diarrhoea.
If you do decide to let your dog have a BK ice cream or soft serve, just give them a very small amount and see how they react, but even then, I would still avoid it completely to be on the safe side.
Most importantly though, never, ever let your dog eat chocolate. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and just a small amount can lead to vomiting and dehydration.
If your dog consumes a lot of dairy, you should expect symptoms like vomiting, soft stools and prominent flatulence – so consider whether it’s best to skip the ice cream if you’re in an enclosed space like a car!
- Burger King Chocolate Sundae Ice Cream (139 calories): 22% French Bulldog / 8% Labrador daily intake.
Can dogs eat anything from Burger King and be ok?
Some of the ingredients commonly found in Burger King food such as raw onion is actually considered poisonous in dogs, so if you suspect your dog has consumed some onion it is best to take them to see a vet, even if they appear fine.
Sugar-free ketchup is also considered poisonous for dogs because it contains the ingredient xylitol, which is a substance that is toxic for dogs regardless of how small the amount may be.
Even so, any kind of ketchup does more harm to your dog than good, as it’s acidic nature can cause stomach upset, diarrhoea or vomiting.
There’s also thing like mayo, sesame seeds in the buns, oils, salts, and seasonings which can all cause upset stomachs.
I would also say that anything from the Burger King dessert menu is incredibly risky for dogs. Whilst a plain ice cream from BK could be ok in small doses, desserts containing chocolate chips, chunks or sauce can also be incredibly dangerous due to the fact that chocolate is considered toxic and is very dangerous for dogs.
What happens if my dog eats Burger King food?
If your dog does eat Burger King food, then the reaction will be down to what exactly they ate from the menu. As explained, it’s far better to ensure any food you give them has batters, sauces, salts, and dressings removed.
But just because you can, it doesn’t mean that you should.
If the documentary Supersize Me taught us anything, it is that fast food from places such as McDonald’s and Burger King has minimal nutritional value, cannot be used as a substitute for every meal and can have catastrophic health consequences when eaten in large quantities.
Handy Hint: Despite Taco Bell tacos having a large percentage of beef, tacos can still be toxic to your dog in large quantities.
There’s a reason why dogs and humans need different food – dog food contains all the necessary nutrients that are essential for dogs to grow, develop and live a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
Indeed, as well as Burger King lacking in essential dog-tailored nutrients, their menu is also rich in fat, sugar, salt, carbohydrates, artificial preservatives, seasonings and condiments.
If your dog suffers from diabetes, foods rich in sugar or carbs could end up worsening their condition. This means it is especially important to remove any buns before giving them the food and/or avoiding sweeter items on the menu altogether.
You can usually customise your order so things like hamburgers come without the bun.
You should also tread carefully if your dog has a heart condition, because a lot of the food in Burger King, especially their French fries, are incredibly high in salt. You should always check the salt (and calorie) content in food before ordering it, or just outright avoid foods you know to be high in salt like fries.
Furthermore, if your dog has a dairy intolerance, vanilla ice creams or milkshakes will absolutely cause more harm than good – stopping their begging for a short time isn’t worth it if you then spend that evening cleaning up after their inevitable stomach upset.
All of these ingredients will not only damage your dog’s health in the long term if consumed regularly but can also lead to temporary digestive issues such as diarrhoea, which is uncomfortable for both your pup and for whoever has to clean it up!
While you should definitely err on the side of caution when it comes to feeding your dog Burger King, there are ways to do it in a safer and more sensible way.
However, I don’t recommend it at all, and letting your dog eat any form of fast food should be completely avoided unless there really is no other option.
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Image Credit: Burger King logo photo on top header courtesy of this Flickr User.