Can Dogs Eat McDonald’s French Fries? (Can Dogs Die?)


Everyone loves to give their dog a little treat every once in a while! Perhaps you like to slip your dog a couple of chicken nuggets or french fries as they beg for it in the bag of your car. When they look at you with those adorable, big eyes, it’s kind of hard to say no!

With that in mind though, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good idea to give your dog McDonald’s or human food in general, especially if they are from fast food establishments. Humans shouldn’t eat too much McDonald’s anyway – so what about dogs?

Today, we’re here to answer whether dogs can eat McDonald’s french fries, and whether they are actually good for your four legged pal. What will happen if you give your dog McDonald’s french fries? We’ve done the research and compiled this guide for your easy reference!

Will It Be Okay For My Dog to Eat McDonald’s French Fries?

Here’s the thing. It is totally okay for your dog to eat McDonald’s French fries. In fact, it’s unlikely that eating a few morsels of the food is going to cause any problems for your dog’s long term health. With that being said, it’s definitely not the best idea to offer your dog McDonald’s French fries for a couple of reasons.

Now, there are situations where you may not have any other food to give to your dog. If that is the case then by all means, offer your dog some French fries. Make sure that the fries are plain with no salt or no ketchup, however.

If you’re going to feed your dog anything from McDonald’s though, it really is best to get a beef patty and give them that. Dogs are carnivores, so feeding them meat is usually a better option than giving them fried potatoes. Beef is usually universally loved by dogs too, whereas some dogs aren’t big fans of potatoes.

Of course, there are numerous reasons why giving your dog McDonald’s French fries is a bad idea. They’re not great in calories and they contain certain ingredients that aren’t very good for your dog. Here are just a few of the reasons.

Will McDonald’s Be Bad for My Dog?

Unfortunately, your dog isn’t going to get any nutritional benefits from guzzling down a couple of McDonald’s french fries. They’re not particularly filling and honestly, they’re kind of dead calories for your pooch.

In fact, in some cases these fries may even cause your dog to have some stomach problems. This is because they have been friend and drowned in oil, so they’re full of nasty trans and saturated fats that are no good for your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

Not only that but French fries are practically oozing with salt, which can upset your dog’s tummy and make him super thirsty. The fries contain carbs too, and these can be somewhat hard for your dog to digest. In addition to this, there are some dogs that are actually allergic to potatoes.

You saw this one coming too – let’s talk about the calories. It doesn’t look good for your dog! If you feed your dog a large batch of McDonald’s French fries, you’re going to be giving them a humongous 490 calories. That’s a lot for a person, but for a small dog that takes up a huge amount of their daily calories.

So, in short – you can feed your dog McDonald’s French fries, but you should take some time to think about the ethical ramifications and the wellbeing of your pooch. It’s okay every once in a while, but it’s best not to give your dog fries on a regular basis.

Is Anything Going to Happen if I Give My Dog French Fries?

If your dog eats a few of your fries, it’s okay. For the most part, nothing is going to happen to your dog if you give him a few fries. It’s best not to allow this though, and you will find that many professionals will outright tell you not to do it.

Some dogs can have terrible allergic reactions to fries, though for the most part many dogs will be okay with one or two fries. Sometimes your dog may have some diarrhea and they will have the urge to guzzle more water. Those fries are salty, after all!

The problems come when you feed your dog fries on a regular basis over a long period of time. Your dog could end up developing problems like diabetes and obesity. Your dog will basically get many of the issues that a human would get if they had too many McDonald’s fries.

Don’t panic if your dog has eaten one too many French fries. Make sure that they have a full bowl of fresh water to drink, and keep an eye on them throughout the day. Make sure that they don’t develop any symptoms, such as:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Changes in urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Will French Fries Kill My Dog?

There are some instances where it is possible that fries could kill your dog. This is usually when the dog is having an extremely severe allergic reaction and is going into anaphylactic shock.

In these situations, it is vital that you understand the symptoms of anaphylactic shock and get help from a veterinary surgeon immediately:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Confusion
  • Bloating

The Calories in McDonald’s French Fries

The way that the fries are cooked isn’t the only problem with McDonald’s French Fries. You also need to think about the calories in this food.

You’ll need a quick reference point to help you to understand what we mean, so it’s worth keeping in mind that professionals suggest that dogs should eat 25 calories per pound of body weight.

With this in mind, a smaller dog may not need to eat more than roughly 625 calories a day. A larger dog such as a 70 pound labrador may need to eat no more than around 1750 calories each day.

It’s also worth remembering the 90/10 rule. This means that your dog’s diet should consist 90% of his vet recommended dog food, and 10% of treats and snacks.

Keep this in mind as you look at the number of calories in McDonald’s French Fries. You may be quite surprised at just how many calories are contained within these fries.

  • Small fries – 220 calories
  • Medium fries – 320 calories
  • Large fries – 490 calories

So, if you’re feeding a huge labrador a medium portion of fries, it won’t make a huge dent in their daily calorie expenditure. If you’re feeding a large pack of fries to a small dog like a French bulldog, however, that’s a whopping portion of his daily diet.

Ingredients

What’s in a French Fry? That’s what you need to think about before giving your dog French fries. These fries consist of all sorts of different ingredients that are no good for your pooch. They contain chemicals, preservatives and artificial flavors that are very unhealthy for your pooch. The salt in particular is rather alarming.

It’s important to keep in mind that it is not recommended for a dog to eat more than 1.5g of salt on a daily basis. If you feed your dog more salt than this, they risk dehydration and can even get sodium ion poisoning.

If you don’t add any salt to the fries, you’re getting 0.5 grams of salt with McDonald’s French fries. Just imagine how many grams of salt you’re getting if you’re putting more salt on those fries. It’s certainly not a pretty picture for your dog.

So, should you give your dog fries as a snack? Ultimately, it’s best not to. If you only really have McDonald’s or another fast food restaurant as options for eating at a given time, then they can be a last ditch option to give your dog some calories, but this really isn’t the best choice.

If you are going to give your dog something from McDonald’s then it’s better to give him a burger patty. If you have other food options, then stick to some yummy dog treats or some fruit or vegetables, since these have better nutritional values for your beloved pet.

Conclusion

There are always situations where your dog ends up eating something that they’re not supposed to when your back is turned. Unfortunately, that’s just the nature of owning a pet. In some situations, you may also be limited in food options when you’re out on the road.

Of course, it’s always better not to feed your dog French fries, especially not in a regular basis. Through time, the health ramifications will stack up, and that’s not good for your dog. Your dog should not be regularly consuming foods drizzled in salt, oil and ketchup. It’s bad for their stomach and you may find yourself needing to clean the floors a lot more often than you would like.

In summary, your dog is not going to get any nutritional benefits from eating French fries. For your dog’s sake, it’s always better to give them some other kind of food that will be healthier for them than French fries. It’s the best choice for your dog’s wellbeing!

If you would like to give your dog a treat, try something else on the McDonald’s menu. Your dog will certainly thank you for it, and you’ll be much happier when your pooch is healthy and happy because they’ve eaten food that’s better for them than French fries.

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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