Clinic Stories

How Many Hot Dogs Is That?

People are enchanted by the things dogs eat- light bulbs, toys, collars, diamond rings. The amount a dog can eat doesn't get the same attention but is no less remarkable. Consider Joey.

Joey was adopted from a shelter and brought right into the office for a check up. He weighed 50 pounds. Three days later his owner called on emergency because Joey was bloated. Joey was certainly distended but did not seem to be in distress. He now weighed 60 pounds. Xrays showed his stomach was filled with food and when she went home his owner found that he had eaten an entire 10 pound bag of food.

In Joey's case, he was given only small amounts of water at a time to prevent the kibble from expanding too much and he was allowed to simply digest his food. Other dogs have required surgery to remove the food because they were in distress and unable to vomit. Still others needed IV fluids for a couple of days as things worked through.

Just how much food is that?- 20% of his body weight! Last year's winner of the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest, if this is what winning feels like, ate 69 hot dogs. Nathan's franks weigh 2 oz., a bun is 2 oz. That is 17 1/4 lbs for 69 dogs, or 8.6% of a 200 lb man. The female winner ate 36 3/4 hot dogs. To hit 10% of her body weight she would have to weigh only 92 lbs. Who is the real champion? Given that on a pound for pound basis Joey ate more than twice as much kibble with no preparation and just for fun, he trounced them.

After three days, Joey started eating again. I wish I had weighed him then.

Back to Top