Why are hot dogs called hot dogs? Contrary to what you might fear, hot dogs are canine-friendly. The name 'hot dog' emerged around the late 19th century and the story goes that a cartoonist named T.A. Dorgan attended a baseball game where vendors were selling sausages. Dorgan, known for his witty cartoons, sketched a Dachshund sausage nestled in a bun and humorously called it a 'hot dog.' The term caught on, and soon people were happily ordering hot dogs at ballparks and beyond.