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Can Dogs Eat Turkey?

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Turkey is safe for dogs to eat as it is a common ingredient in most dog foods and is non-toxic.
  • When feeding turkey to dogs, avoid adding any seasonings, onions, oils, or unnecessary fats.
  • Plain turkey can be a part of homemade dog food, raw poultry is also an option if the dog is used to it.
  • The best parts of the turkey for dogs are lean meats with no fats, bones, or skin.
  • Chicken and turkey are similar and both are low cost and great sources of protein and multi-vitamins for dogs.
Written by Elliot DeLacey
Elliot DeLacey is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Highly educated researcher and DVM with extensive experience in Clinical VetMedicine, Veterinary Nano Medicine, and Preventive Veterinary Medicine.
Published on
Monday 28 September 2020
Last updated on
Thursday 8 June 2023
can dogs eat turkey
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With the holiday season coming up it’s about the time of year for our pups to be sitting next to us, especially during dinner. Although it may be tempting to slide your best friend a special treat, you should make sure the food your dog is eating is safe for them. So, is turkey safe for dogs?

What are the risks of feeding your pup turkey? Are there any risks? Can your dog eat turkey meat? Is it good for them? It can all be very confusing so we’ve broken it all down in two easy sections and answered some FAQs about dogs eating turkey to help your pooch stay safe this holiday season.

Is Turkey Safe for Dogs?

Turkey is a common ingredient in most dog foods and it is non-toxic to dogs. It’s full of protein, phosphorous, and riboflavin. So the short answer is yes! Turkey can also be apart of an essential homemade dog food! So, you may be reading this and thinking “So I can give my dog some of my Thanksgiving dinner?”.

Well, not exactly.

When you’re going to feed turkey to your dog, you have to make sure there are no bones or unnecessary fats in it. You should cook the turkey with no seasonings, oils, onions, or anything else that may be harmful to your dog. Most Thanksgiving turkeys made for humans, don’t meet these criteria and so they won’t be safe for your pup.

Plain turkey is safe for your dog to eat. “Plain” means no butter, seasonings, salt, garlic, or anything else. Although it might be a tasty part of a meal for us humans, it can be extremely harmful and even lethal for some dogs. The best parts of the turkey for a dog are lean meats, so not parts like the skin and fat. If you choose to share your thanksgiving with your puppy, make sure to keep them happy and healthy all throughout. You could also go with raw poultry but only if your dog is used to it.

Nutritional Benefits of Turkey to Dogs

Like any other meat, turkey offers a great amount of nutritional benefits to your dog. Check the table below for more information:

Magnesiumpromotes healthy gut and heart, regulates blood sugar levels, and maintains proper muscle function and development
Phosphoruspromotes muscle growth, and bone health, and improves tooth health, it is also important in cell function and metabolism
Proteincontains essential amino acids, promotes the health of ligaments, tendons, other connective tissues, and muscles
Riboflavin (B2)improves immunity, helps maintain energy levels, promotes healthy metabolism
Zincpromotes healthy skin and coat health, improves immunity, and supports digestion

How to Feed Turkey to Dogs?

Unlike when we eat turkey, dogs should never eat turkey with any seasoning, garlic, oils, or onions. These ingredients can be extremely harmful to our furry friends. When you’re feeding turkey to your dog there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The best part of the turkey to feed to your dog is a plain piece of meat that has no fats, no bones and, no skin. Avoid areas like the legs of the turkey which have high fats and lots of skin as this high-fat food can lead to pancreatitis in dogs.

Plain ground turkey is just like a regular turkey, it is safe to feed your furry friend so long as it meets the same cooking criteria. You should avoid processed meats as they can contain high amounts of salt and preservatives which can be bad for your dog. Make sure whatever turkey your feeding to your dog has no bones in it as well. These bones can cause injury to your dog’s mouth and throat, choking, intestinal blockages, and much much worse.

turkey for dogs
Avoid serving your dog seasoned turkey.

Dogs Eating Turkey – FAQ

Will turkey kill a dog?

Fatty foods like turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in dogs if too much is consumed. However, if plain turkey is fed to a dog with no additives and all fat and skin removed, it will be okay for your dog to eat in most cases. If you’re worried about feeding turkey to your dog, it is always best to consult your pup’s veterinarian first. Turkey is a very common ingredient in most dog kibbles and wet food. It is high in protein and other great things for your furry friend.
So, the answer is no. Turkey will not kill a dog if it is prepared and cooked properly. Make sure to take extra care by washing whatever utensils you are using to prepare your dog’s food before use.

Can dogs eat turkey breast?

Turkey breast is typically just a piece of turkey meat with no fat or skin on it. It contains high amounts of protein which are great to help support your dog’s muscles and amino acids! It is a great source of multi-vitamins and is high in vitamin B. Turkey is also packed full of zinc, potassium, magnesium, and selenium!
If cooked in nothing that can be harmful for your dog, turkey breast can be a great snack for your pup. So long as the meat your dog is eating is boneless and skinless, your dog will most likely love the tasty treat.

Does turkey give dogs diarrhea?

Seasonings and additives like onion and garlic can be very harmful to your dog. They can cause discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, and much worse. In fact, it is not uncommon for dogs who consume these things to experience these symptoms. Even ingesting too much fat or turkey skin can cause diarrhea.
However, if your dog is eating just plain turkey with none of these things, it should not cause diarrhea. This white meat is a common ingredient in many dog’s diets whether you realize it or not. It is a healthy and fun treat for your dog. Turkey can even be fed to your dogs if they are suffering from diarrhea to help firm up their stool as it is choc-full of protein.

Is chicken or turkey better for dogs?

Chicken and turkey are very similar when it comes to a dog’s diet. They are low cost and great for your pup! Both chicken and turkey are full of protein and multi-vitamins that will help your dog. If you’re concerned about your dog eating turkey or chicken, contact your dog’s vet and ask them. If your vet gives you the green light, it’s really up to you whether you give your dog chicken or turkey!
Chicken is a great source of lean protein for dogs. But, just like turkey, you should make sure your chicken is natural with no additives. As well as being deboned and cooked without any harmful extras. Both forms of white meat have their own benefits for dogs and their diets, so it really is up to your and your pup what you give them!

This holiday season we are all going to want to shower our dogs in all forms of love and affection. This includes under the table treats and belly rubs. Even though we may want to share our great Thanksgiving feast with our pups, you have to make sure it is safe first. Make sure to take care when preparing and cooking a turkey for your dog so your playful pup will have a great holiday season.

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