Turkey is one of those special dinners that most families have around the holidays. Of course, when the holidays hit, we all eat a little more than we should, right? So, why not share a little of the meal with your furry friend? The question is, can dogs eat turkey?
The simple answer is yes and no. Turkey is not toxic to dogs, and your pooch will be able to enjoy this meat and gain some nutritional value as long as it’s cooked plain. So, feeding your dog a little bit of Thanksgiving dinner is out.
Remember, before trying new foods with your dog, especially human foods, be sure to call your veterinarian first to make sure it’s okay.
When turkey is unsafe for your dog
The answer to whether or not dogs can eat turkey is more complicated than a simple yes or no is based on the way the turkey is prepared and cooked.
For Thanksgiving dinner, for example, the turkey is typically cooked with various seasonings and oils. This means the turkey is covered with butter, salt, pepper, and other spices. In addition, we typically stuff our turkeys with stuffing, which contains garlic, onions, and other herbs that aren’t safe for our four-legged friends.
If your pooch ends up getting a little bit of this turkey that drops on the floor or a family member decides to share, your doggo will most likely be okay. However, if they eat too much of it, they may get an upset stomach or pancreatitis in severe cases.
Can dogs eat raw turkey?
No, raw turkey is dangerous for dogs to consume. Sure, it’s plain, but raw meat has other concerns. For example, the raw turkey may carry salmonella bacteria, which can make your dog sick.
When turkey is safe for your dog
On the other hand, plain, cooked turkey is safe for your dog. In fact, it contains many nutrients and can even be added to your dog’s diet as a food topper or through homemade dog food recipes.
Turkey is rich in protein, riboflavin, and phosphorous. Plus, it’s tasty for them, too.
How to safely feed turkey to your dog
If your vet gives you the go-ahead to share some turkey with your furry friend, then there are a few ways to go about it. First, only feed your doggo plain, cooked turkey. Second, give them the plain meat and only in small pieces and moderation.
Don’t give your pooch any of the skin. Even if it doesn’t have any added seasonings or spices on it, the skin is fatty and gives your pooch an upset stomach. Finally, make sure that you don’t give your dog any turkey bones. This can be a choking hazard, and your pooch can’t properly digest the bones.
The risks of giving dogs turkey bones
Poultry bones are brittle, especially cooked bones. This means they can easily break when your dog chews on them. In addition, the bones can splinter and become a choking hazard or scratch the inside of your dog’s mouth if it’s accidentally swallowed.
Bones can cause:
- Mouth and tongue injuries
- Obstruction of the throat or intestinal tract
- Blockages that require emergency surgery
- Rectal bleeding from sharp bone fragments
As you can see, turkey bones can do more harm than good. While your dog may enjoy chewing on this bone, it provides no nutritional value to them. If you want to give your pooch something to chew on, there are plenty of chew toys to choose from.
Alternatively, with your vet’s okay, you can create homemade turkey recipes that are safe for your dog. These can be used as the occasional treat or as a food topper to their commercial dog food. Your pooch will certainly love the taste and get some added protein at the same time.
Try some of these recipes below:
- Leftover Turkey Homemade Dog Treats
- Mini Turkey Loaf Muffins Dog Treats
- Oatmeal Turkey Dog Treats
- Turkey Jerky Dog Treats
Can dogs eat turkey?
The answer to this question is more complicated than you would think. Turkey is safe for dogs to consume since they are carnivores. Your pooch will surely love the taste. You can even use plain turkey as an ingredient in homemade dog treats or food or add a little to their commercial dog food.
There are just a few precautions to take. First, make sure the turkey is plain and not seasoned. Be careful that your dog doesn’t get any of the skin since it’s too fatty for them and can cause an upset stomach.
Before trying this new food with your doggo, be sure to contact the vet to ensure that it’s okay. All dogs are different, and their digestive systems can handle different things.
If your dog can handle eating some plain turkey now and then, they’ll surely love it.
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Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She’s a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, playing video games, or organizing something.