Can Dogs Eat Turkey? How To Correctly Serve It To Your Dog

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can dogs eat turkey

This meat is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, but it contains far fewer calories and fat than other traditional meats.

So, can dogs eat turkey? The answer is yes. But there are more to take into consideration before you feed your dog turkey.

So Can Dogs Eat Turkey Safely?

The short answer is yes, dogs can eat turkey. But the turkey you eat for Thanksgiving is most likely not safe for your pup.

Excess salt and spices can upset your dog’s digestive system, so avoid feeding him seasoned meat.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?

turkey bones

While there is no question that dogs love to chew and eat bones, doing so can be detrimental to your pup

When roasted, the bones become brittle and chip easily. This can be dangerous for your pet.

However, raw bones are completely safe for dogs, and they contain essential nutrients and minerals that your pet might not get elsewhere.

Small bones can pose a choking hazard, but large raw bones are the perfect leftover to feed your dog. Read more about bones in dogs’ nutrition here.

Nutritional Value of Turkey for Dogs

Here you can find the benefits of dogs eating turkey.

Lean Proteins

Protein is required for a variety of important bodily functions, and white turkey meat provides it in large quantities.

In dogs, protein is necessary for all components of development and growth throughout a canine’s life.

Protein is burned as calories and can also be converted and stored as fat molecules. It is also a key player in the development and health of the immune system.

Vitamin B2

Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is part of a series of vitamin B complexes.

Vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin that, together with vitamin B1 and B3, plays an important role in the production of energy in cells.

Enough riboflavin is needed in a dog’s diet to prevent bladder stone formation.


Phosphorus promotes a normally functioning and regulated metabolism and plays a vital role in membrane integrity.

Combined with calcium, phosphorus helps build solid bone structures, like teeth, and turkey provides a decent amount of this mineral to be beneficial to the health of dogs.

Omega 3

Dogs need omega 3 fatty acids for certain healthy bodily processes to occur. As functional fats that a dog cannot produce on its own.

Omega 3 fatty acids help control allergies and sensitive immune systems, strengthen eyesight, and regulate blood clotting within the body.

Omega 3 fatty acids also help prevent or control diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive function, and osteoarthritis.


Selenium is an essential mineral in a dog’s diet. It helps to build and ensure a strong and stable immune system, which contributes to the general well-being of the canine.

This mineral also stimulates cognitive function, helping dogs stay alert and fight the premature aging process.

Selenium is also beneficial for the dog’s DNA synthesis, thyroid hormone metabolism, and protects against oxidative damage that often leads to the development of cancer.

When is Turkey Bad for Dogs?

Dogs can generally eat turkey unless they have medical conditions like allergies, and you should remove the bones from the meat beforehand.

The bones of birds like turkey are brittle and chip easily, especially when cooked.

Feeding your dog these can cause serious problems, as they are often known to splinter in the throat or digestive tract.

Be careful with the turkey combined with garlic and onion. Turkey combined with onions and garlic can be deadly for dogs.

Onions are toxic to dogs as it causes red blood cells to break down and cause anemia. Only a small amount of onion is needed for this hazard to occur.

Garlic is also toxic to dogs, but it will need to be consumed in large quantities to affect a dog’s health.

Can My Dog Eat Raw Turkey?

raw turkey

Cooked turkey is a healthy and lean protein for your dog, raw turkey can put your dog at risk of bacterial contamination such as salmonella.

These bacteria often lead to gastrointestinal illnesses. A prolonged diet of raw meat can also lead to an unbalanced diet.

Raw meat is not recommended for puppies, dogs with liver or kidney failure, or dogs with cancer. Ask your vet if your dog can eat raw turkey meat.

Can My Dog Eat Ground Turkey?

ground turkey

Ground turkey is rich in vitamins and minerals that keep your dog healthy.

It is also a good source of protein. It could keep you energized throughout the day and is a delicious ingredient to add to your diet.

In fact, turkey is found in many wet dog foods and kibbles and is an ideal alternative if your dog is allergic to chicken and beef.

Ways to Properly Serve Turkey for Dogs

Turkey can be a healthy and nutritious food for your dog as long as you follow certain precautionary measures to be able to feed it correctly.

Remove Turkey Skin

Turkey’s skin is very oily and can cause digestive problems in some dogs. Too much fat, or too much of the turkey’s skin, can cause the pancreas to become red and inflamed.

Remove the Dark Turkey Meat

Dark turkey meat is also fatty. The high-fat content in the dark meat of the legs and thighs could be harmful, especially if your dog is overweight or prone to digestive problems.

Skip the Turkey Bones

Cooked turkey bones, even the largest ones, can splinter when chewed. This can lead to blockages in your dog’s intestines or worse, holes in his throat or mouth.

Don’t Put Spices

Make sure to feed your dog only turkey meat. Onions are toxic to dogs and garlic is potentially toxic to your dog.

Serve It in Small Pieces

Feed your dog only small amounts of turkey especially if your dog has a pre-existing health condition, such as diabetes.[1]

The Bottom Line

So can I feed my dog turkey? Yes, you can safely feed your dog turkey meat.

You also shouldn’t feed your dog seasoned turkey, as many types of seasonings can be toxic or harmful to dogs.

Also, make sure you prepare the turkey yourself and that it is fresh. Preserved turkey, like most lunch turkey meat, can have chemicals that are difficult for dogs to digest. It is better to avoid them.

If you want to learn more about dogs’ digestion, read our article on How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Digest Food.

Even foods that are healthy for dogs should be administered in moderation and not interfere with their regular diet.

As always, you should consult your vet before sharing human food with your dog.

Photo of author
Andrei Bratu
Andrei is the owner of Dog Food Camp and manages the team of expert writers on the site. He is passionate about helping dog lovers learn about canine nutrition.

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