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Can My Dog Eat Turkey?

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As Thanksgiving comes close, most of us begin dreaming about mouth-watering turkey dishes. This includes a particular four-legged member hoping that this is the year it gets some turkey meat. We know you’re itching to ask. Can my dog eat turkey?

Roasted Turkey

Is Turkey Safe For Dogs?

Yes and no.

Turkey meat itself is not toxic to your dog, but it is how you prepare it that makes it harmful.

Humans like it with lots of herbs and seasonings smothered in butter, and the turkey is often stuffed with onions, garlic, and other flavors. This is not suitable for dogs.

But if you save a chunk of the turkey for your pet, and cook it plain sans the fats and the skin, then this can be a delicious and safe treat for your dog. 

Turkey is an excellent source of protein, phosphorus, and riboflavin. In addition, it has fewer fats, which is why it is usually the top choice for dog meat for dog owners who enjoy making homemade dog recipes.

turkey for dogs

Is Turkey Dangerous For My Dog?

Before you give in to the wagging and begging, ensure that the turkey is boneless and well-cooked. Need help understanding why such forms of turkey are dangerous for your dog?

Here’s what we dug up.

Raw

Raw or undercooked meat can be difficult for your dog to digest, more so if they’re not on a raw meat diet already. Avoid stressing their digestive tract and boil or sear turkey meat, even giblets. And since raw meat, especially poultry, carries the risk of Salmonella, cooking reduces their chances of falling ill.

Seasoned and Marinated

Richly seasoned and marinated turkey is perfect for you, but bad for your dog’s health. The only turkey your dog should consume is plain, small bites of cooked meat. Any addition of spices and seasonings like onion and garlic is toxic to dogs.

Ingredients like a high quantity of salt and sugar, cocoa powder, nutmeg, and sage can irritate your dog’s digestive system as well. As a pet owner, you should not include these constituents in your pet’s food. 

Bones

Which dog doesn’t enjoy gnawing on bones? And which pet parent doesn’t like giving bones to their dogs? Bones, whether raw or cooked, are ideal for strengthening jaw muscles and cleaning teeth.

Remember though. Poultry bones on cooking become brittle, which makes them a no-no for pets. Some dogs gobble their food without chewing well. If that sounds like your dog, refrain from sharing turkey bones with them.

dog looking at turkey

Parts of a Turkey that are Safe for Dogs

When rendered or overcooked, turkey is suitable for dogs because it leaves the turkey meat almost 100% protein.

Turkey breast is safe for your dogs. As well as the cooked turkey giblets, this includes the gizzard, heart, kidneys, and liver.

uncooked turkey

Parts of a Turkey that are Not Safe for Dogs

Although turkey is a healthy meat option for your dog, it is better that you skip some turkey parts because it can harm your dog.

For instance, don’t give the turkey neck to your dog because there are too many little bones in that area that can stab and hurt your dog’s mouth, stomach, and intestines.

Also, skip the turkey skin as it is saturated with fat, which can upset your dog’s stomach. 

Also Read: Can My Dog Eat Salt

turkey

Top Turkey Recipes For Your Dog

Confused and wondering how to cook turkey for dogs? If you want to get creative and whip up something delicious for your dog using turkey, then here are three easy and simple recipes that you can start with:

Turkey Biscuits

Want to swap out your pet’s biscuits or snacks with something healthier?

This recipe is a simple mix of sweet potatoes, turkey, whole wheat, and egg. Toss the mixture in the oven, and voila, your pet’s snack is ready.

Turkey Stir Fry Rice

Have leftover veggies, turkey, and rice?

Toss them together, top the mixture with a little egg, and you have a dog-friendly version of Chinese take-out. Click here for the full recipe.

Vege-rich Turkey

Excited about feeding your dog some turkey and veggies? This recipe will keep your little one healthy while giving them a wonderful meal.

It is perfectly safe, nutritious, and tasty as it includes brown rice, turkey, and veggies like chopped baby spinach, shredded carrots, zucchini, and frozen peas.

turkey slices

How To Make Dog Treats With Turkey Leftovers?

Most families are left with a lot of turkey after Thanksgiving. And honestly, while we love the bird, there are only so many consecutive days that we can eat it. Why not turn the leftover turkey into treats for your pet? 

Here is what you need to do.

Ingredients 

  • Cooked and chopped Turkey – 1 cup
  • Turkey Broth – ½ cup
  • Lightly beaten Egg – 1 egg
  • Vegetable Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Whole Wheat Flour – 2 cups
  • Cornmeal Wheat or Wheat Germ – 1 cup ( ½ cups of both will also work.)

You must remember only to take the white meat and liver. Leave behind the fat, bones, and skin. 

How To Cook?

  • In a food processor, mix the Turkey and the broth. Blend the two until a smooth mixture is formed. 
  • Beat the egg along with oil in a mixing bowl. 
  • Next, the turkey mixture has to be folded in. 
  • Add the dry ingredients slowly and steadily till a dough is made. 
  • On a light surface with little flour, turn the dough to knead it. 
  • After kneading, roll it into half-inch thickness and cut the dough into the shape of your choice. 
  • Now, on a greased cookie sheet, keep the cookies for baking. 
  • Bake the cookies at 400° F for around 15- 20 minutes.
  • Feed the fresh cookies to your dog, and refrigerate the rest. 
chocolate

Other Holiday Foods to Avoid

Holidays are about gatherings and food, and most of the time, you tend to indulge your dog with holiday food so they can join in on the festivities.

Below are some of the holiday foods you need to avoid giving to your dog:

Turkey

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Hot Dogs?

Turkey hot dogs fall under the category of processed deli meat. This kind of meat contains excess salt and other preservatives. The salt alone is toxic to your dog because it can upset its stomach. It can also lead your dog to drink too much water that can result in bloating. It is best avoided.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Breast?

There’s no problem giving your dog turkey breasts as long as your dog doesn’t have any allergies to turkey. You also have to ensure that the turkey breast is plain with no seasoning, spices, or sauces. Like any human food, give your dog turkey breasts in moderation.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Ground Turkey?

Yes, your dogs can eat cooked ground turkey, given that it is plain without any additional seasoning, even salt. However, if you want to incorporate some flavor into it, you can use rosemary.

Cooked ground turkey is exceptionally healthy for your dogs because of its protein content. It can also boost your dog’s energy. You can incorporate this human food into your dog’s diet without any fear or risks.

turkey slices

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Slices?

Unseasoned and skinless turkey slices, properly cooked and plain, are perfectly acceptable snacks for your dog. However, don’t make it a frequent treat. Just like turkey hot dogs, you can use turkey slices to wrap medication in pill or capsule form for your dog.

Store-bought turkey slices also use loads of preservatives, spices, and sodium, all of which can be bad for your dogs.

Can Dogs Have Turkey Bones?

Experts differ on this topic. Some say bones are wonderful for dog oral hygiene, while others don’t recommend any bones for pets – cooked or uncooked.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Turkey?

Raw turkey is a huge no-no for your dog because it can put your beloved pet at risk of bacterial contamination. All raw meat, some vegetables, and processed foods carry the risk of Salmonella, a bacteria that causes severe gastrointestinal illnesses for your dog.

How Much Turkey Can My Dog Eat?

For every 20 pounds of your pet’s body weight, you should feed your dog 1/4th to 1/3rd pound of meat. 

raw turkey

The answer to can my dog eat turkey is a tricky one. Turkey can be harmful to your dog with the way it is prepared, but at the same time, turkey is a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.

Being aware of the safe way to prepare turkey can save you from worrying and keep your dog from harm’s way.

Paul Andrewshttps://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-andrews-172490189/
A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show quality dogs to help guide first time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.

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