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Pet Care. Pet Training. Pet Stories.
Pet Care. Pet Training. Pet Stories.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey?

11/21/2017 by Colleen Williams
November 21st, 2017 by Colleen Williams

can dogs eat turkey

Yes, plain turkey (no salt, seasonings, butter, onions, or garlic) that has not been fried is safe for your dog.

While it may have gotten a bad rap over the years due to some confusion about which part of the turkey is safe to feed to pets, turkey is perfectly safe for dogs to eat (with some exceptions). You may have even noticed that most canned food and kibble has turkey as an ingredient! When it comes to feeding the real thing to your dog, however, it’s always better to be safe than sorry (especially since we receive more claims for stomach issues than any other incident).

So, yes, dogs can eat turkey, but there are a couple things to keep in mind when feeding it to your best buddy:

  • For the healthiest choice, make sure it’s the “lean” meat – aka the white meat, with excess fat and skin removed. It’s a great source of protein and nutrients, and dogs love it!
  • Avoid giving your dog rich pieces of turkey like the skin and any fatty areas like the turkey legs. Vets caution against dogs eating extremely rich, fatty foods because it can lead to pancreatitis (where the pancreas becomes inflamed and swollen), a painful condition that can be very serious; symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
  • So what about ground turkey? Plain ground turkey (no spices, additives) is just like regular plain turkey. Our friends at Rover suggest using it as a topper for your dog’s regular kibble or wet food, and you can even make a turkey meatloaf that is dog-friendly (recipe via Cesar’s Way).
  • As for the bones, that’s an absolute no. Bones can break and lacerate different areas of the digestive tract, and are also a choking hazard.

For dog-friendly recipes and inspiration, check out our article from Ollie, “A Healthy Thanksgiving Feast for Your Pup.”

Curious about what is okay and not okay for your dog to eat? Check out our comprehensive guide on what human foods are safe and not safe for dogs