Can Dogs Eat Turkey? Everything You Need to Know

Yes, dogs can eat turkey, as long as it is plain and thoroughly cooked. Turkey is a good source of protein and B vitamins and is loved by the canine species. Also, there are varieties of dog food with turkey as the main ingredient. For dogs who get allergies to chicken or any other beef-based dog food, turkey is a great delight!

What Is Turkey?

Turkey is meat from a large bird turkey. It is a poultry dish in North America primarily consumed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Turkey is considered to be traditional cuisine by many.

Is Turkey Safe For Dogs?

Yes, turkey is safe for dogs. A plain, cooked turkey is safe for dogs to eat in their daily meal. However, few preparations of turkey are not safe for dogs to consume, such as:

  • Seasoned turkey: Seasoned turkey has ingredients from the allium family, which are deadly for dogs.
  • Turkey bones: Turkey bones can cause choking and other health hazards that necessitate surgery.
  • Raw turkey: Raw turkey is not a good choice for dogs to eat as it may have parasites and bacteria, which can cause hazards to them.
  • Dark turkey: Dark turkey is high in fat. This can be harmful while your dog is obese and susceptible to digestive issues. Ground turkey meat can be another alternative as it uses meat from all parts of the turkey. 
  • Processed or the deli turkey products: Deli turkey, turkey bacon, turkey sausage and turkey hot dogs can have too many preservatives, additives and high salt content. Dogs have a digestive system that is different from humans so processed foods work against their metabolism causing hazards to their immune system.

Why Is Turkey Good For Dogs?

Turkey is a good source of vitamins and proteins. It is the main ingredient in many dog foods and is also considered a dog’s superfood. Some of the benefits of turkey are:


Riboflavin is one of the complex B vitamins which works in repairing and boosting the metabolic system of your dog. It helps to cure GI issues and digestive problems. It also helps to cure

  • Obesity 
  • Underweight dogs
  • Indigestion problems
  • GI issues 
  • Stomach bloating


Phosphorus is an essential mineral when it comes to your canine’s health. It helps in maintaining bone integrity and repairs bones from fractures and inflammations. Phosphorus is a super mineral for dogs who have

  • Kidney disorders
  • Weak bone
  • Ataxia
  • Anorexia 
  • Allergic issues
  • Anemia 
  • Proximal muscle weakness

B Vitamins

B Vitamins are essential factors in dog food. B vitamins are responsible for excellent and healthy fur keeping the heart healthy, reducing and preventing skin problems, helping in metabolism and digestive health. In addition, b vitamins work well with the whole body functioning from brain development to the nervous system. 


Magnesium is essential for a dog’s health, and it helps in numerous ways to keep your canine’s health on point. Magnesium helps in improving:

  • Urinary Tract Issues 
  • Constipation
  • Digestive disorders 
  • Cures the irregular heartbeat
  • Generate energy 
  • Reduces stress and anxiety issues
  • Helps in bone development 

Why Is Turkey Bad For Dogs?

Turkey is generally not toxic for dogs as long as it is plain and thoroughly cooked. However, it has its downsides which should always be remembered:

Turkey skin: The turkey skin can be harmful to your dog as it contains high fat and is proven to cause pancreatitis in many canine species. The consequences of consuming turkey skin are:

  • Stomach upset
  • Stomach bloating
  • GI issues
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Weakness
  • Pancreatitis
  • Obesity
  • Weight gain
  • Joint issues
  • Kidney issues
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy 
  • Loss in appetite 
  • Allergy 
  • Depression
  • Abdominal pain 

Seasoned Turkey: Seasoned turkeys have garlic, onion, leeks, chives, which are harmful to a dog to consume. It also has various spices like paprika, chili powder, and chili flakes. These spices are also toxic to a dog. The consequences of consuming seasoned turkey are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Kidney issues
  • Liver issues
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Coma
  • Death

Processed turkey meat: Processed turkey meat is dangerous for dogs as it might contain preservatives and a high amount of salt, causing salt poisoning. Consuming preservatives and salt is harsh and is not easy to treat a dog once consumed. The issues which arise are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle tremors
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Organ failures
  • Coma
  • Death

Turkey bones: Turkey bones are not considered safe for dogs as it has choking hazard. The consequences of consuming turkey bones are:

  • Mouth and throat injury
  • Throat obstruction
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Stomach lining damage
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Painful constipation
  • Anal and rectal bleeding
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Bloody stool
  • Bloating

How Much Turkey To Feed Your Dog?

Any food served in moderation will do good. You can include 10% of turkey in their daily calorie. For instance, if a dog can have 600 cal per day, it can have 60 cal of turkey in its daily meal. That is a 40 gram of turkey in their bowel. This much turkey is considered to fit in their daily diet.

How To Serve Turkey To Your Dog?

Turkey is a healthy and good meal for your dog. You can serve the turkey as a turkey meatball. To make a turkey meatball, you will need:

  • One pound of turkey without bones and skin
  • A cup of parsley 
  • Mix vegetables according to your choice (Carrot, green peas, beans, lettuce)
  • Two eggs 
  • Half cup of rolled oats.
  • Two tablespoons of yogurt (low-fat)


  • Warm up the oven to 400 degrees
  • Now take out the one pound of turkey and break the meat into several pieces. 
  • Add the rolled oats and mix well till it is combined well. It looks smooth, with no larger pieces appearing. 
  • Add up the eggs, pulse, and yogurt. Press it well until the meat is holding up together tightly.
  • Now add the vegetable and parsley into the mixture. And make round balls out of it.
  • Keep the meatballs onto the cookie sheet, and bake them for 20 minutes. 
  • Know it is ready when the edges are golden brown. 

Serve the meatballs with quinoa. Your canine will love it.

What If Your Dog Ate Turkey?

It is nothing to worry about if your dog has eaten turkey, as the turkey itself is not toxic for your dogs. The turkey bone can be a choking hazard and cause digestive issues. However, your dog can have a small portion of turkey that won’t harm them. But check out if they have eaten seasoned turkey. Seasoned turkey can cause health hazards and make them sick. In that case, you must call your vet for further instruction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat turkey mince?

Yes, dogs can eat the turkey mince as long as it is plain and is without additives. Additives and seasoned turkey mince can cause your canine to upset its stomach.

Can dogs eat turkey necks?

Turkey necks are meaty bones. Yes, your dog can have turkey necks if it’s raw. Raw meaty bones help in cleaning your canine’s gums and teeth. In addition, it is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus. 

Also, not all dogs can digest raw turkey necks, so they can be served in little quantities and wait for the reactions. 

Can dogs eat raw turkey?

No. Raw turkey can be harmful and hard to digest for your dog. Raw turkey contains 

E. Coli and Salmonella can cause your dog cross-contamination, constipation, and allergies.

Can dogs eat turkey giblets?

Turkey giblets are safe for dogs to consume. Giblets are a general word for a turkey’s organs or offal, including the chicken livers and heart. Organ meats are perfectly safe for canines to consume and are incredibly healthy.

Final Thoughts

It is easy to understand that turkey is generally not harmful to your dog until it is without bones and skin, plain, cooked, and has no additives. Turkey is also used as a super alternative food for dogs who are allergic to chicken and meat. It is rich in minerals and proteins and contributes hugely to his balanced diet. It is always better to contact your pet’s vet when adding a portion of new food to your dog’s diet.

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