Can Dogs Eat Turkey? Or Is Turkey Bad For Dogs?

Come Thanksgiving time, we all love to gather round the table with turkey being served to everybody. And, every dog owner knows that during holidays such as Thanksgiving, your dog doesn’t like to get left out, and you really don’t like to leave them out of all the action either.

Truth be told, your dog immediately becomes just as important as any family member.

During thanksgiving, you, members of your family or guests that pay you a visit often like to feed your dog turkey to be friendly.

But the question is, can dogs eat turkey? Or is turkey bad for dogs?

Can Dogs Have Turkey?

Even though there is somewhat of controversy around this issue, the answer is YES, you can safely feed your dog some turkey, but there are a couple of things you should know about before going ahead and doing that.

First of all, all bone pieces should be removed from the turkey you give to your dog, every last bit of them.

Turkey bones have the capability of splintering and stick in your dog’s throat or intestines, which greatly threatens your dog’s life.

You should also get rid of any skin on the turkey you give your dog to eat, because the turkey skin contains very high levels of fat, which can lead to a serious and life threatening health hazard called pancreatitis in your dog, where the pancreas of your dog becomes greatly inflamed.

If your dog develops pancreatitis, they can get diarrhea, dehydration, intense abdominal pain, start to vomit uncontrollably, a drastically decreased appetite, start to cry excessively, get depressed, feel week and lethargic and feel irritated.

You should also ensure that your dog doesn’t come anywhere near any onions or garlic while they eat turkey, because onions are very toxic to dogs and garlic can cause some serious allergies.

If you suspect your dog has consumed turkey skin, you need to immediately get in contact with your veterinarian (or any available pet health professional during thanksgiving if your veterinarian is unavailable), because if left untreated for some time, pancreatitis can lead to life threatening events such as blood clotting, cardiovascular diseases, liver damage and kidney damage.

How Much Turkey Can Dogs Eat?

Whenever you give turkey for your dog to eat, you should make sure that it only forms a small part of their overall diet and that you don’t feed them turkey excessively.

I cannot stress this enough, feeding your dog excess turkey can lead to a deadly disease in dogs called pancreatitis, and the last thing you want is that to happen, because even after proper treatment your dog will still face the probability of having permanent kidney damage.

So stick to feeding your dog only very small amounts of turkey.

Why Is Turkey Good For Dogs?

If you feed your dog lean turkey (which means turkey without the skin and with the bones removed), you’ll be giving your dog a treat they find really yummy, an excellent source of proteins they need and an excellent source of nutrients their body required.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?

NO, dogs can in no way, shape or form eat turkey bones.

Come holiday season, dogs just love to dig into the trash can and search their way for some turkey bones.

Here are some of the reasons why dogs cannot eat turkey bones.

  • Bones can splinter and can lead to life threatening blockage or puncturing of your dog’s intestine, which would require immediate surgery
  • Bones have a very high chance of being stuck in your dog’s esophagus, which leads to them choking
  • Dogs can break some of their teeth while chewing on bones
  • Bones can lead to tongue injuries in your dog
  • Bones can get stuck around the lower jaw of your dog
  • If your dog’s stomach or intestines get punctured by bone fragments they consume, this can lead to life threatening bacterial infections
  • Bones can cause serious constipation in your dog
  • Bones can lead to extreme pain and bleeding from your dog’s rectum as they try to pass them in their stool

Try your best to avoid leaving any turkey bones in trash cans your dog can find their way to, and place them somewhere that’s definitely outside of your dog’s reach.

Signs Of Something Wrong

Here are some of the signs that often mean your dog has consumed excessive turkey. Keep in mind that some of these symptoms may appear immediately, while others might take up to a week to show on your dog. If any of these signs appear on your dog, immediately seek professional help.

  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Drastically decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating, which is very serious in dogs and can often be deadly if not treated immediately. You can tell your dog is suffering from bloating if they start to excessively salivate, show signs of weakness and lethargy or have a fast heart rate.

You should also be aware that some dogs are just allergic to turkey by nature, and these dogs just cannot digest it properly like other dogs can.

This is one of the major reasons why you should give your dog only a tiny amount of turkey at first if you have never given them any before and see if they’re allergic to turkey or not.

If you notice that your dog got sick after eating even the slightest amounts of turkey, then it’s best that you don’t give feed them turkey again.


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