Is Turkey Bad For Dogs

By Hungry Bark | January 29, 2021

The question of whether things are dog safe or not is an important one. Many things we don’t even think twice about, like grapes and onions, are toxic to dogs. So let’s talk turkey. We’ll run down the good, the bad, and the ugly of giving turkey to your dog so you can make an informed decision before you pass them that wing from your plate.

Can dogs eat turkey?

Is turkey good for dogs? The answer to that is yes, most of the time. Turkey is a great protein source for dogs. It’s also full of important nutrients like riboflavin and phosphorus. Plain turkey is a great snack or occasional meal for dogs. If plain turkey is good for dogs, is ground turkey good for dogs? Yes! Plain ground turkey is great mixed into your dog’s food (but only after the grease is drained off).

Before you pass that piece of turkey over, make sure there is no skin on it as the skin is full of fat, and the seasonings can irritate your dog’s stomach. Also, make sure the turkey wasn’t cooked using onions or garlic or any derivative of either. These are both items that are toxic to dogs.

Avoiding any buttery skin and fatty pieces is about more than an upset stomach. Those increased holiday vet visits mentioned earlier? Those are the result of dogs ingesting fatty foods and developing pancreatitis.

Now, what about the bones? Dogs love bones. What about saving those turkey bones for your dog? It’s important that you never give your dog cooked turkey bones. These are brittle, and if they splinter, can cause damage to the mouth, tongue, and esophagus.

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Which turkey parts can a dog safely eat?

The turkey comes with a lot of extra parts when you buy it from the store. Not everyone is a fan of the neck or gizzards. If you don’t want to make stock from the neck or mix those gizzards into the stuffing, pass them along to your dog. The gizzards, cooked, of course, make a tasty snack.

There is some disagreement over whether or not dogs can eat turkey necks. The consensus is that dogs should never eat a cooked turkey neck as the cooking process makes the bones too brittle.

You can find dehydrated turkey necks sold as dog treats online, and fans of raw dog food diets recommend feeding raw turkey necks since your dog will benefit from the glucosamine in the bones; on top of that, the act of chewing is good for their dental health. The choice is yours, but if you do decide to toss the turkey neck to your dog, be sure to supervise.

Turkey tails come with the same warning. These are bony pieces, but the bones are thicker and less brittle than other poultry bones, especially when raw. These are also sold by raw food companies and should be fed at your own risk and only under supervision.

Keep in mind that if you do give these to your dog, bones can also form intestinal obstructions that require surgery to rectify.

While you might not find turkey tendons in your turkey, you can still find them in a pet store. Turkey tendons are a delicious treat for dogs. They are also low in fat, easy to digest, and high in protein. If you happen to butcher your own turkey, toss the tendons to the side, and dry them for your dog.

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Turkey In Dog Food

Want to give your dog the benefits of turkey, but you don’t feel like cooking a whole turkey just for your dog? Look for a dog food featuring turkey! Turkey on its own or turkey with another protein makes for a protein-packed meal that’s full of meaty flavor. If you have a dog with a beef allergy, turkey can be an excellent alternative.

Turkey and rice is a classic combination, and dog food with turkey and brown rice is an excellent combination if your dog is not grain-free. Brown rice is a source of healthy fiber and provides some essential B vitamins.

Hungry Bark offers several recipe combinations that include turkey. If your dog is sensitive to grain, check out the Turkey with Lamb recipe. If you don’t mind your dog enjoying turkey dog food with grains, the Chicken and Turkey with Brown Rice recipe is a great selection.

Hungry Bark combines fresh meat with superfood ingredients in order to provide your dog with a nutritionally balanced, veterinarian-approved food.

It turns out, your dog can celebrate with you this holiday season. A little plain turkey on top of their food or a bowl of a Hungry Bark’s turkey-loaded food is their way of celebrating! Either way, you’ll be helping your dog live a healthy life to the fullest.

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