Can My Dog Eat Turkey?

Can my dog eat turkey? This is a question many pet parents ask, especially around Thanksgiving time. The answer is yes, as long as it’s plain and doesn’t contain any salt or seasonings.

This means sharing the Thanksgiving turkey with your dog is not recommended but sharing a few pieces of your plain oven-roasted turkey from your lunch salad is a good idea. Turkey contains riboflavin, protein, and phosphorous and is often used as an ingredient in commercial dog food as well as homemade dog food.

Can my dog eat turkey any time of the year? Yes. You don’t need to wait for Thanksgiving to feed your dog turkey.

Can My Dog Eat Turkey?

Here are safe ways to give your dog turkey:

  • Bulldog Eating

    Make sure the turkey meat is cooked thoroughly

  • Remove the skin from the turkey
  • Avoid spices because they can irritate your dog’s stomach and lead to pancreatitis
  • Give your dog small serving sizes of turkey
  • Remove the bones to prevent your dog from choking

Can my dog eat turkey bones? 

No. Poultry bones are brittle, thin, and small which makes them dangerous for dogs to eat. Feeding your dog poultry bones can cause tongue and mouth injuries, choking, obstruction of the intestinal tract or throat, piercing of the intestines and stomach lining, rectal bleeding, constipation, and severe blockages. 

How to Feed Your Dog Turkey

As mentioned earlier, you need to feed your dog plain unseasoned turkey that is cooked thoroughly. Some pet parents like to boil the chicken in water while others prefer baking the chicken in the oven. 

You can incorporate turkey into your dog’s diet in the following ways: 

  • Cube or dice cooked turkey and add it to dry kibble 
  • Place the cooked turkey meat in a food processor and add the puree to wet dog food or dry dog food
  • Cut the cooked turkey into cubes and place them in a plastic sealed container and serve a few at a time as a tasty treat
  • Be creative and create homemade recipes involving turkey as the main ingredient 

Recipe IdeasTurkey Recipe Ideas for Dogs

Instead of only feeding your dog plain cooked turkey you can also combine it with other healthy vegetables and ingredients such as the tasty combinations below. 

  • Turkey and sweet potato
  • Turkey and cranberries
  • Turkey and lentils
  • Turkey and peas
  • Turkey and chickpeas

When to Be Concerned 

Some dogs are extremely sensitive and develop allergies to a variety of foods including turkey. If your dog experiences the following symptoms after eating turkey consult with a veterinarian immediately. 

  • Excessive scratching
  • Paw biting
  • Hair loss
  • Skin rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

What part of the turkey should I feed my dog? 


White meat is recommended for dogs because it’s the leanest meat on the turkey.

Avoid serving your dog turkey legs or other fatty parts. The turkey breast is where most of the white meat is located and it’s easy to cut, cube and puree.

Sometimes the white meat can become dry during the cooking process.

You can add a bit of moisture by adding the water the turkey was boiled in or plain bottled or tap water.

Bottom Line

As a pet parent who is always looking for healthy food options for your dog, you can feel confident when you feed your dog turkey. While you might do everything perfectly such as not using seasonings, cutting the meat into bite-size pieces, and only serve white meat, your dog might have an allergic reaction. 

Always keep a close eye on your dog when serving new types of food. However, most dogs love turkey and don’t have food sensitivities. Enjoy feeding your dog turkey plain or combined in a recipe!

A pet parent herself, Shellie knows the ins and outs of caring for a furry bundle of joy. She has been researching, reviewing and sharing her findings for the best dog products available for a number of years. A valued team member, Shellie's first-hand experience is invaluable.

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