Can Dogs Eat Turkey?

Plain turkey with no salt, butter, seasonings or unfried is safe for your dog to eat. While turkey has had a bad repute over the years and led to debate whether they are safe or unsafe for pets, the truth is, turkey is safe for dogs except for some parts. You will find most dog food and canned dog food containing turkey as an ingredient. So, can dogs eat turkey without issues? Yes. Dogs can have turkey because they love it but for some parts. The healthy part of a turkey to feed your dog is the white –lean meat with excess fats and skin removed. Your dog will love it and benefit from plenty of proteins and other nutrients. 

Don’t let your dog eat fatty areas of a turkey or skin because it can lead to pancreatitis, a condition where pancreas gets inflamed and swollen. Ground turkey without regular additives and spices is good for our canine friends. Bones from a turkey is a no for your dog, it can badly lacerate different parts of the track system or be a choking hazard. 

If you decide to give your dog a turkey treat, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Skip the skin, the fat content in the skin is not good for your dog. It can lead to pancreatitis. 
  • Avoid spices such as garlic because they are toxic to dogs
  • Moderate the amount of turkey you feed to your dog, too much of it can lead to obese which sets a stage for other diseases like diabetes. 
  • Remove the bones from the meat. 

can dogs eat turkey

Can dogs eat turkey bones safely?

Turkey bones are soft and pliable which means they can easily break, unlike beef bones which are tough and filled with marrow. Broken turkey bones may create sharp-pointed pieces that will cat or scratch the GI track right from the esophagus to the rectum. Some pet owners argue that raw turkey bones are safe, but is there a difference between raw and cooked turkey bones? While pet specialist advises us not to feed our dogs with either raw or cooked bones, some pet owners claim raw turkey bones are safe. There is a point of contention but consult with your vet before feeding your dog with raw turkey bones.

Warnings for feeding your dog with turkey bones

Raw bones are less likely to break and create sharp edges that may harm your dog. But the bones should be larger enough to prevent choking. Feeding your dog with cooked bones may result in:

  • Broken teeth 
  • Mouth and tongue injuries 
  • Bones get stuck in the esophagus
  • Bones get stuck in the windpipe
  • Bones get stuck in the stomach
  • Constipation
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Peritonitis – a bacterial infection in the abdomen that is difficult to treat.

What to do if your dog ate cooked turkey bone

If your dog ingests a cooked turkey bone, don’t panic. And if your dog hasn’t swallowed it yet, remove it gently from the mouth. If s/he has successfully swallowed it, watch out for signs of internal bleeding or blockage. Reach out to your vet immediately when you see any sign of discomfort in your dog. 

Overfeeding your dog with soft foods that will help cake the splinters of the broken turkey bones created in the stomach or intestines is the first remedy to try when you first notice she has eaten the bones. It will take around 2 to 3 days for all the splinters to get out of the digestive tract system if they don’t lodge into the stomach or intestines. Another way to cushion your dog’s stomach from splinters of turkey bones inside the digestive tract system is to give small cotton balls soaked in something your dog won’t reject, however they may cause more harm than good if they cause blockage in the digestive tract.

Another remedy is to induce vomiting in your dog. Shove anything down the throat and they will throw up, however, this may cause violent reactions which may tear the stomach or the throat with the splintered turkey bones. There are ways to make you dog throw up naturally that include feeding them with a can of pumpkin. Check through the vomit using a stick to see whether the splinters are out or not. Pick through the vomit to ensure the bones were regurgitated successfully. If none of the options above seems to work, the safest course of action is to call the vet but this might end up to a costly visit 

Turkey bone broth is good for your dog

One of the safest ways to give your dog a bone pleasure without worries is to turn turkey bones to the bone broth at home. Turkey bone broth is packed with full nutrients and a taste that’s great for dogs. Benefits that dogs get in turkey bone broth include; a healthy gut, it helps detoxify the liver, promote healthy joints and what’s more, your dog will love it! It is simple and fun to make turkey bone broth, add ingredients plus your turkey bones into a large pot or slow cooker and you are done. 

can dogs eat turkey bones

In Summary…

The rule of the thumb here is; never feed your dog with cooked turkey bones even chicken bones even when they cry for them. Cooked bones can splinter easily to create sharp edges which may seriously harm your dog’s digestive system. If you must give your dog a treat, try raw turkey bones but let them enjoy the treat while watching them, just in case. Monitor your puppy after eating raw bones to look for troubles if any. Consult with the vet if you find any sign of trouble with your dog immediately. The safest way to feed your dog with turkey bones is to make a turkey bone broth at home. Add the broth on top of their food as a treat and see them wanting some more of it!