Can Dogs Eat Turkey?

Sometimes your dog can show interest in the delightful cuisine you prepare at home. Your furry friend might have their tongue out and drool over the turkey that you prepared for your family. This might make you wonder if it is safe for them to eat some.

Is Turkey Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Yes, turkey is safe to be consumed by dogs. It is not toxic to dogs and has multiple health benefits. It is rich in essential vitamins, proteins, and minerals that can add a lot of nutritional value when added to your pet’s diet.

We rarely cook turkey plainly as most of the time, we add stuffing and several spices to make the meal delicious. It can be appetizing to some dogs, but the spices and ingredients might cause stomach upset. If you want your dog to enjoy turkey without putting their health at risk, you should only cook it plain.

Health Benefits of Turkey for Dogs


Turkey is low-fat meat that is easy to digest. It is a safer alternative for dogs with allergies to other meat proteins, such as chicken or beef. You can also feed your dog turkey bacon instead of pork bacon. Turkey contains low fat and salt levels and has multiple health benefits.

They include:

  • Phosphorus – when combined with calcium, it gives your dog strong and healthy ligaments, teeth, and bones
  • Riboflavin – assists in the metabolism of amino acids and carbs, thus supporting your dog’s growth. It also assists in the production of red blood cells and the release of energy from protein.

When is Turkey Bad for Your Dog?

While turkey is safe for dogs, there are instances when it can be harmful. This depends on how you prepare it and what parts you feed your dog. Cases in which turkey can be harmful to dogs include:

Raw Turkey

If your dog accidentally eats some raw turkey, it might ingest dangerous bacteria like salmonella. This puts their health at risk as they become susceptible to infections.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?

Turkey Skin

When preparing turkey, the skin is the most seasoned part. It also absorbs the spices used, whereby some can be toxic to dogs. This makes the skin harmful to a dog.

Marinated or Seasoned Turkey

Turkey is not safe when seasoned or marinated with spices and herbs that are toxic to dogs. Some spices are associated with gastrointestinal issues; thus, it is better to stay clear of them when preparing a dog’s meal. Spices used to make a seasoned or marinated turkey that can be toxic to dogs include:

Some pet owners often throw leftover bones at their dogs during a meal. However, you should avoid feeding your dog turkey bones as they can be a choking hazard. Also, if your dog manages to swallow them, they can splinter in their mouth and wreak havoc on their digestive tract.

Sliced Turkey Deli Meat

This meat is packed with more sodium and spices, which can contribute to pancreatitis and other long-term diseases. Avoid making it part of their regular diet to avoid ill effects on your canine’s health.

What Happens if a Dog Eats Seasoned Turkey?

Nothing will probably happen if your dog has a small bite of your home-cooked turkey that you prepared for yourself. You won’t need to rush your dog to a vet for consuming a small number of spices.

However, if your dog consumes too much of it without your knowledge, you will need to be observant of any adverse symptoms they might exhibit. Any sign of distress from your dog could warrant you to rush it to a vet.


Turkey can be a great addition to your dog’s diet. Feed it to them in moderation if they are not allergic to the meat. When introducing turkey to your dog, cook it plainly to avoid health problems that may be caused by other ingredients.

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