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Vitamin B for Dogs
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Can Dogs Eat Turkey? When to Feed & When to Avoid

4 min read

At Christmas dinner, you’ve probably noticed your dog hanging about (and possibly giving you puppy dog eyes) because they can smell that delicious turkey cooking. But can dogs eat turkey and share the fun?

We have a guide on whether dogs can eat turkey, when it’s unsafe to feed it, and how to safely feed it to them below.

Can dogs eat turkey?

Dogs can eat turkey in moderation, but it does depend on how it’s cooked. As long as the turkey is plain – without any seasonings, like onion, garlic, salt etc. – it’s safe for them to eat. It’s also important to avoid feeding them turkey skin as this is high in fat which may cause an upset stomach, and is often heavily seasoned.

Can puppies eat turkey?

Puppies can eat a little bit of plain, cooked turkey without the skin or bones, i.e., the white meat without seasoning. It’s important to remember that this is a snack and should not replace a meal. They should be receiving a balanced diet from their puppy food so they can grow healthy and strong!

Can dogs eat cooked turkey?

Yes, dogs can eat a bit of cooked turkey as a snack. This cooked turkey should be free of seasonings and fat, as this is not good for your dog. Depending on the seasoning, like garlic, this could be toxic to your dog so it’s imperative the cooked turkey is plain.

Can dogs eat raw turkey?

Dogs should not eat raw turkey as this can increase the likelihood of contracting a bacterial infection, like salmonella, which can lead to gastrointestinal issues. If you feed your dog turkey, it should be cooked well and, as we mentioned, should be plain.

Can dogs eat turkey bones?

Dogs are commonly portrayed as lovers of bones but can they eat turkey bones? The answer is no. Turkey bones should not be given to your dog as they can cause a choking hazard. Or, if ingested, turkey bones can splinter off and cause damage to internal organs. This is especially true when turkey bones have been cooked as they’re more brittle.

To find out more about if dogs can eat bones, see our handy guide here.

Can dogs eat turkey skin?

No, dogs cannot eat turkey skin. The skin of the turkey contains a lot of fat, which is not good for dogs. It’s also harder to chew so can cause a choking hazard. Not to mention, the skin is also usually covered in seasonings which could be toxic to your dog. It’s best to avoid feeding your dog turkey skin altogether.

Can dogs eat turkey ham?

Dogs should not eat turkey ham, just like other deli meats. Turkey ham is heavily processed and may be high in salt and preservatives. It could also cause stomach upset, so it’s best to steer clear.

Is turkey good for dogs?

Now you know if dogs can eat turkey, but is it good for dogs? Turkey can be good to feed your dog in moderation – you’ll even find it in many dog food flavours! It has nutritious properties like:

  • A good source of protein
  • Source of B vitamins
  • Source of minerals, including selenium, zinc and phosphorus 

These nutrients are good for dogs but turkey should be fed as a snack. Although feeding your pooch turkey is fine, they should be getting their nutrients from a balanced dog diet.

How should I feed my dog turkey?

You can feed your dog small amounts of the white part of turkey – i.e., with no skin and with the bones removed – as long as there are no extra fats, like butter, and no seasonings on it. Onion and garlic are toxic to dogs, so it’s highly important to keep this in mind when feeding them turkey. Turkey can be good to feed your dog in moderation as it’s a source of protein.

It’s a good idea to consult your vet before feeding your furry friend new foods, especially if they have health conditions or are overweight.

We hope this guide answering ‘Can dogs eat turkey?’ was helpful! Looking for more information on what dogs eat? See our guide on ‘Can dogs eat salmon?’ next.