Can dogs eat turkey?

Nov 21, 2019 | Pet Health, Pets

This is a re-post.  This post has been updated with more information, links, and relatable posts below.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s always good to know what you can feed your pup and not to feed them!  This post from GoPetFriendly on the 10 Holiday Foods That Are Dangerous For Your Pet is very informative.
 
With Thanksgiving being next week, we are all busy grocery shopping and making plans for turkey day.  If you are like me and my family, our pets are a big part of our holiday celebration and we love to give them a little holiday treat.  Jake and Maggie do not get table scraps but a little bite of plain white meat won’t hurt them.  So, the question is…can dogs eat turkey?  The answer is yes and no!  But we have to be careful on what and how much to give.  Here’s why…
 
Turkey is a great source of protein and you might find it listed as the first ingredient on the back of a high quality dog food.  Giving your dog a little bit with the fat and skin removed is fine but sharing your dinner is not.  Turkeys are seasoned with salts, peppers, garlic, different seasonings, butter, oils and stuffed with onions and other ingredients to help lock the flavors in and this can upset a dogs stomach.  Avoid, at all costs, tossing your dog a turkey bone.  They are small and brittle and can cause severe damage to your pet.
 
Turkey is not inherently toxic to dogs. It is an ingredient in many commercial dog foods and is rich in nutrients like protein, riboflavin, and phosphorous. When cooked plain, under the guidance of a veterinarian, turkey can be an essential part of a homemade dog food diet.
 
Is cooked turkey OK for dogs?
You may have noticed that turkey is a common ingredient in dog treats and dog food. Skinless, unseasoned white turkey meat that’s been properly cooked is actually fine for dogs to consume in small amounts. Ground turkey, as long as it’s plain and has no additives, is also perfectly healthy for dogs.
 
How much turkey can a dog eat?
A dog’s treat allowance can make up to 10% of its total daily caloric intake. For a typical 25 lb. dog that would be about 40 grams of white meat turkey or 30 grams of dark meat turkey—NOT including the skin.
Did you know that veterinarians refer to Black Friday as Pancreatitis Day?  This is because people feed their pets turkey meat with fat and skin attached, turkey bones and other food items they cannot eat causing them health problems and landing their dog at the vets.  If your pet is experiencing any of the following symptoms, get them to a vet immediately.
 
Classic signs of pancreatitis in dogs:
  • Hunched back
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Pain or distention of the abdomen (dog appears uncomfortable or bloated)
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness/lethargy
  • Fever
Deli meat, turkey hot dogs and other kinds of processed turkey meat contain high amounts of salt and preservatives that could be harmful to your dog’s health and can upset their stomach. Only give your dog processed meat occasionally and in very small amounts — for example, you can use a small piece of turkey hot dog to hide a pill. It’s unhealthy, and even dangerous, to feed your dog any type of deli meat on a regular basis – Reference: https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/nutrition-feeding/can-dogs-eat-turkey

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