Can Dogs Eat Turkey Breasts

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Breasts?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Turkey meat can be eaten every day by dogs. It’s very healthy, highly nutritious, and contains a lot of lean protein. Those dogs who are allergic to chicken can enjoy turkey meat as a good alternative to chicken. Ready-made store-bought turkey breasts, however, are not healthy for dogs since they are processed and high in salts and chemical preservatives that can upset their stomachs.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Turkey Breasts?“.

Thanksgiving alone results in the killing of more than 46 million turkeys and Christmas alone results in the death of more than 22 million turkeys.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Breasts

Its only natural to wonder if your pets can have some turkey with so many turkeys being killed and eaten in the US each year.

The thought of sharing some of your delicious turkey meals with your dog can be very tempting especially when they are literally begging for them. 

In fact dogs can eat turkey breasts as they are very nutritious.

Dogs who are allergic to chicken can eat turkey meat as an alternative to chicken meat.

To prevent making your dog sick turkey breasts for dogs must be carefully prepared.

You would take similar precautions when giving your dog chicken as well as turkey meat.  

What are the advantages of using turkey breast?

Here are some interesting benefits of turkey breasts you might not know about:

  • Rich in protein. A turkey has low-fat content and is high in protein. Turkey meat contains more protein than chicken. 
  • Turkey meat contains a number of vitamins and minerals including vitamin B6 niacin iron zinc potassium and phosphorus which are all essential to the human body.
  • Low fat and cholesterol: turkey is 70% white meat and 30% dark meat and white meat is low in fat and calories. Regular consumption of skinless turkey can help lower cholesterol levels because of its low-fat content. 
  • A good source of tryptophan: Turkey meat contains the amino acid tryptophan which produces serotonin and boosts the immune system. Additionally Turkey is a source of selenium which is essential for thyroid hormone metabolism. 

What is the nutrition in turkey breasts?

According to the United States Governments National Nutrient Database 3 ounces or 85 grams (g) of non-enhanced roasted turkey breast contains the following nutrients:

  • 135 calories
  • 24.70 g of protein
  • 3.26 g of fat
  • 0 g of carbohydrate

Turkey meat also contains the following ingredients:

  • selenium
  • Zinc
  • choline
  • niacin
  • vitamins B-6
  • vitamin B-12

Dark meat contains more vitamins and minerals than white meat but has a higher fat and calorie content.

Can dogs eat raw turkey breasts?

Many pet parents are still very skeptical about feeding their pets raw meat despite all the recent hype about feeding your dogs raw meat and how its important that they eat what their wild ancestors did. Dogs have every right to be skeptical since raw meat is not completely safe for them. 

There are microorganisms in raw meat including raw turkey meat that can be harmful to dogs and their human family members. If you serve raw turkey it may contain salmonella or E. Coli which are bacteria that can make your dog sick. 

It is even more dangerous if these bacteria are spread throughout your home contaminating surfaces and putting everyone at risk for infection and serious illness. Raw turkey or raw meat in general is not recommended due to the risks associated with feeding raw meat. 

Turkey vs chicken vs beef

Among the best sources of protein are turkey chicken and beef. Dogs are able to digest meat very well and meat proteins are essential for building muscle. Commercial dog foods often contain chicken or turkey meat as a key ingredient. You may also find dog treats that list “turkey meal” or “chicken meal” as an ingredient. 

Turkey meat and chicken meat have almost identical nutritional values with a very small difference. Despite this turkey meat contains fewer calories and slightly more protein than chicken. Both turkey and chicken are richer than beef in that they contain more lean proteins fewer calories and less fat than beef. 

Turkey and chicken also have fewer calories than beef but beef contains more iron zinc calcium and potassium than chicken and turkey. In general chicken and turkey meat are healthier options for dogs when compared. 

Can dogs eat turkey slices?

A dog can eat turkey slices especially if its skinless white turkey meat. For dogs the best meat is plain unprocessed meat with no additives. For this reason unprocessed unseasoned turkey slices should be used for dogs. 

You probably think of ready-made store-bought turkey slices when you think of turkey slices. I assume you’re referring to the $3 for 9 oz oven-roasted turkey breasts at Walmart? If so those might not be healthy for your dog. 

Ready-made turkey breasts contain ingredients such as Maltodextrin Dehydrated Turkey Broth Onion Powder Salt Yeast Extract Carrot Powder Dextrose Natural Flavors Garlic Powder Water Gravy Seasoning Paprika Turmeric extract Modified Food Starch etc. 

Look closely at the ingredients list and you will find that some of them are not nutritious for your dog. These ingredients may irritate your pets stomach and cause digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea. 

A large amount of sodium and salt in ready-made turkey breasts as well as the spices and flavors can make them unhealthy for dogs. 

Getting ready-made deli meat and feeding it to your pooch right from the pack is very convenient but if you truly love and care about your dogs health (and I know you do) then skip the deli cuts. 

It may be more tedious to prepare your dogs meat without unnecessary and potentially harmful seasonings but it is much healthier for your pet. You can also prepare your own turkey slices for your pet. You can cook plain turkey breasts and slice them into bite-size pieces. 

How much turkey breast should I feed my dog?

Depending on your dogs weight you should give him an appropriate amount of turkey meat. It should be about 3% of your dogs weight or between 14 and 13 cups of boiled turkey meat for every 20 pounds of body weight. 

If your dog weighs 25 lbs you can feed him 30-40 grams of turkey breast. Make sure you only supply your dog with skinless white meat when choosing turkey meat. When it comes to giving your dog too much turkey alternate between chicken turkey and fish unless your dog is allergic to one of these. 

Are boiled turkey breasts good for my dog?

Turkey breasts boiled in water are excellent for your dog. You can substitute turkey breasts for chicken if you prefer. This recipe for boiled unseasoned turkey breasts is the best turkey meat for dogs.

The following will be needed:

  • ½ cup boneless turkey breast
  • A few cups of water

Here are the cooking instructions:

  • Cut the meat into small bite-size pieces and remove any fat and bones 
  • Put the meat in a pan and cover with about 2-3 cups of water.
  • Approximately 20 minutes is needed to cook the turkey all the way through.
  • Put the meat in a mixing bowl after draining the water.
  • Divide the meat into smaller portions and serve one portion with your dogs favorite vegetables or mix with his food. If your dog loves canned pumpkins carrots green beans or sweet potatoes you can add them.
  • The remaining portions can be refrigerated for later use.

Can dogs eat smoked turkey breast?

A dogs ability to eat smoked turkey breasts depends on how it was prepared especially the seasoning. Generally oven-baked or smoked turkey breasts would not harm your dog but if it is heavily seasoned processed and contains a lot of salt and preservatives then it may upset your dogs stomach. 

Unless they are seasoned and processed turkey breasts are safe for dogs. It is unhealthful to feed your dogs store-bought smoked turkey breasts since they have been processed both to improve taste and shelf life. Many of these types of meat contain high levels of salt and some preservatives which are not good for dogs. 

If you smoke turkey breast at home (with minimal seasoning) and would like to share some with your dog you can do that. However do not feed your dog any type of sauce as the seasoning and herbs in the sauce can upset your dogs stomach. 

Can dogs eat frozen turkey breasts?

Both yes and no. Do you remember how raw meat is unhealthy because it may contain harmful bacteria? Similarly dogs should not eat raw frozen turkey breasts because freezing meat does not destroy harmful bacteria. Salmonella would not be killed by freezing turkey breast if it contains bacteria like that. 

Only the bacterias activities will be limited and they will not multiply. The bacteria become active again once the frozen meat thaws. Bacteria can only be effectively killed by thoroughly cooking meat at high temperatures. Its always safer to avoid giving your dog raw meat especially if you do not know where the birds are sourced or how they are handled. 

Can dogs eat turkey breast every day?

Turkey meat can be eaten every day by dogs. Its very healthy highly nutritious and contains a lot of lean protein. Those dogs who are allergic to chicken can enjoy turkey meat as a good alternative to chicken. 

Ready-made store-bought turkey breasts however are not healthy for dogs since they are processed and high in salts and chemical preservatives that can upset their stomachs. For dogs the best turkey meat is plain boiled skinless white turkey particularly boiled turkey breast. You can feed your pet turkey meat regularly starting with a small amount added to their normal pet food to make a balanced diet.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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