Can Dogs Eat Turkey Meat

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Meat?

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

Turkey is safe to feed to dogs, as the meat is nutritious and non-toxic on its own. Dogs should only be given turkey that is properly cooked or in raw form (vacuum-sealed, commercially available) without additives like sodium or preservatives.

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

People frequently eat turkey during Thanksgiving dinners but it is also popular as a ground turkey option and luncheon sandwich meat. The meat is packed with essential vitamins and minerals but contains fewer calories and fat than other meats. However can dogs eat turkey meat just like humans or is turkey bad for dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Meat

If you have been wondering if your dog can eat turkey the answer is YES – dogs can eat turkey because its not toxic to them and is actually a very healthy and nutritious food option. Dogs can gain several benefits from consuming this low-calorie meat.

We will discuss turkey meat in detail in this article as well as whether dogs can eat turkey and how to prepare it and if the turkey is bad for dogs in any way.

What is turkey?

Most often associated with and consumed around the Thanksgiving holidays turkey is a white meat thats leaner than red meat.

Many people turn to turkey not only because of its low fat and low-calorie content but also because of the many minerals and vitamins it contains many of which can help prevent illnesses like diabetes and cancer.

This is what deli turkey meat looks like:

There is only one portion of turkey that is lean and low-calorie: white meat. The fat and calories in turkey meat that include dark meat are no different from those in any other dark meat. However can dogs eat turkey and which type is best for them? Can dogs be poisoned by turkey in some circumstances and when should they avoid it?

Can Dogs Eat Turkey?

Do dogs have the same right to eat turkey meat as humans? Turkey is safe to feed to dogs as the meat is nutritious and non-toxic on its own. Dogs should only be given turkey that is properly cooked or in raw form (vacuum-sealed commercially available) without additives like sodium or preservatives.

Turkey should only be fed to dogs with care. The turkey sold in stores is often combined with other ingredients that dogs can be poisoned by so any turkey fed to them must be cooked thoroughly and left untouched. Failure to do so may result in serious health issues.

In human trials white turkey meat has been well-studied and it is one of the healthiest meat options thanks to its high protein carb to fat ratio. Some of its proven benefits include:

  • Turkey helps to stay fuller longer and preserves muscle mass 
  • Turkey is high in many vital nutrients minerals and vitamins 
  • Turkey can help with weight loss
  • Turkey is one of the healthiest poultry meats to consume 

Dogs have not been well studied when it comes to turkey meat because it isnot as popular as other poultry meats or red meats. According to a study of canines however it is one of the least contaminated meats for dogs to consume in the United States (Workman et al. 2005). However are there any precautions that dogs need to take when it comes to eating turkey? Could turkey be harmful to dogs in certain situations?

5 Benefits of Turkey for Dogs

1. White turkey meat is very high in lean protein

The high protein content in white turkey meat makes it an ideal source of protein for a number of important body functions. The development and growth of a dog require protein at every stage of its life.

As well as being burned as calories proteins can also be converted and stored as fat molecules. Furthermore it plays an important role in the development and health of the immune system.

2. Turkey contains significant portions of riboflavin

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) belongs to the B-complex family of vitamins. Vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential to the production of energy in cells along with vitamins B1 and B3.

A dogs diet must contain enough riboflavin to prevent bladder stones from forming.

3. Phosphorous in turkey helps with multiple key body functions in dogs

An essential component of membrane integrity phosphorus contributes to a normally functioning and regulated metabolism. A dogs teeth are made up of a combination of calcium and phosphorous and turkey provides a fair amount of this mineral to make it an effective food.

4. White turkey meat is a moderate source of omega-3 fatty acids

For certain healthy body processes to take place dogs require omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are functional fats that dogs cannot produce on their own as they help manage allergies and sensitive immune systems strengthen eyesight and regulate blood clotting.

In addition to aiding in the prevention and treatment of diseases and illnesses like cancer cardiovascular disease Alzheimers and osteoarthritis omega-3 fatty acids also improve cognitive function. The best option may be to feed fish oil supplements but natural meats like turkey may be better.

5. Turkey offers selenium a mineral for sharp minds and healthy bodies

Selenium is a mineral that dogs need in their diet. It helps the dog develop a strong stable immune system which contributes to the dogs overall health and well-being. Furthermore zinc boosts cognitive function which helps dogs stay sharp and delay the onset of aging.

As a dogs DNA synthesis thyroid hormone metabolism and oxidative damage often results in cancer selenium is also beneficial.

So can dogs eat have turkey then?

Definitely – dogs can eat turkey and its safe for them as long as its plain turkey and/or properly cooked. Store-bought turkey meat may contain a variety of spices salt and other additives that can be harmful to dogs so ensure you know exactly what type of turkey you’re giving to your pet.

3 Potential Side Effects of Turkey

How can turkey be harmful to dogs? When is it best to avoid it? While turkey for dogs is generally safe as long as it is well-cooked there are some other forms and combinations with turkey meat that can cause serious health problems.

1. Raw turkey may cause salmonella poisoning

Raw meats like turkey should not be fed to dogs unless they are prepared and packaged by a professional or marketed by a commercial food company. Salmonella a zoonotic bacteria that can be transmitted from animals to people can cause violent sickness and abdominal pain in dogs fed raw turkey in general.

2. Deli and frozen meat turkey are full of unhealthy additives

It is not advisable to feed dogs too many slices of turkey deli meat. Dogs should not consume this processed turkey variety as it contains high levels of sodium spices and preservatives.

Frozen turkey burgers or meals that come pre-packaged are also dangerous due to the same reasons: too much salt sugar and other additives. If fed these types of turkey over time a dog may develop salt toxicity which can lead to death.

3. Watch out for turkey paired with garlic and onions

Thanksgiving dinners and holiday celebrations often include the preparation of turkey along with other spices vegetables and flavorings. Combine onions and garlic with turkey and dogs can die.

As onions contain N-propyl disulfide which is toxic to dogs it breaks down red blood cells resulting in anemia. An onions presence is only enough to cause anemia.

Dogs are also toxic to garlic but they would have to consume it in large quantities to cause problems. Garlic toxicity is similar to onions in that it affects the red blood cells and cardiovascular system and should be avoided.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey?

Is turkey safe to be eaten by dogs? It is perfectly safe and even very nutritious for dogs to consume white turkey meat. However they should only consume white turkey meat that has been thoroughly cooked and is plain. When prepared this way turkey can be a lean healthy source of protein and nutritious addition to a dogs diet.

Is turkey harmful to dogs in any way shape or form? Dogs may not be able to consume turkey meat in certain cases. Spices and additives can be harmful to dogs and this is particularly true if they are toxic vegetables like garlic and onions.

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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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