Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

Can Dogs Eat Turkey? Is it a Holiday Food for them Also?

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7 min read

dog food

On This Page

  • Can Dogs Eat Turkey Meat?
  • What are the Benefits of Turkey for Dogs?
  • When is Turkey Bad for Dogs?
  • How to Feed Your Dog Turkey Safely?

Thanksgiving is more about the turkey than about thanking most families. We await that turkey more than the festival and enjoy it on thanksgiving day wholeheartedly. While we enjoy this delicious meal, our pets keep staring at us with those puppy eyes wanting some.

So, you might have thought about whether or not you can give your dog turkey or not!

Well here’s the answer!

You can give your dog turkey, but there are some caveats to it. Read the blog to know what are the benefits of this meal for your dog and how can you make it safe for them to eat.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Meat?

“Is giving turkey to dogs okay?”

Simply answering, “yes and no”!

Turkey is a portion of delicious human food that is also used in many commercial dog foods. It has many beneficial nutritional elements for your dog. So, if cooked plain without any additives and served with some safety precautions - Yes your dog can eat turkey!

However, when we make our Thanksgiving dinners and prepare turkey for it, we add many spices, herbs, and other additives to it. Most of these additives and seasonings are actually very harmful to your dog. Thus, they shouldn’t be given turkey with these additives.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bacon?

Yes, dogs can eat turkey bacon. However, you need to be selective with the bacon you choose for your dog. The ideal bacon for your dog would be the one with lesser sodium content. Also, make sure that it does not have any additives like onions and garlic.

Can Dogs Eat Ground Turkey?

Ground turkey is also healthy for your dogs. But the rule remains the same. Make sure the skin is removed, it isn’t cooked in any salts or spices. Also, garlic, onion, or other additives should not be added to the ground turkey that is fed to your dog.

How Much Turkey should I Feed my Dog?

“Can I Give My Dog a Slice of Turkey?”

A slice of turkey in a day should be OK for your dog to eat. To be precise, a 25lb dog can have about 40 grams of white meat turkey or 30 grams of dark meat turkey that is well-cooked. This does not include the weight of turkey skin, as it should be removed before giving to dogs.

As with any other dog treat, the rule of turkey is also 10% of their daily caloric intake.

What are the Benefits of Turkey for Dogs?

Turkey provides many nutrients to your dog to keep it healthy. These nutrients include proteins, riboflavin, and phosphorous.

Turkey is a rich meat source for your dog, which is why it is added to many commercial dog foods as an ingredient as well. If your dog is allergic to other protein sources like beef or fish, they can eat turkey. Turkey is a rich protein source, that your dog needs to have in vet-suggestive amounts.

Protein is essential for the dog’s body because proteins help build up muscle mass. They are also essential to get energy and a healthy metabolism.

When is Turkey Bad for Dogs?

Though turkey offers many nutritional benefits to dogs, as mentioned earlier, there are some caveats to serving turkey to your dogs. In some instances, turkey may be harmful to your dog also, which is why they should be avoided.

Raw Turkey

They should not eat raw turkey, as it can be very harmful to them. This is because raw or uncooked turkey has many bacteria in it. This can pose a risk of salmonella infection to your dog. Cooking the meat kills such harmful bacteria which makes it safe for your dog to eat.

Sliced Turkey Deli Meat

“Can dogs eat turkey slices?”

“Can dogs eat deli turkey?”

Sliced turkey deli meat which is seasoned for kids and adults is not a good choice for dogs. However, if it isn’t seasoned and cooked plain then your dog can have a bite or two.

But, giving your fluffy friend a piece of sliced turkey deli meat out of your lunchbox is not a good idea!

Turkey Skin

The skin of a turkey is usually highly seasoned when it is cooked for humans. This is probably because humans love it. But guess what, dogs are not really fond of the seasoning, and neither is it good for them!

So, the skin of the turkey is the most dangerous part and should not be fed to your pet.

Seasoned & Marinaded Turkey

If given in moderation, plain turkey is safe for your dog to eat. However, seasoned, marinaded, or spiced turkey is very harmful to your dogs. The seasonings and marination usually have garlic, onion, and other spices that are toxic to dogs’ health.

When it comes to onion and garlic, “Small amounts could cause stomach upset, while large amounts could cause anemia (damage to the red blood cells)”, recommends Dr, Wismer.

Other additives that can be toxic for your dog include:

  • Too much salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Sage
  • Excessive sugar
  • Nutmeg
  • Cocoa powder

Turkey Bones

“Can dogs eat turkey bones?”

Turkey bones should not be given to your dog. Though dogs are fond of playing with bones you would be thinking that it is a great idea to toss some leftover turkey bones at it. It really isn’t a great idea!

“Can dogs eat turkey neck?”

Turkey neck and bones can pose a choking hazard to your dog. Even if your large dog manages to swallow it, it can cause issues for its digestive system. Turkey bones can be especially hazardous for small dogs and puppies when it comes to throat and digestive tract obstructions.

How to Feed Your Dog Turkey Safely?

Here are some tips and safety precautions to keep in mind if you want to feed turkey to your dogs:

“Will cooked turkey hurt my dog?:

  1. Cooking the turkey is beneficial for your dog. So, cook the turkey well but do not add any seasonings. Serve them the plain, uncooked turkey.
  2. Remember to remove the skin of the turkey. The turkey skin has fats and seasoning which can be dangerous.
  3. Only feed turkey in small amounts or the quantity recommended by your vet.
  4. If your dog is new to it, feed a bit or two before giving them more to check for any adverse reactions.
  5. Ensure that you only give them the turkey meat and not the bones.
  6. Talk to your vet first if your dog has any preexisting medical conditions.

Turkey Dog Treat Recipe!

Here is a delicious recipe to cook for your dog if you want to give them the turkey.


      • Unbaked bread/ pizza crust - 1 load
      • Water - ¼ cup
      • Flour - 1-2 teaspoons
      • Cooked turkey - ¾ cup
      • Cooked vegetables - ½ cup
      • Grated cheese - ¼ cup
      • Sesame seeds - ¼ cup

Note: The cooked turkey being used should be chopped into small bite-sized pieces according to your dog’s ease. Also, the vegetables should only be those that are safe for your dog.


      • Unbaked bread/ pizza crust - 1 load
      • Water - ¼ cup
      • Flour - 1-2 teaspoons
      • Cooked turkey - ¾ cup
      • Cooked vegetables - ½ cup
      • Grated cheese - ¼ cup
      • Sesame seeds - ¼ cup

Note: The cooked turkey being used should be chopped into small bite-sized pieces according to your dog’s ease. Also, the vegetables should only be those that are safe for your dog.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven at 375°F.
  2. Use a cookie cutter to cut 3” circles out of the bread or pizza crust.
  3. Take a pan and mix the water and flour. Keep stirring it till it forms a uniform mixture.
  4. Heat this mixture until it thickens.
  5. Add the vegetables and turkey to the mixture and cook it thoroughly.
  6. For a few minutes, keep simmering.
  7. Add this turkey, vegetable, flour mixture to the circles that you cut earlier. Only add a spoon or two to each circle.
  8. Fold the sides of the circle and shut it from the top like a pouch.
  9. Roll the pouch into a circular shape.
  10. Mix the cheese and sesame seeds in a separate bowl.
  11. Sprinkle the cheese-seeds mixture on each ball.
  12. Place the balls on the baking sheet and let them bake for 10-15 minutes.
  13. Take out the balls when they are golden below.

Let these treats cool down and then serve them to your dog to enjoy!

Turkey for Dogs - The Final Verdict!

Yes, dogs can eat turkey. But only cooked and plain turkey that is not seasoned. The common ingredients for humans like onions, garlic, and other spices should not be added to the turkey cooked for dogs. Furthermore, avoid giving a turkey to them in large quantities, and your dog should be just fine!

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Harper Jefcoat


Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and expert author at the RealESALetter.com. With a deep-seated passion for animals, Harper brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to his writings. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he aims to help pet owners understand and care for their furry friends better.

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