Can Dogs Eat Turkey Raw?
If you’re wondering if dogs can eat turkey, the answer is yes, with some precautions on your part, they can. Raw turkey is not at all poisonous to your dog. In fact, turkey is full of protein, phosphorous, and riboflavin, all of which are a necessary part of your dog’s daily diet. Many people who choose to feed their dog an exclusively raw food diet include raw turkey for their dogs as part of a balanced diet. It’s very important to freeze raw turkey, or any raw meat, for a period of time, several weeks to a month, prior to thawing it out and feeding it to your dog. The freezing process serves to kill any bacteria that may have developed in the meat.
The one thing to be aware of when letting dogs eat turkey raw is zoonoses, diseases that can pass from dogs to humans. This means illnesses in your dog, such as salmonella can be passed to those who are particularly vulnerable. Humans most at risk are those with lowered immune systems, elderly people, infants, and women who are pregnant. Salmonella poisoning can be contracted in many ways, but one of them is through dogs eating raw meat, especially poultry meat, such as turkey or chicken.
Before you consider letting your dog eat turkey raw, consult your vet so that your dog can be monitored carefully for any diseases such as salmonella. You’ll also need to be prepared to take special precautions when handling the raw turkey to keep yourself and your family safe from salmonella. Barring that, if you’ve made the decision to feed your dog a raw diet, then raw turkey can be a small part of that diet.
Can Dogs Eat Turkey Cooked?
When the holidays roll around or even at other times during the year, you may find yourself with turkey leftovers. It seems only natural for you to want to share the turkey goodness with your dogs. But can dogs eat turkey cooked?
It’s probably not a good idea to share those holiday turkey leftovers with your dog because of the spices that often used with turkey and stuffing. Onions, garlic, and nutmeg are very toxic for your dog. So, although dogs can eat cooked turkey if it’s plain, it’s dangerous to feed them leftover turkey that was cooked with spices or other preservatives. Many people do feed dogs the turkey gizzards and even the liver. Because it is taken out of the turkey PRIOR to cooking, it will not have the added salt or spices.
Again, consult your veterinarian before adding any new meats to your dog’s diet. Some people find that the liver is too rich for their dog to handle. You can boil the gizzards and liver in plain water or sear it in a pan to make it more appetizing for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones Raw?
If you’re wondering whether your dog can eat turkey bones raw, the same risks for salmonella apply as we mentioned above concerning raw turkey. With the proper handling and monitoring through your vet however, you can feed your dog raw turkey neck bones. The raw turkey neck bones are the meatiest and the bone is soft enough to be chewed without risk of splintering. In fact, you’ll find that your dog will probably eat the entire turkey neck bone. If you prefer, you can ground up raw turkey to include it in your dog’s raw meat diet, however ground turkey meat doesn’t provide the same teeth cleaning benefit that the turkey neck bone provides.
Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones Cooked?
Just like other bones, when it comes to whether dogs can eat turkey bones cooked, the answer is not unless you want to risk their health, and maybe their life. Cooked bones in general become more brittle and they splinter more easily. Cooked turkey bones, like any other cooked poultry bone, are even more prone to splintering.
Therefore, as much as you’d like to share holiday leftovers with your dog by giving them the turkey bones cooked, you could harm them with it. Keep in mind that your dog may eat turkey bones several times without incident before one of the bones splinters and gets stuck. So just because your dog may have eaten cooked turkey bones before without any problems, doesn’t mean that it’s safe for your dog.
The only exception as we mentioned above is the turkey neck bone which is much softer than the other turkey bones. You can boil the neck bone or sear it in a pan to make it more appetizing if your dog won’t eat it raw.