Can dogs eat turkey?

It was rather short-sighted of turkeys to make the noise “gobble gobble” as this does give us humans a bit of a clue as to how tasty these birds really are. While they’re not everyone’s favourite festive fowl, turkeys are indeed gobbled up by people all over the UK every Christmas.

And many of those people will be aware that with each bite of turkey they take, a pair of doleful eyes is looking up at them, desperate to share in the festive meal. Is turkey safe for dogs though? If you’d like to know if you can share your turkey with your dog, read on…

The turkey

So, this is a bit of a ‘no but yeah but maybe’ sort of answer to have to give, in that it all depends on how you prepare the turkey. Turkey in and of itself is certainly not toxic for dogs and is actually a rather lean meat when compared to other birds, and when cooked on its own, there are no issues with giving your dog a boneless bit of breast or thigh.

But that’s the issue, isn’t it? Very few of us cook turkey without a fair bit of preparation and seasoning, and here in lie the issues when it comes to feeding your dog any turkey that you’ve cooked up for Christmas.

While it may not be inherently too-fatty, how many of us add bacon to its breast, or cover it in oils and butter? We like our turkeys moist and juicy and you only get it that way by adding loads of fat to the bird. And a moment on those Christmas lips (along with everything else we wolf down at this time of year) can lead to several months on the hips. Well, the same goes for your dog and any significant amount of fatty turkey will help pile on the puppy pounds and this can cause issues for your dog. You can cook it nice and lean though, and this is fine, or you can give them a small amount as a treat, but that should be all. 

All the trimmings?

However, we’re not done here. You see, the other thing we need to think about is what we cook our turkeys with. Many of us enjoy sage and onion stuffing and if you put that inside your turkey to cook (or any stuffing that contains onions, garlic, leeks or chives) this will make it toxic to your dog and serving up any into Fido’s bowl can make them very sick indeed. So if you do want to share your turkey with your dog, make sure it hasn’t been in contact with anything that can cause them internal issues. And you can always cook the stuffing in a separate dish – this way it gets that nice crispy top too.

Rather than share your meal with your dog, why not feed them a meal that’s perfectly designed for them? Check out our wet food recipes here.

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