Turkey for Dogs: Is It a Good Source of Protein and Other Nutrients?

turkey for this dog

Turkey is a big part of Thanksgiving dinner. It is also a great luncheon meat for sandwiches. Not only is Turkey lean and low in fat, but it is also loaded with vital vitamins and minerals. It also packs less amount of calories than other forms of animal protein. But the real question on your mind is whether it is safe to feed turkey to your dog or not.

The short answer is yes, turkey is not toxic for dogs and you can safely feed it to your dog. It is a very healthy and nutritious form of animal protein for your dog, and there are several benefits to feeding this low-fat meat to your dog.

We are going to discuss the advantages of feeding your dog turkey in further detail, as to what are the nutritional advantages, how it should be prepared, and are there any considerations you need to keep in mind.

One thing that should be noted is that only the white part of the turkey, which is the breast part is lean and low in fat. The darker parts have a fair amount of fat in it. Therefore there are certain circumstances when it should be avoided for your dog.

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What Forms of Turkey Meat Are Suitable?

Turkey can be fed to dogs on its own, cooked with other vegetables, or as pet food like Wellness Simple Turkey and Potato. But when you are feeding turkey meat to your dog, make sure that it is either well cooked or in a suitable raw form which is properly vacuum sealed and is free from any form of additives or preservatives.

You should take a certain amount of care when you are buying turkey meat for your dog. Many store-bought products can contain spices or condiments that can prove toxic for your dog or cause some serious health issues.

Turkey has a very high protein to calorie ratio which helps in keeping your dog full for longer durations. It also helps in preserving your dog’s muscle mass. Feeding your dog turkey meat instead of other forms of animal protein can help overweight dogs lose those extra pounds.

Studies have also shown that turkey is one of the least contaminated meats, which means that in case your dog prefers to eat raw meat, turkey meat would be an ideal choice for you.

Benefits of Turkey in Your Dog’s Diet

can dogs eat turkey meat?

Turkey is a rich source of the following nutrients required in your dog’s diet.

High Protein

Dogs are primarily carnivorous, which means that their body is in constant need of animal protein. Protein is not only necessary for their muscle development and maintenance but other bodily functions as well. Dogs burn protein more than carbohydrates as calories for energy and also store them as fat in their body. Which is why dogs need high amounts of animal protein throughout their lifespan.


Riboflavin or vitamin B2 is a highly essential nutrient for your dog. This vitamin is responsible for the overall metabolism of your dog. Dogs need it to convert protein and fats into energy. Riboflavin is also responsible for the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients to the various parts of a dog’s body. Vitamin B2 also helps in the absorption of vitamin B6 and iron in a dog.

Lack of vitamin B2 can cause impairments in the growth rate of puppies. It can also cause unnecessary weight loss, weakness, and fatigue. Turkey contains significant amounts of vitamin B2.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps in the secretion of various hormones that are responsible for the internal body functions of your dog. These hormones also control your dog’s behavior and moods. Vitamin B6 serves to control the balance of potassium and sodium in your dog’s body which assists in a well-toned body. The vitamin also helps in maintaining a healthy brain and cardiovascular activity.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin is important for a healthy nervous system and brain functions. It also promotes intestinal health that helps in the maintenance of a proper digestive system.

Lack of vitamin B12 can result in loss of appetite, weakness, diarrhea, confusion, and seizures.


Niacin is responsible for the breakdown of fatty acids in dogs. These fatty acids help in the maintenance of healthy skin and many other body functions. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help in the maintenance of the immune system and reduce allergies. They also strengthen eyesight and blood clotting mechanisms. These fatty acids can prevent a lot of diseases like cardiovascular dysfunctions and osteoarthritis.

can dogs eat thanksgiving turkey?

Niacin helps in boosting dog’s mental capabilities making them smarter. Niacin also helps in the secretion of hormones that promote the proper functioning of kidneys. In female dogs, niacin helps in producing oxytocin which aids in milk production. Niacin controls your dog’s stomach acids that assist in the absorption of food as well as destroys dangerous bacterias present in the digestive tracts. 


Phosphorus is combined with calcium and is responsible for the proper development and maintenance of bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also responsible for properly regulated metabolism and maintenance of membrane integrity


Selenium is required by your dog for maintaining cell membranes and the protection of cells from free radicals. It also aids in the formation and maintenance of a strong immune system which promotes the overall health of your dog. Selenium also helps in the boost of cognitive functions and reduces the effects of the aging process in dogs. It is helpful for your dog’s DNA and RNA structure as well as thyroid metabolism.

Final Thoughts: Can Dogs Eat Turkey?

So as we can see, turkey is not only safe for dogs to consume, but it is also packed with various nutrients that are essential to be included in your dog’s diet.

However, you should make sure the turkey you are feeding your dog is safe to be consumed. Ensure that there are no added spices or preservatives which can be harmful to your dog’s health. Happy feeding!

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