Can dogs have turkey?

Turkey is a must have in the Thanksgiving dinner. The aroma of the roasting stuffed turkey in the oven would make your mouth water. You can’t wait to pop a forkful of this traditional Thanksgiving fare to your mouth. It seems the four legged furry friend is eager to taste mom’s cooking too. As an offering of thanks, the roasted turkey, the pudding, the pie are shared with family and friends. Being a loved member of the family, the dog will be allowed to share with the family feast as well. Dogs eat anything.  Thus, it would gobble up everything placed on its dish and still ask for more. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for everything that we have. Because the family is thankful for the loyalty and companionship of the pet, it would be very hard to resist the temptation of filling the dog’s dish again and again. Turkey is one of the human foods that can be given to canines. Commercial pet foods have turkey as one of the main ingredients. However, too much of this human food can be hazardous to the health of the pet.

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Eating large quantities of turkey or any human food for that matter, would result to stomach upset. Dogs, unlike us humans, have shorter intestinal tracts. Our four legged furry friends would find digesting human food rather hard. The indulgence would often result to diarrhea.


Turkey may not have the fat content of pork. Turkey breast is lean meat. However, the crispy and yummy skin of roasted turkey is loaded with fat. For sure, humans are not the only ones that will enjoy turkey skin as some will certainly be tossed to the pet. This loving and well meaning act of a family member can hurt the pet as this could lead to pancreatitis attack. The enzyme being secreted by the pancreas that aids in the digestion will leak because of the dog’s fatty diet. The pancreas and the surrounding tissues will be damaged resulting to frequent vomiting, blood tinged diarrhea, loss of appetite and weakness of the dog. A mild attack can be over after a day or two but chronic pancreatitis can be fatal as it will have serious side effects such as liver and kidney problems, heart arrhythmia and blood clotting concerns.  These disorders can lead to the death of the dog.


Extremely fatty foods such as the skin of turkey would make the dog gain weight. Obesity is one of the concerns of pet owners that cannot resist indulging the pet. Turkey is a comfort food that pet owners use as a treat for the pet. Obesity is one of the harmful effects of feeding the pet people food. Joint problems, coronary concerns and other diseases that shorten the life span of the pet is often associated with obesity.


The family can let the dog participate in the Thanksgiving feast safely. Give the dog a slice of turkey if you must but be sure to remove the skin and the bones. Turkey bones splinter easily and can puncture the stomach. An alternative is to prepare a home cooked turkey meal for the dog.  This way you can be sure that the dog would get nothing but lean meat.

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