Is Turkey Meat Good For My Dog?

When you think of turkey, you automatically think of Thanksgiving Day, a season of joy and great food. But when you have your dog stare at you with their saliva drooling for a piece of that juicy turkey, we frequently say no to them due to uncertainty concerning whether they can eat some.

In this article, we will answer all the questions you may have about whether turkey is beneficial for your dog!

What is turkey meat meal in dog food?

While turkey is a fantastic source of protein for your dog, it is also delicious and easy to digest. Not only that, it has a lower caloric and fat content compared to chicken.

Additionally, turkey meals can be prepared in two ways - fresh or dry. Here’s what each meal consists of:

Fresh Meat

Fresh turkey meat is raw muscle meat that provides high quality and digestible protein. In addition, it contains a variety of essential fats, vitamins, and minerals. Here are the ingredients of a fresh meal.

  • Fresh turkey
  • Deboned turkey
  • Freshly prepared turkey

Pre-Prepared (Dry Kibble)

Kibbles are convenient, easy to portion, and will not spoil if left out all day. Here are the ingredients of a dry meal.

  • Turkey Meal (Leftover meat that has been rendered and processed beyond recognition)
  • Dried Turkey
  • Dehydrated Turkey

Is turkey a novel protein?

Yes, it is. The term "novel" protein refers to a "new" protein that your pet has never eaten before. As beef, chicken, and lamb are more commonly used in dog food, turkeys are categorised as such.

Some dogs may develop allergies to common commercial food ingredients, particularly chicken. As a result, switching to turkey meat as an alternative may help in reducing allergy symptoms because its proteins are different than those of chicken.

You can also introduce a raw food diet, including turkey necks as raw meaty bones. These bones are made up of raw meat and soft edible bone and can be eaten as a whole.

This will help in dental cleaning and provide your dog calcium. You can also grind raw turkey meat before feeding it to your dog for easy consumption.

Besides turkey, here are the top 4 novel proteins that are good for dogs:

  • Venison
  • Duck
  • Kangaroo
  • Crocodile

Is turkey good for dogs to eat?

Yes, turkey is safe for dogs. The nutrients like protein, riboflavin, and phosphorus that it contains make it a popular addition to your canine’s diet. With veterinarian supervision, it can be a beneficial part of a homemade dog food diet.

Do remember not to feed your dog marinated and seasoned turkey. Additionally, don't rub the meat with butter or oils.

Although it's enticing to the eye and nose, it may cause digestive issues or pancreatitis for your canine.

Also, ensure that the turkey is freshly prepared, following proper safety procedures. Preservative-filled turkey, such as the kind found in most sandwiches, may contain chemicals that dogs have difficulty in digesting. To be on the safe side, stay away from meat that is processed for human cuisine.

If my dog is allergic to chicken can he eat turkey?

Yes, he can. Because the proteins in chicken and turkey are different, having an allergy to one does not rule out the possibility of having an allergy to the other.

A dog is not born with an allergy; instead, it develops it over time. Hence, the immune system recognises this specific protein as a problem and begins to treat it as an invading enemy.

A turkey is roughly the size of a large hen in human terms. However, the protein composition of each varies greatly. Turkey is a lean, easily digestible protein and aids in muscle building.

This protein also provides your dog with the energy it requires. In addition, turkey is high in minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin. It's also an excellent choice for dogs who are sensitive to or allergic to chicken or beef.

If you want to know whether your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction to turkey, it may start scratching excessively, experience hair loss, paw biting, skin rashes and vomiting.

In a severe reaction, a dog's muzzle might swell, and it could develop welts on its face. If you notice that your dog is reacting to turkey, stop feeding it immediately and bring it to your local vet as soon as possible.

How to make turkey homemade dog food?

Dogs with allergies, skin problems or digestive sensitivities may benefit from homemade dog food in particular. With that being said, boiled turkey is an excellent option for those who need a bland diet.

If you intend to feed your dog’s homemade food, you should talk to your veterinarian first to ensure you give your dog a well-balanced diet. Nevertheless, here are the necessary nutrients dogs need:

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals, including calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.
  • Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K

Check out Petcube raw turkey (coming soon!) is a great option for convenience and ensuring your dog gets all of the nutrients he needs.

How to safely feed my dog turkey?

If you choose to include turkey in your dog’s diet, there are a few things you need to know to do it safely. Here are a few simple tips on how to properly provide your canine turkey:

  1. Only feed your dog turkey meat, garlic has the potential to be harmful in large doses, while onions are always toxic to dogs.
  2. Discuss the possibility of including food scraps in your dog's diet with your veterinarian, especially if your dog already has a health condition like diabetes.
  3. Check the meat you feed your dog to see if there are any bones in it.Because poultry bones are hard and small in size, they are very dangerous for dogs if swallowed.

How to safely feed raw turkey meat to your dog?

A raw diet is known to be healthy for your dogs. To prepare the meal safely, here are three essential tips:

  1. The meat has to be fresh. Avoid buying expired or rotten meat for your dogs.
  2. After purchasing, it is necessary to wash the turkey meat thoroughly before cutting it into different portions and weighing it according to your dog's needs.
  3. Do not feed the dogs cold turkey because it will upset their stomach.

In addition, here are some pointers for avoiding infection and cross-contamination while handling raw meat;

  • Make sure all surfaces and objects that come into contact with raw pet food are clean and disinfected completely.
  • Until you're ready to use them, store raw meat and poultry products in the freezer. Before serving, make sure it's at room temperature.
  • Keep raw food separate from other food.
  • If your pet doesn't finish the food, store it in the refrigerator or dispose of it properly.
  • Avoid kissing your pet around the mouth and allowing your pet to lick your face. This is important if your pet has recently consumed raw food.

How much turkey meat should I feed my dog?

Dogs need 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram based on the ideal body weight of your dogs. For example, a 20kg dog requires 44 grams of protein each day.

With this being said, turkey also contains an essential amino acid known as tryptophan. Excessive feeding of turkey meat will increase flatulence in dogs.

Therefore, you have to ensure that your pets are fed in accordance to their respective ideal body weight portion.

Here are some turkey parts you can feed your dog with;

  • White meat (breast and wing muscles of a turkey)
  • Dark meat (thighs and drumsticks of a turkey)
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Gizzard
  • Neck


Turkey can provide your dog with a variety of nutrients. As long as you follow the above guidelines, this protein is healthy and safe for your canine. If you have any doubts, consult your veterinarian right away.

Reviewed by: 

Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.