Can You Give Your Dog Turkey Bones? A Comprehensive Guide

There is much debate about the safety of giving dogs ‘real’ bones like those from a turkey. Although your best friend may be accustomed to bone-shaped biscuits, we looked into the advantages and disadvantages of giving your dog a turkey bone. Here’s what you need to know before you throw a dog a bone.

Hey there, fellow dog lovers! We all want the best for our furry companions, and that includes keeping them safe and healthy. So, when it comes to holiday feasts, a common question arises: can dogs eat turkey bones?

The short answer is no. Cooked turkey bones are a big no-no for our canine friends. They can splinter easily and cause serious internal injuries. But what about raw turkey bones? Are those okay?

Well, it’s a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. While raw bones are generally safer than cooked ones, there are still some risks involved.

Let’s dive deeper into the world of turkey bones and dogs, exploring the potential dangers the benefits (yes there are some!), and how to navigate this bone-y situation safely.

Why Cooked Turkey Bones Are a Big No-No

Cooked bones, especially those from poultry like turkey and chicken, are extremely dangerous for dogs. Here’s why:

  • Splintering: When cooked, bones become brittle and easily break into sharp shards. These shards can get lodged in your dog’s throat, esophagus, or intestines, causing severe internal damage, bleeding, and even death.
  • Choking: Large bone fragments can also pose a choking hazard, blocking your dog’s airway and leading to an emergency situation.
  • Digestive issues: Even if your dog manages to swallow smaller bone pieces, they can still irritate their digestive system, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

The bottom line: Cooked turkey bones are simply not worth the risk. They offer no nutritional value and pose a serious threat to your dog’s health.

Raw Turkey Bones: Proceed with Caution

Raw turkey bones are a different story. They are less likely to splinter and can provide some benefits, such as:

  • Dental health: Chewing on raw bones can help clean your dog’s teeth and gums, reducing plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Mental stimulation: Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and raw bones can provide them with mental stimulation and enrichment.
  • Nutritional value: Raw bones contain some nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus, which can be beneficial for your dog’s health.

However, raw turkey bones still come with risks:

  • Bacterial contamination: Raw bones can harbor harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause food poisoning in dogs and humans.
  • Choking hazard: Large bone fragments can still pose a choking hazard.
  • Intestinal blockage: Even small bone pieces can cause intestinal blockages, requiring surgery to remove.

Therefore, if you decide to give your dog a raw turkey bone, do so with caution:

  • Choose the right size: The bone should be large enough that your dog can’t swallow it whole.
  • Supervise closely: Never leave your dog unattended with a raw bone.
  • Discard splintered bones: If the bone starts to splinter, take it away from your dog immediately.
  • Consider alternatives: There are many safe and healthy chew toys available that can provide your dog with similar benefits to raw bones.

Alternatives to Turkey Bones

If you’re looking for a safe and healthy alternative to turkey bones, here are some options:

  • Dental chews: These chews are designed to clean your dog’s teeth and gums while providing them with a satisfying chewing experience.
  • Rawhide bones: Rawhide bones are made from the inner layer of cowhide and are a popular choice for dogs. However, they should be given in moderation as they can be a choking hazard.
  • Frozen carrots or celery sticks: These crunchy vegetables can help clean your dog’s teeth and provide them with a refreshing treat.
  • Commercial chew toys: There are many different types of chew toys available, made from various materials like rubber, nylon, and rope. Choose a toy that is appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing habits.

The Final Verdict: Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?

While raw turkey bones may offer some benefits, they also come with risks. Cooked turkey bones, on the other hand, are absolutely off-limits for dogs.

The best approach is to err on the side of caution and choose safer alternatives for your furry friend. There are plenty of options available that can provide your dog with the same enjoyment and benefits without the potential for harm.

Remember, your dog’s health and safety should always be your top priority. So, skip the turkey bones and opt for safer alternatives to keep your canine companion happy and healthy.

Can dogs eat cooked turkey bones?

First things first, it’s important that you don’t ever feed cooked turkey bones to a dog. Cooked bones are harmful to dogs, despite how tempting it may be to give them a small taste of that delectable holiday feast. They have the potential to break and result in various issues, such as wounds to the puppy’s mouth and teeth, intestinal obstructions, and stomach distress.

Surgery may be necessary to fix wounds like chipped teeth, mouth cuts, jaw damage, or bones stuck in the stomach. This is why it is important that you avoid giving your pup cooked bones. These injuries can be painful, expensive, and even in some cases, fatal. Therefore, just say no to cooked turkey bones and your dog (don’t worry, we’ll remind you throughout this blog post)!

Can dogs eat raw turkey bones?

Having read through all of these possible outcomes, you’re probably wondering if turkey bones are even appropriate for your dog. The answer is yes, as long as the bones are raw. Although raw bones are generally a good choice for puppies, the bones of turkeys, chickens, and other poultry still have a tendency to be thinner and more prone to splintering. Therefore, it’s crucial that you keep a close eye on your dog when they’re eating if you do share some raw bone with them.

Raw bones and meat can come with additional risks for foodborne illness. Most healthy dogs should be able to handle raw bones. But, if you have an elderly or immunocompromised dog, check with your vet before feeding anything raw. To prevent the spread of bacteria and foodborne illnesses, don’t forget to clean your dog’s dish as well as any chopping boards, knives, and areas used for food prep that came into contact with raw meat or bone.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones? Yes and No!


Are turkey bones safe for dogs?

Whether you have leftovers from your Thanksgiving turkey or an excess of table scraps after a big meal, it’s natural for dog owners to wonder if dogs can eat turkey bones. The short answer is no, since the bones can splinter and cause internal damage.

Can I give my dog a raw turkey leg?

Raw bones, in general, are usually a good option for pups to have, but turkey and chicken bones (as well as other types of poultry) still tend to be thinner and splinter easier. So if you do share some raw bone with your dog, it’s important that you supervise them closely when they’re eating.

What type of bone is safe for dogs?

Safe raw bones include lamb and beef, while unsafe raw bones include smaller more brittle chicken bones, turkey bones, pork bones, and rib bones. While they are hard to shatter, it’s still important to supervise your dog when chewing to make sure no parts are chipping off.

Can you give cooked turkey to dogs?

Yes, when cooked and prepared properly—and given in very small portions—turkey can be a healthy, occasional treat for dogs. Make sure it is fully cooked; has no skin, bones, or fat; and is not cooked with any other ingredients or seasonings.

Can dogs eat cooked turkey bones?

This is because garlic and onions contain compounds that destroy red blood cells in dogs (and cats). As with cooked chicken bones, cooked turkey bones are a no-go. Cooking breaks down the structural integrity of the bone such that they can easily shatter.

What should I do if my dog eats leftover turkey bones?

1. Call the veterinarian. If your dog eats leftover turkey bones, immediately contact your vet, so they can advise you on the proper steps to take based on any symptoms your dog is experiencing. 2. Monitor for adverse side effects.

Are turkey bones toxic to dogs?

Turkey bones aren’t toxic, so you don’t need to worry about rushing your dog to the vet in most cases. However, they aren’t safe and can cause a range of complications. Therefore, monitoring is very important in these situations. Firstly, don’t panic. Although the bone can cause problems for some dogs, the chance of serious complications is low.

Can dogs eat turkey?

Turkey is one of the leanest protein sources available, making it a yummy treat and great addition to the diet of most dogs. Giving your dog fresh, nutrient-packed turkey as part of their balanced diet is great for their overall wellness.

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