Can Dogs Have Turkey Skin? Explore The Risks And Benefits

Responsible pet owners should provide their furry companions with safe and wholesome treats – that’s something we all know.

Among all the questions about feeding our dogs, a common query revolves around the holiday favorite, turkey. So, can dogs have turkey skin? 

Well, I can understand your temptation to share a little indulgence with your four-legged friends, especially when the holiday season approaches and the aroma of roasted turkey fills the air.

In this article, I will take a close look at the topic, providing valuable insights into whether turkey skin is safe for dogs to consume. Let’s begin, shall we? 

Can Dogs Have Turkey Skin?

can dogs have turkey skin

It is not advisable to feed your dog turkey skin. This treat is high in fat, which can lead to digestive upset and potentially severe conditions like pancreatitis.

Additionally, the skin might contain harmful seasonings or additives that can be toxic to your furry friend.


Turkey skin does have several benefits for your beloved pet, such as: 

  • Flavor: Like humans, dogs can be drawn to the appealing aroma and taste of turkey skin. The rich flavors might make it seem like an enticing treat for your pet.
  • High protein content: Turkey skin is a rich source of lean protein, which is essential for muscle maintenance, immune system function, and overall health in dogs.


However, the risks associated with turkey skin outweigh any potential plus point: 

High Fat Content 

This is the primary concern with turkey skin.

According to research, 100 grams of turkey meat with the skin contains 5.5 grams of fat, while the same amount only contains 2 grams without the skin.

Our furry friends’ digestive systems can’t handle large quantities of fat. Consumption of excessive fat can lead to pancreatitis, where the pancreas becomes inflamed.

Pancreatitis can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. The condition may even be lethal in severe cases.

Seasonings And Additives 

The turkey skin might be seasoned or cooked with various additives, including salt, garlic, onions, or other spices.

These ingredients are commonly used in human cooking but can be harmful to dogs.

Garlic and onions, in particular, are known to be toxic to dogs and can damage their red blood cells.

Even if the skin appears unseasoned, it’s challenging to know for sure what cooking methods or ingredients were used.

Digestive Upset 

Dogs have sensitive digestive systems, so consuming new or fatty foods can lead to gastrointestinal upset.

Feeding your dog turkey skin may result in digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting, or discomfort. To prevent these problems, it’s crucial to stick to a regular, balanced diet.

Is Turkey A Safe Treat For Your Dogs? 

So, is turkey skin bad for dogs? The answer is yes. But what about turkey meat, bones, and fat? What part of turkey is safe for dogs? Scroll down! 

Can Dogs Have Turkey Meat? 

Plain, well-cooked turkey meat without any seasoning or additives can be safe for dogs.

Turkey meat is a good source of lean protein with much less fat than the skin. Dogs can eat turkey cold-cuts, too.

However, I don’t recommend feeding your dogs raw turkey. This often contains harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E.

coli, which can lead to food poisoning and serious health issues.

Feeding raw meat to dogs increases the risk of them becoming carriers of bacteria, potentially posing a health risk to both the pet and their human family members.

Can Dogs Have Turkey Bones?

Dogs should never be given turkey bones or other bones, which can splinter easily.

When this happens, it might pose a significant choking hazard or cause internal injuries to dogs.

The sharp fragments can puncture the digestive tract, leading to severe complications that may require emergency veterinary care.

Can Dogs Have Turkey Fat? 

Turkey fat is not suitable for dogs. As mentioned, any food high in fat can lead to digestive upset, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Additionally, excessive consumption of fat increases the risk of pancreatitis in dogs.

Can Dogs Have Processed Turkey? 

Processed turkey products typically have a high sodium content, which can harm your pet, especially in large quantities.

Excess sodium can lead to dehydration and increased thirst. It may also exacerbate an existing health condition, like heart or kidney problems.

Tips For Safely Feeding Turkey To Your Puppers

why can't dogs have turkey skin

If you are planning to treat your furry friend to some turkey goodness, make sure you stick to these safety tips:

Remove The Turkey Skin 

Before offering turkey to your dog, remember to remove the skin.

While dogs can consume a minimal amount of turkey skin, you won’t know for certain whether its high fat content can trigger digestive problems.

Thus, it’s safer to err on the side of caution and keep the turkey skin off the menu. This helps your dog avoid unnecessary health risks associated with consuming excessive fat.

Be Careful Of Turkey Bone

As mentioned, turkey bones may pose a choking hazard. I would recommend removing the bones before serving turkey to your dog.

Ensure they are properly disposed of in a secure trash container where your dog cannot access them.

Try Not To Add Any Seasoning

When sharing turkey with your dog, resist the urge to add any seasonings, spices, or sauces. Offer plain, unseasoned turkey meat to avoid potential health issues.

Start Small

Start with small amounts if this is your dog’s first time trying turkey. Monitor their response and watch for any signs of digestive upset or adverse reactions.

Some dogs may be sensitive to new foods, so introducing turkey gradually allows you to assess how well they tolerate it.

Know When To See The Vet 

Even with the best intentions and precautions, pooches can sometimes have adverse reactions to certain dog foods.

If you notice any signs of discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, or other unusual symptoms after feeding your dog turkey, contact your vet promptly.

They can provide the appropriate guidance and ensure your dog receives the necessary care.

Other Sources Of Protein For Your Dogs 

Apart from turkey, there are several safe sources of protein for dogs. Excellent alternatives include:

  • Chicken: Cooked, boneless, and skinless chicken is a lean protein source easily digestible for dogs.
  • Beef: Cooked lean beef, such as ground beef or beef cuts without excess fat, can provide dogs with essential protein and nutrients. Avoid feeding fatty cuts of beef with bones.
  • Fish: Certain fish, like salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can promote a healthy coat and skin. Ensure the fish is fully cooked, boneless, and free from any seasonings or sauces.
  • Eggs: Eggs can be given to dogs in moderation. It can be an alternative source of protein if your dog doesn’t like meat. Cooked eggs are best to avoid any potential issues with raw egg whites affecting biotin absorption.

Before introducing any new protein source into your dog’s diet, consult your veterinarian to ensure it aligns with their dietary requirements and health conditions.

Whether you choose chicken, fish, or lamb, only offer it in moderation to maintain a balanced diet for your furry friend.


is turkey skin bad for dogs

How Much Turkey Can I Give My Dogs?

The amount of turkey you can give your dogs depends on their size, age, and overall health.

As a general guideline, treats and human food should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

Calculate your dog’s daily caloric needs and ensure that the amount of turkey you give them fits within the 10% treat allowance of their total daily calories.

Is Turkey Better Than Chicken For Dogs?

Both turkey and chicken can be nutritious protein sources for dogs if prepared correctly, and the choice between the two depends on individual preferences and dietary needs.

Turkey tends to be leaner, making it a good option for dogs that require a lower-fat diet.

On the other hand, chicken is a widely available and easily digestible protein source that many dogs enjoy.

What Is The Healthiest Meat For Dogs?

The healthiest meat for dogs should be lean, unprocessed, and cooked thoroughly.

Chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of beef or lamb are often considered healthy choices due to their high-quality protein content.

Fish, such as salmon, can also be a beneficial addition to a dog’s diet, as it provides omega-3 fatty acids that support skin and coat health.

Ultimately, the healthiest meat for a dog depends on their individual needs, allergies, and sensitivities.

The Bottom Line

Can dogs have turkey skin? You have the answer now! While dogs may find turkey skin delicious and tempting, it is generally not recommended to feed it to them.

This indulgence can be difficult for dogs to digest, potentially leading to stomach upset, pancreatitis, or other health issues.

To ensure the well-being of our canine companions, it’s best to avoid giving them turkey skin altogether.

Instead, stick to safe and dog-friendly treats or consult with a veterinarian for appropriate dietary choices.

Remember, a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for maintaining your beloved pet’s happy and healthy life!


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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