Can Dogs or Cats Eat Thanksgiving Turkey Without Any Problems?

Thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving is almost near and your pooch may be looking at you with their puppy eyes so you can give them pieces of the turkey. But is it okay to give your dogs thanksgiving turkey?

Can dogs or cats eat Thanksgiving Turkey without any problems?

No, your dog or cat shouldn’t eat Thanksgiving turkey because it contains a high content of fat, cooked with herbs, spices, onions, oils that can harm your dog or cat, and contains cooked bones that will harm your dog or cat when they ingest it.

Why is Thanksgiving Turkey harmful to your dog and cats?

Can Dogs or Cats Eat Thanksgiving Turkey Without Any Problems? |
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Even though your adorable pooch may look at you with their adorable puppy eyes when they see the turkey, they must not eat this Thanksgiving turkey.

Thanksgiving Turkey is harmful to your dog making them sick. It has lead many dogs and cats to the emergency room for treatment.

Reasons that a Thanksgiving turkey is harmful to your dog and cat:

The way it is cooked: The turkey is cooked with onions, spices, herbs, oils that can cause your dog a whole set of digestive problems. Onions are also considered toxic for dogs causing them damage to their red blood cells.

If your dog has eaten onions, they will probably start to vomit and have diarrhea.

Also, the stuffing contains raisins and currants which are quite harmful causing them kidney damage.

Cooked with salt, a Thanksgiving turkey can be very dangerous for your dog causing them urination, vomiting, and diarrhea.

High content of fats: A Thanksgiving turkey is also dipped in high amounts of fats and oils which are very harmful to your dog.

Many concentrated amounts of fat are also found in your turkey’s skin and gravy.

All of these fats when ingested will lead them to develop pancreatitis, a condition where the pancreas is inflamed. As a general rule, the pancreas makes enzymes that help digest food so nutrients can be absorbed.

However, when the pancreas is inflamed, it causes an unusual production of enzymes that aren’t necessary and actually harmful to your dog’s health.

These enzymes will end up digesting the pancreas itself. If your dog’s pancreas is inflamed, they will show signs such as a having loss of appetite, vomiting, and is being depressed.

You must pay attention to your dog if they show any of these signs because it can lead to fatal conditions, such as liver and kidney damage, heart arrhythmia, dehydration, and blood clotting disorders which pose a great danger for your dog.

Cooked bones: The turkey’s cooked bones can cause your dog a whole set of problems especially when they are small in size.

When your dog is chewing on these bones, they can cause injury to their mouth and throat because they are sharp.

Due to their small size, your dog can even swallow these bones causing them damage to their intestine, throat, and stomach.

In severe cases, it can cause blockage where your dog may die if not treated immediately.

Cooked bones can also cause your dog to choke when they are stuck in their throat.

Even if they pass through their throat, they can still pierce your dog’s stomach and intestine lining.

When is eating turkey safe for your dog and cat?

Can Dogs or Cats Eat Thanksgiving Turkey Without Any Problems? |
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The only time that turkey is safe for your dog is when it cooked plainly without spices, fats, onions, and without the skin and bones. Also, you have to be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t have an allergy after eating the turkey.

The lean meat of the turkey isn’t toxic to either dogs or cats. In fact, cat and dog food contain turkey in their kibble.

Meanwhile, plain turkey offers your dog high-quality protein and nutrients that will benefit their bodies making them strong and healthy. Being low in fats, it won’t harm your dog and cat.

Also, it is a source for riboflavin and phosphorus further benefiting their bodies.

Here are some tips when your dog can eat turkey:

  • Give your dog and cat turkey only when it is lean meat where the skin and bones are removed.
  • Avoid giving your dog the skin and any fatty areas such as the turkey legs because they can lead them to develop pancreatitis. Giving your cat too much fat can make them gain weight.

How much turkey can you give to your dog?

This totally depends on how you serve your dog the food. If you want to replace your dog’s meal with turkey, then you could replace about 3/4 of their daily intake.

The exact amount of turkey that you can give to your dog depends on their size and age. It is best determined by your vet.

Give your dog small quantities of turkey because their stomach isn’t big enough and so it doesn’t cause them problems. It must be given in moderation.

You can offer your dog other sources of meats too but be moderate in the amount that you serve them.

How much turkey can you give your cat?

Can Dogs or Cats Eat Thanksgiving Turkey Without Any Problems? |
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As a general rule, avoid giving your cat turkey as a daily meal. On average, an adult cat can have only one ounce of cooked turkey at a time.

Like dogs, the amount of turkey that you can give to your cat depends on factors such as their size and age. Consult your vet to be sure about the specific amount that you can provide.

Again, be moderate with the amount that you give your cat.

Can cats or dogs eat raw turkey?

No, raw turkey isn’t a good option for your cat and dog. Eating raw turkey will cause both your cat and dog to develop salmonella, a bacteria that spreads and causes gastrointestinal illness.

Raw turkey can lead to an unbalanced diet for your cat and dog. Avoid serving your dog and cat raw turkey at all costs.

So, how do know that the turkey is very well cooked? for the turkey to be cooked effectively, it is best recommended that the turkey is cooked at a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can cats or dogs be allergic to turkey?

Can Dogs or Cats Eat Thanksgiving Turkey Without Any Problems? |
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Yes, there are some cats and dogs who are allergic to turkey. They even experience the same symptoms of an allergic reaction to turkey.

Dogs who are allergic to turkey will have symptoms such as scratching, losing their hair, biting their paws, skin rashes, and vomiting.

If you notice that your dog is allergic to turkey, stop feeding them the turkey immediately and give them a bath to cool any rashes that they have.

If the allergic reaction is serious, take your dog immediately to the vet.

While cats can also be allergic to turkey. If they are allergic to turkey, they will have symptoms like itchy skin, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and eye discharge.

To treat turkey allergies in cats, you have to stop giving your dog turkey.

So, why some dogs and cats are allergic to turkey? They are allergic to turkey because of these reasons:

  • A sensitive immune system which sees turkey as a threat
  • A hereditary disposition against turkey
  • Proteins in turkey react with gastrointestinal system badly

Unfortunately, this means that your dog or cat can’t eat turkey; however, you can still replace turkey with other types of meats. Test their reaction to seeing if they don’t also have an allergic reaction to these meats.

Related questions

1.) Can your dog eat turkey breasts?

As long as your dog isn’t allergic to turkey, you can serve them turkey breasts at moderate amounts.

However, you got to stay away from fatty snacks such as trimmings, turkey skin, gravy which can inflame the pancreas causing pancreatitis.

Also, avoid giving your dog turkey bones as they can cause serious problems.

2.) Can cats eat smoked turkey?

Yes, cats can eat smoked turkey as long as they don’t eat them a lot on a regular basis.


Your dog or cat shouldn’t eat Thanksgiving turkey.

It is really harmful to them because it contains ingredients that can cause your dog or cat to develop pancreatitis, digestive problems, choking, and many other bad effects.

Instead, they can eat plain turkey but still in moderate amounts. Never give them raw turkey and watch them if they have an allergic reaction to turkey.

To know more about whether dogs know they are dying, check Do Dogs Know They Are Dying and What to Do About it?

Share your opinion. Do you think that giving your dog or cat Thanksgiving turkey a good option or is terminal to their health?

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Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

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