Can Your Dog Eat Turkey? Thanksgiving Dishes Your Canine Can Also Enjoy

Thanksgiving isn't nicknamed "Turkey Day" for no reason. The deliciously seasoned meat is the centerpiece of most American households. So with Thanksgiving approaching fast, you may be wondering if it's safe to share some of your favorite holiday cuisines with your dog.

Your dog will want to engage in the festivities! As they stare at your plate, you may feel tempted to feed them a sliver of delicious turkey- however, there are a few things you should know before you feed turkey to your favorite canine.

Many dog owners are worried about feeding their pups raw meat because of the misconception that raw meats are dangerous. However, many people fail to realize that a dog's digestive system is far different from ours.

Dogs are biologically designed to be resistant to raw food-borne bacteria. Common pathogens like Salmonella or E. Coli cannot survive in the short, acidic digestive tract present in a dog's body. Therefore, raw turkey is perfectly safe!

Therefore, today's blog will be dedicated to the ideal Thanksgiving foods for your dog. We will distinguish between the healthy and the unhealthy ingredients and teach you how to put together the most scrumptious Thanksgiving meal (plus dessert!) for your special canine friend.

No Party without Turkey

Not everything on your Thanksgiving table is safe to feed to your dog. Added sugar, fat, and other ingredients that may not be good for canines should not go in your dog's stomach. That's why you need the best Thanksgiving dinner recipes for dogs.

Whether or not your dog can eat turkey depends on the condition of the bird. If your turkey has already been cooked and seasoned, you want to be very careful when you feed it to your furry friend. Many of the spices we commonly put on our Thanksgiving turkeys (like black pepper, onions, and garlic) are toxic for dogs.

Feeding your dog a piece of seasoned turkey meat may irritate their stomachs, cause diarrhea and vomiting, or cause sodium poisoning. So, it's best to avoid feeding your dog seasoned turkey altogether. However, if you want to include your dog in the turkey festivities, set aside unseasoned boiled turkey, dried turkey treats, or better yet, feed them a raw turkey meal!

The simplest way to give your dog a taste of the celebration is to purchase ground turkey and include that as the protein in your dog's meal on Thanksgiving day. The Rescue Diet is a great way to easily provide your dog with fresh vegetables (Pumpkin, Zucchini, Beets, and Broccoli) and four essential herbs to celebrate the day. As you can see, it looks good enough for you to eat!

According to traditional Chinese medicine, turkey falls into the category of neutral foods, as opposed to those of cooling and warming. It's a lean source of protein (and great for weight management purposes!) that's rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins such as:

  • Iron. A mineral that's needed to carry oxygen throughout the body.
  • Choline. A nutrient responsible for proper liver & brain function. It also reduces seizure frequency in epileptic dogs.
  • Selenium. Mineral with antioxidant properties.
  • Zinc. A Trace mineral and a necessary component of a healthy, functioning immune system.
  • Phosphorus & Calcium. Minerals that are important for skeletal & dental health.
  • Potassium. A mineral needed for healthy muscles, nerves, and enzymes.
  • B vitamins (B 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, Niacin = B 3). Water-soluble nutrients vital for a healthy nervous & immune system, healthy nails & skin, healthy digestion.

Which Cuts Of Raw Turkey Can I Feed?

  1. Turkey necks - They're a favorite raw meaty bone with an excellent crunch factor. Because of their size, we don't recommend whole raw turkey necks for smaller dogs. That said, they can eat them once they've been cut into smaller parts or if they're ground. You can also hold one end of the neck and let your small pup chew on the other end. Then take it away after they've chewed on it for a while.
  2. Turkey gizzards - They're rich, so feeding them in moderation is crucial. Turkey gizzards are fed as muscle meat in raw dog food.
  3. Ground turkey - Whenever you see ground turkey on sale at your local grocery store, buy it and use it for the pups' dinner. It also falls into the muscle meat category of raw dog food.

Avoid Ingredients with No Nutritional Value

The typical Thanksgiving meal contains not only harmful ingredients, but also ingredients that provide no nutritional benefit to canines.

DO NOT Feed:

Turkey Skin

Cooked Turkey Bones

Turkey Stuffing

Turkey Gravy

Candy and Gum (may contain xylitol)

Mashed Potatoes

Creamed Peas

Sweet Potatoes and Yams with added ingredients

Pumpkin Pie (may contain xylitol)

Chocolate Desserts

Alcoholic Beverages

Salads with Raisins or Grapes



DO Feed your Dog:

Turkey Meat (no bone or skin)

Sweet Potatoes

Plain Pumpkin

Plain Peas


Not All Spices Are Healthy

Dogs and spices have an unstable and unpredictable relationship. While some spices are on the safe side, others cause more harm than good, so it's best to avoid them. Ensure that your dog's Thanksgiving meal is free from harmful spices such as:

#1: Onions

Onions contain compounds such as sulfoxides and disulfides that throw the dog's digestive system off balance, cause diarrhea, and attack red blood cells.

#2: Garlic

Ensure that you limit your dog's garlic intake to ¼ clove per 10lbs body weight per day, and that you chop the garlic you want to give your dog 10 minutes before adding it to the food if you want to take advantage of the medicinal properties that garlic holds.

#3: Salt (NaCL - table salt)

We've mentioned earlier how excessive amounts of sodium can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and even gastric dilatation in extreme cases. The canine threshold for salt is significantly lower than ours, so take the "with a grain of salt" phrase literally when cooking your dog's Thanksgiving meal.

#4: Nutmeg

High quantities of nutmeg can severely upset your dog's digestive system, cause agitation in the nervous system, and even prove to be fatal.

Surprise Your Dog with Our Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes!

Are you running low on Thanksgiving meal ideas for your canine friend? Don't worry - we've got you covered. All you need to do is add a little Thanksgiving touch to the AM/PM diet and you can create a fast, simple, and tasty two-part meal for your dog! Now, let's take a look at the two recipes and learn how easy your canine's Thanksgiving meal can be:

#1: AM Portion of the Meal

Ingredients: AM Porridge, Brussel sprouts, pumpkin, parsnips, carrots, unpasteurized raw yogurt/kefir (for probiotics). Make sure that your dog's digestive system can safely process these ingredients.

How to prepare:

  • Cut the veggies and roast at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until soft. Roasting the vegetables will ease digestion. You can use fresh pumpkin or a can of 100% pure, no additive pumpkin.
  • Run the vegetables through a food processor.
  • Add 1 Tbsp. of yogurt for an 8-pound dog and 2 Tbsp. for a 30-pound dog.
  • Add 1 Tbsp. of cooked vegetables for an 8-pound dog and 2 Tbsp. for a 30-pound dog.
  • Add 1 Tbsp. of the foundation mix for an 8-pound dog and 2 Tbsp. for a 30-pound dog.
  • Add warm water to the dehydrated foundation mix. The warm water will bring out the aromatic essences of all the foods and increase the meal's palatability.
  • Mix the ingredients and feed to your dog.

#2: PM Portion of the Meal

Ingredients: PM Crumble, domestic organic turkey.

How to prepare:

  • Put 1 Tbsp. of the foundation mix for an 8-pound dog and 1/3 cup for a 30-pound dog in a bowl.
  • Feed the turkey meat raw or gently cook (no need for organs). Add 1/3 cup of turkey meat for an 8-pound dog and 2/3 cup for a 30-pound dog.
  • Add warm water to the dehydrated foundation mix. The warm water will bring out the aromatic essences of all the foods and increase the meal's palatability.
  • Mix the ingredients and feed to your dog.

Don’t Forget about the Volhard Pumpkin Treats

We’re sure that your dog will enjoy a little treat between meals, so we’ve also put together a simple pumpkin treat recipe to reward your dog between meals.

Ingredients: 4 cups oats, 1 cup millet (or barley), 1 cup whole wheat flour, 4 eggs with shells, 1/2 cup safflower oil, 1/2 cup molasses, 2 Tbsp. local raw honey, 1 Tbsp. cinnamon, 1 cup pumpkin, 1/4 cup boiling water.

How to prepare:

  • Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Spray your chosen pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bake at 350°F (10-15 minutes for cupcake pans and 45-60 minutes for 9x13 pans).
  • If your dog likes his treats crispier, you can turn off the oven and leave the pumpkin treats in for an additional 10-30 minutes.

Macronutrient analysis:

  • Protein: 7.18%
  • Fat: 11.91%
  • Ash: 1.28%
  • Fiber: 4.83%
  • Net carbohydrates: 37.76%
  • Total kcal in recipe: 3,318
  • Kcal per gram: 2.59

A Parting Reminder

It's shaping up to be quite a delicious Thanksgiving for your dog. We hope that our Thanksgiving meal recipes will delight your canine friend and prove your love, trust, and appreciation for him. For more advice on dog nutrition, health, and training, make sure that you contact us or check out our blog!

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