Can Dogs Eat Deli Turkey?

Deli turkey is flavorful, and just a whiff will get your canine friend running toward you for a bite.

As a dog owner, it’s hard to deny them a slice but first consider their health before throwing them a delicious deli turkey.

The predatory nature of dogs loves any sort of meat, but is deli turkey a safe option?

Although deli meat is processed, it has nutritional value if consumed moderately.

Can dogs eat turkey deli? Yes, dogs can eat deli turkey in moderate quantities.

Although deli turkey is not toxic to dogs, the high sodium, fat content, preservatives and additives can be potential health hazards for your pup’s health when consumed regularly.

Pick deli meat with low sodium and fat like turkey breasts if you plan on feeding to your furry pal as an occasional treat.

Dog feeding can be challenging, especially for new dog owners but worry not.

This article gives you the nitty-gritty details about dogs and deli turkey.  

Potential dangers of feeding your dog deli turkey

Deli meat is overly processed and typically high in fat, sodium, preservatives and other additives not necessary for your canine friend.

These are the most concern about feeding your dog deli turkey:


An adult dog’s diet should be at least 5.5% fat, according to AAFCO.

Surpassing could lead to weight gain, heart conditions, pancreatitis and other chronic diseases.

Deli turkey is best as an occasional treat which should not be more than 10% of your dog’s diet.

High-fat content means increased calories, which should not exceed the required calorie intake in a day for a dog.

Consult your vet on the precise portions based on your dog’s age, size and pre-existing medical condition.   

Sodium and nitrates

Sodium and nitrates are used as preservatives to give the deli turkey its salty and savory taste and maintain freshness for longer.

Healthy dogs can stomach these in small quantities.

Your dog risks developing hypertension, kidney failure, and heart disease in high doses.

These conditions could be fatal in the long run.


Deli turkey is blended with spices and seasonings like onions and garlic, which are toxic to dogs.

Although not harmful in small quantities, consumption in high doses could lead to gastrointestinal issues like anemia and lethargy.   

Food allergies and intolerance

Some dogs are allergic to meat, and deli turkey may not be appropriate.

For instance, ground turkey is an excellent source of protein for dogs, but it’s also a warming food—dangerous for dogs with yeast problems.

When your dog eats trigger foods, its body responds with the following symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Hair loss
  • Excess paw and ear licking
  • Ear infections

Allergic reactions occur almost immediately, while food intolerance may take time to develop.

Always check with your vet before feeding it to your furry companion.

Why you should include turkey meat in your dog’s diet

  • Source of high-quality protein – Turkey is lean meat rich in proteins like amino acids that aid in the growth and repayment of body tissues in dogs. Ground turkey is easy for your dogs to digest and utilize in their body.
  • Low fat – Turkey meat has low-fat content with high levels of omega 3 fatty acids good for your dog’s health if consumed moderately. Although fat keeps the meat moist, flavorful and succulent, it’s problematic for dogs in the long run if consumed regularly. This good type of saturated and poly-saturated fat in turkey meat is a suitable replacement for red meat in your dog’s diet.
  • Rich in vitamins – Turkey meat is saturated with B groups of vitamins like vitamins B3, B6, and B12. These vitamins help in brain functioning, cell growth and development and offer a great energy source for your canine friend.
  • Source of minerals – Turkey is high in copper, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium, essential for thyroid functioning, an immunity booster and a high energy source. The cut that makes deli turkey is rich in iron which aids in cell growth and development and strong bones and muscles. Riboflavin in turkey meat supports the metabolism of carbohydrates in your dog’s body.
  • Cardiovascular health – Regular consumption of ground turkey meat is good for heart health in both humans and dogs. Replacing red meat with white turkey improves cardiovascular health and heightens survival.
  • Cancer – Poultry meat is associated with reduced risks of developing some cancers. In this instance, turkey meat minimizes the risk of developing lung cancer.

What to do when your dog overeats deli turkey

First, find out the amount they consumed.

If your dog ingests a small amount of deli turkey; no reason to panic.

Closely monitor them for stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Immediately contact your vet once they show these signs.

If your puppy eats large amounts, it might develop neurologic and gastrointestinal issues from deli turkey’s high fat and sodium—the signs to observe; decreased appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

These symptoms may develop from mild to chronic within a short period and require immediate vet attention.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

My dog is diabetic. Can I feed them deli turkey?


Dogs with diabetes should not be fed deli turkey.

Although deli turkey is not toxic, it’s overly processed with increased sodium and flavoring additives dangerous for a diabetic dog.

Always check with your vet to ensure your dog is fit to eat certain treats.

How much deli turkey is enough for a dog?

Feed your furry friend deli turkey in small amounts.
Ensure the chunks are bite-size and only provide them as special treats occasionally.
A build-up of the sodium and fat content in the ham may lead to chronic diseases that can easily be avoided.
Remember that treats should never take up more than 10% of your dog’s diet.
Consult your vet about adding feeding deli turkey to your dog, especially if they have a preexisting health condition like diabetes or obesity.

The bottom line

Plain deli turkey is the healthiest option for your dog.

Unfortunately, store-bought deli turkey has high sodium and fat content and is unsuitable for your dog’s diet.

However, it’s a great occasional treat for healthy dogs; ensure you consult your vet beforehand.

Other alternative healthy treats like veggies, fruits and plain meaty foods that your dog can enjoy.

Megan Turner

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *