Can Dogs Eat Turkey Insides?

Thanksgiving season means turkey aroma in every corner, and the cheer on our faces screams festivities.

Picture this; you just marinated the turkey; when you’re about to throw the insides in a bin, you stop and wonder if you can put them to better use.

You remember your fur companion, but can dogs eat turkey insides?

Yes, turkey insides are safe for dogs to consume in reasonable quantities.

The rich protein and minerals are beneficial for your pup’s bones and muscle build-up.

Additionally, increased vitamins help in energy metabolism.

Avoid the neck part as it contains bones; unless served raw and under full supervision.

Consult your vet for allergies and portion size before adding giblets.

Turkey insides are delicious and nutrient-dense, but there are some precautions to consider before feeding your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Insides

What constitutes turkey insides?

Turkey insides, commonly known as giblets, include the liver, kidneys, heart, gizzards, and necks–they are included in most store-bought turkeys.

When prepared right, these extras are safe for canines—fully cooked with zero spices or seasonings.

However, avoid the neck since it has tiny bones that could be a choking hazard to dogs.

Similarly, don’t feed dogs raw giblets; they pose high chances of bacterial infection in that state.

Turkey parts to avoid feeding your dogs

The skin

Turkey’s skin is high in fats which can cause gastrointestinal problems for many canines when fed in large amounts.

These combined with rubs or brines in seasonings like garlic or onions are a recipe for disaster for canines.

It could lead to garlic pancreatitis, garlic poisoning, and worsening anemia.


Turkey bones are brittle, cooked, or raw; thus, they pose a high risk of splintering.

This would lead to choking, intestinal obstruction, or excessive damage to the gut and intestines.

In addition, the bones are generally small in size, and big dogs might attempt to swallow them whole, which is problematic.

Small breeds can have raw turkey bones but under supervision.

Dark meat parts 

Turkey’s breasts and thighs have high-fat content, which is harmful to dogs with weight or digestive issues.

The best alternative is ground turkey, which uses meat from all turkey parts.

Are turkey insides good for dogs? Health benefits

Turkey giblets have several health benefits for canines—rich in protein and other essential nutrients for a dog’s diet.

The nutritional value is highlighted below in detail;

Source of minerals

Turkey meat is parked with copper, zinc, phosphorous, and magnesium, which supports thyroid function, boosts immunity, is a high energy source, and strengthens bones and muscles.

The giblets are rich in iron which aids in growth and development.

Riboflavin in turkey meat supports the metabolism of carbohydrates in your dog’s body.

Low-fat content

Most poultry has low-fat content and is often stored just below the skin to keep the meat moist and flavorful; it has significant health concerns.

Luckily, most turkey inside fat is unsaturated and poly-saturated (omega 3 fatty acids), which is healthy for your dog if consumed in moderation.

It’s also a suitable replacement for red meat.

Rich in proteins

Turkey is lean meat with high-quality protein levels; that supplies all the required amino acids for the growth and repair of tissues in dogs.

This protein is easy for dogs’ bodies to digest and use.

Source of vitamins

There’s a high content of the B group of vitamins in turkey meat, including vitamins B3, B6, and B12.

These vitamins are essential for brain functioning, energy production, and cell development.

Prevents some cancers

Poultry meat is associated with reduced risks of developing some cancers.

In this instance, turkey meat minimizes the risk of developing lung cancer.

Boosts cardiovascular health

Regular consumption of turkey meat is linked with improved heart health.

There’s a decreased risk of developing heart diseases when red meat is replaced with turkey.

This typically means heightened longevity and survival.

How do I safely feed my dog turkey insides?

Cooked: Raw turkey giblets have a higher risk of bacterial infection unless it’s prepared explicitly on a raw diet.

Preferably boil or sear over the stovetop for a few minutes.

Plain: Avoid seasonings and spices when preparing giblets for your pup.

Plain is the safest option to prevent complications and maximize the benefits.

Moderation: Feed your pup bite-size chunks as special treats occasionally.

Remember that treats should never take up more than 10% of your dog’s diet.

Can dogs be allergic to turkey insides?

Just like humans are allergic to some foods, so are dogs.

Giblets are protein dense which is a common allergen in dogs.

The extent of allergic reactions varies in different dogs.

For instance, dogs with a yeast problem may experience adverse reactions toward turkey insides since it’s a warming food.

An allergic reaction manifest in symptoms like;

  • Excessive itching
  • Increased paw and ear licking
  • Ear infection
  • Hair loss

What should I do when my dog ingests turkey neck bones?

The first action to take when your dog has eaten a neck bone is to call the vet, whether they show signs of distress or not.

Don’t induce vomiting.

Most times, the small pieces will pass without causing harm, but there are occasions when the bones get stuck in your dog’s gut.

If a neck bone gets lodged in your dog’s throat, they may show distress signs like excessive drooling, coughing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, excessive licking, and rubbing.

Contact your vet immediately if you note these signs.

Can I use turkey neck as a dental chew?

Raw turkey neck can substitute dental chews occasionally.

If you don’t fancy brushing your dog’s teeth, or they just can’t tolerate it, turkey necks are a great option only under supervision.

The chewing process naturally removes plaque and tartar accumulation in their teeth.


Turkey organs are present in most commercial dog food and are rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins necessary for your canine’s health.

When cooked plain, under the guidance of a vet, turkey giblets form an essential dietary addition.

Avoid offering dogs turkey neck unless raw and under supervision.

Otherwise, feel free to let your pup join in the thanksgiving festivities with a few turkey giblets.

Megan Turner
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