Can Dogs Eat Turkey Jerky?

Turkey is popular during thanksgiving, but the jerky is an anytime snack for both humans and dogs.

You might be tempted to share a slice when the aroma attracts your pup as you munch on some.

But hold up!

Although it provides protein and has fewer calories than most meats, it can still be risky to feed your dog turkey jerky if they have certain health conditions like obesity.

So, can dogs eat turkey jerky?

Yes, turkey jerky is a healthy treat for dogs because it’s high in protein and fat but low in carbohydrates.

However, it can be dangerous if not prepared properly or given as a chew toy.

While turkey jerky is nutritious, too much can be risky to their health. 

Your dog can eat turkey jerky treats.

But, you should consider the risks and benefits before offering it to your canine friend.

Read on to learn more…

What is jerky?

Jerky is a slice of dried meat, poultry, or fish.

The dehydration process is gentle and retains most nutrients like vitamins and minerals.

The water removal makes jerky lightweight, prevents spoilage even without a refrigerator, and is nutrient-dense.

Premium turkey jerky is rich in vitamins, high-quality proteins, and nutrients suitable for a dog treat.

The lean meat makes it ideal for dogs on a die, while the chewy aspects contribute to better dental hygiene in canines.

What are the benefits of feeding turkey jerky to dogs?

Turkey jerky has many health benefits for dogs.

It’s full of protein and other essential nutrients for a dog’s diet.

It also helps keep their teeth clean by scraping away plaque and tartar.

The nutritional value is highlighted below in detail;

Rich in minerals

Turkey meat contains zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, and copper that supports thyroid function, boost energy levels, and improve your dog’s immunity.

The cut that makes turkey jerky is rich in iron which contributes to strong bones, cell growth, and development.

Riboflavin also improves metabolism in your dog’s digestive system.


Turkey is high in B vitamins (b3, B6, B12) which boost brain functioning, are a great energy source, and immune improvement.

Low-fat levels

The low-fat content paired with high omega 3 fatty acids makes turkey ideal for weight management and stable heart health if consumed sparingly.

It’s a perfect replacement for red meat in your dog’s diet, which has high fats.

Rich in proteins

Turkey is ground meat full of amino acids that aid in cell growth and repairing body tissues in dogs.

It’s also an easy compound for dogs to digest.

Boosts heart health

Regular consumption of lean turkey meat is good for cardiovascular health in both humans and dogs.

Replacing red meat with white turkey improves heart health and heightens survival.

Prevents cancer

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

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

Can dogs eat turkey jerky

Why you should avoid feeding your dog turkey jerky

Sodium toxicity

Turkey jerky is made from processed turkey that has been dried and flavored with salt, spices, and other ingredients to make it taste like meat.

Because of this processing, turkey jerky is very high in sodium, which can cause dehydration in dogs if they overeat.


Turkey jerky is often larger than the size of a typical dog treat.

Dogs who eat large pieces of turkey jerky risk choking or getting them stuck in their throats or stomachs, leading to severe illness or death if not treated immediately by a veterinarian.

Damaged gum

Turkey jerky can be hard on a dog’s teeth and gums.

If you notice any bleeding when they eat their treats, stop feeding them turkey jerky immediately.

Gastrointestinal risks

Turkey jerky is seasoned with ingredients like garlic, onions, and spices, which are highly toxic to dogs.

Although not dangerous in small doses, increased consumption lead to gastrointestinal issues like anemia and lethargy.


The high-fat content in turkey jerky means increased calorie intake for a dog.

An adult dog’s diet should be at least 5.5% fat per day.

Surpassing this intake leads to weight gain, heart complications, and related chronic diseases.

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

Can a dog be allergic to turkey jerky?

Yes, just like humans are allergic to some foods, so are dogs.

The extent of allergic reactions differs in different dogs.

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

An allergic reaction manifest in symptoms like;

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

How much turkey jerky is enough for my dog?

Feed your dog bite-size turkey jerky in small quantities occasionally.

A build-up of the sodium and fat content in the jerky may lead to chronic diseases that you can easily avoid.

Puppies need a tiny amount since their digestive system is not fully developed to handle meat.

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

Consult your vet about feeding turkey jerky to your dog, especially if they have a preexisting health condition like diabetes or obesity.

What should I do when my dog overeats turkey jerky?

First, find out the amount they consumed.

If your dog ingests a small amount of turkey jerky, they will be fine; no reason to panic.

Closely monitor them for stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your vet once they show
these signs.

If your puppy eats large amounts, it might develop neurologic and gastrointestinal issues from
turkey jerky’s high fat and sodium.

Observe these signs, decreased appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

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


Dogs can eat turkey jerky, but that depends on their weight, age, and health.

Turkey jerky contains too much sodium for small dogs, so use your judgment when deciding whether or not to feed it to your dog.

Choose a healthy, high-quality brand to avoid risks like vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially fatal pancreatitis.

Megan Turner
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