Why Can’t Dogs Eat Turkey Skin

Why Can’t Dogs Eat Turkey Skin?

Thanksgiving is a time of abundance, with delicious meals and treats galore. As pet owners, we may be tempted to share the festivities with our furry friends, but it’s important to remember that some human foods can be harmful to dogs. One such food is turkey skin. While it may be tempting to give your pup a tasty morsel, here are a few reasons why you should avoid feeding them turkey skin.

1. High Fat Content: Turkey skin is rich in fat, which can lead to gastrointestinal upset and even pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a serious condition that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

2. Difficult to Digest: The high fat content of turkey skin can be challenging for dogs to digest. Feeding them fatty foods can lead to an upset stomach, indigestion, and discomfort.

3. Risk of Choking: Turkey skin is often greasy and can become slippery, increasing the risk of your dog choking on it. This is especially true for small dogs or ones that tend to gulp their food without chewing.

4. Seasonings and Spices: Turkey skin is usually seasoned with various spices and herbs that may be harmful to dogs. Ingredients such as garlic, onion, and certain herbs can be toxic to canines and should be avoided.

5. Bones and Fragments: When dogs are given turkey skin, they may also ingest small bones or fragments that can be hazardous. These bones can splinter and cause blockages or lacerations in your dog’s digestive system.

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6. Allergic Reactions: Some dogs may have allergies or sensitivities to turkey, which can manifest through skin irritations, itching, or gastrointestinal issues. Feeding them the skin can exacerbate these symptoms.

7. Weight Gain and Obesity: Regularly feeding your dog fatty foods like turkey skin can contribute to weight gain and obesity. This can lead to numerous health problems, including joint issues, diabetes, and heart disease.


1. Can dogs eat cooked turkey without the skin?
Yes, cooked turkey meat without the skin is generally safe for dogs to consume in moderation.

2. What should I do if my dog accidentally eats turkey skin?
If your dog consumes turkey skin, monitor them for any signs of gastrointestinal distress or discomfort. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any concerning symptoms.

3. Are there any safe alternatives to turkey skin for dogs?
Yes, there are plenty of dog-friendly Thanksgiving treats available that are specifically made for canine consumption. These treats are often low in fat and free of harmful ingredients.

4. Can dogs eat turkey bones?
No, dogs should never be given turkey bones as they can splinter and cause serious injuries.

5. How can I safely include my dog in Thanksgiving celebrations?
You can include your dog in Thanksgiving celebrations by giving them their own special meal or treats made specifically for them. Avoid sharing your own food, especially items that are toxic or harmful to dogs.

6. Can dogs eat other types of poultry skin?
It’s best to avoid feeding your dog any type of poultry skin, as they all have a high-fat content that can be detrimental to their health.

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7. Is it okay to give my dog leftovers from Thanksgiving?
Leftovers from Thanksgiving can be given to dogs in moderation, as long as the food is safe for them to consume. Avoid giving them any fatty or seasoned foods like turkey skin, stuffing, or gravy.

In conclusion, while turkey skin may be delicious for humans, it should be avoided when it comes to feeding our furry friends. The high fat content, risk of choking, and potential for harmful ingredients make it an unsuitable treat for dogs. Instead, opt for dog-friendly alternatives and treats to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being during the holiday season.