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It’s tempting to slip Fido a piece of Thanksgiving turkey or a cold cut from the lunch meat, but could turkey be harming your dog? Which state is feeding its dogs the most turkey? Learn the answers along with some alternatives (and a yummy turkey treat recipe to make with the Thanksgiving leftovers).
Is Turkey Bad For Dogs?
Plain turkey itself is generally a pretty tasty and nutritious snack for most dogs, and it’s commonly used in dog food itself. There isn’t anything particularly toxic about it, but when processed like with deli meats and turkey hot dogs, the chemicals used to keep them “edible” is often not digested well by dogs. We do not recommend feeding your dog any kind of processed meats.
Thanksgiving turkey can be just as dangerous. We like to cover and fill our birds in oil, butter, seasonings, garlic, onion, stuffing, etc. This can upset your dog’s digestive system or even cause pancreatitis. It’s better to avoid sliding your dog a piece under the table.
If you choose to give your dog turkey, moderation is key and always remember that each dog is an individual.
Some dogs are allergic to beef and some to chicken. If you see a pattern with your pup eating turkey and subsequently getting sick, then you’ve done the right thing by removing the turkey from their diet.
Which States Feed Dogs The Most (& Least) Thanksgiving Turkey?
We did some research to identify which states feed their dogs the most turkey leftovers around the Thanksgiving holiday. The locations may surprise you!
Montana came out on top as the state with the happiest pups on Thanksgiving (because their owners are consistently eager to know whether it is okay to feed turkey to their dogs). Right behind Montanan pups are those from Delaware, Alaska, West Virginia and New Mexico.
Wondering where dogs are most likely the least to chow down on turkey? Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas and Arkansas showed the least interest in this subject, suggesting those dogs might be left out of the Thanksgiving festivities (or perhaps they just already know it’s okay to feed turkey to dogs in these areas).
There is also some good news for all dogs (and their bellies) – searches for “Can Dogs Eat Turkey” are up by double digits year over year for the past five years. So, it seems that more and more dogs are successfully begging their way into more poultry on Turkey Day (or parents are doing a better job of researching it ahead of time).
Google Trends U.S. state data for the phrase ‘can dogs eat turkey’ was analyzed for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Tuesday after for each of the past 5 Thanksgivings (2013-2018). Tuesday to Tuesday each year around Thanksgiving are by far the vast amount of searches for this term during any given calendar year during this time frame.
Turkey Dog Treat Recipe
If you want to try giving your dog some Thanksgiving leftovers below is a dog treat recipe. Remember to avoid giving your dog a butter soaked, herb covered stuffing filled turkey and to only give it to them in moderation. Removing the skin is a great way to eliminate these things.
- 1 loaf uncooked bread or pizza dough (kneaded into “dough”)
- 1/4 Cup chicken broth (preferably low sodium) or water
- 1-2 Teaspoon flour
- 3/4 Cup cooked turkey chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 Cup cooked vegetables
- 1/4 Cup grated cheese (pick your pup’s favorite)
- 1/4 Cup sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Roll out the dough and cut into 3″ circles with a cookie cutter.
- In a pan, combine the broth and flour, stirring until flour is dissolved.
- Heat on medium until mixture thickens.
- Add the turkey and vegetables. Cook until mixture is thoroughly heated.
- Simmer for a few minutes.
- Spoon one to two teaspoons of the turkey-veggie mixture onto each circle.
- Fold up the sides and pinch shut.
- Roll into a ball shape.
- Separately, mix the cheese and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
- Roll or sprinkle each ball with the cheese-sesame seed mixture.
- Arrange the balls on a baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
Allow time for this turkey dog treat recipe to cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Serving Size: Approximately 8 cups (64 oz.)
Is Turkey Bad For Dogs Infographic
Here’s a handy graphic you can share and print out with the recipe.
To share this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below:
Turkey Alternative For Dogs
If you are looking for a delicious pre-made turkey recipe, we highly recommend you get your paws on PetPlate. They’ll gobble it up (or at least our dogs do). It’s freshly made wet dog food packed with all the nutrients that your pup needs and delivered to your doorstep! Our Chief Dog Officer Lily is a big fan and thinks you should give it a try too. Learn more in our PetPlate review.
Our readers have access to save 50% off your first box of PetPlate! Just use this link to get started!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your pups!