A dog with a happy expression looking at ground turkey, highlighting healthy food for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Ground Turkey?

Yes, dogs can eat ground turkey, but with some precautions. It's a great source of lean protein, but it must be cooked plain without any seasonings, garlic, or onions which are harmful to dogs.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 17, 2024

Did You Know?

Ground turkey is a lean source of protein which helps maintain muscle mass and energy levels in dogs.

Ground Turkey



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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Ground Turkey Healthy for Dogs?

Ground turkey provides high-quality protein, essential for muscle health and repair. It also contains important vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, selenium, and zinc, which support immune function and overall well-being. Some studies even suggest that lean meats like turkey can help manage weight and prevent obesity in dogs.

Do Dogs Like Ground Turkey?

Most dogs love the taste of ground turkey! Its moist texture and rich flavor make it an appealing option for many canines. If your dog is a picky eater, ground turkey could be a delightful surprise to their palate.

Can Puppies Eat Ground Turkey?

Absolutely, puppies can eat ground turkey as well. It's a fantastic source of protein for their growing bodies. Just remember to keep it plain and cook it thoroughly. Avoid any seasonings or additives that could upset their sensitive stomachs.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Ground Turkey?

Yes, some dogs can be allergic to turkey, although it’s not very common. Signs of a turkey allergy might include itching, skin rashes, or digestive issues. If you notice any unusual symptoms, it's best to consult your vet.

How Much Ground Turkey Can Dogs Eat?

The amount depends on your dog's size, age, and activity level. For small dogs, a few tablespoons mixed with their regular food should be plenty. Larger dogs can handle a quarter to half a cup. Always introduce new foods slowly and in moderation to avoid digestive upsets.

Best Ways to Incorporate Ground Turkey Into Your Dog’s Diet

Cooked plain ground turkey can be mixed into your dog’s regular kibble or used as a tasty topper. You can also create homemade treats or use it in meals as part of a balanced diet. Remember to avoid adding any seasonings, onions, or garlic.

Potential Risks of Ground Turkey

The main risks involve seasonings and additives. Spices, especially onions and garlic, are toxic to dogs. Also, turkey skin and fat can cause pancreatitis. Stick to plain, lean ground turkey to avoid these issues, and cook it thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria.

Other Healthy Food Options

If you want to vary your dog’s diet, consider these alternatives:

  • Chicken breast: Lean and protein-packed, similar to turkey.
  • Salmon: Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, great for skin and coat health.
  • Beef: Another excellent source of protein and essential nutrients.


Ground turkey can be a nutritious addition to your dog’s diet when served plain and cooked. It's loaded with protein and essential nutrients that promote overall health. However, moderation is key, and always skip the seasonings! When in doubt, consult your vet to ensure it's a good fit for your furry friend's dietary needs.