A dog with a concerned expression looking at turkey bones, indicating it's toxic for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?

No, dogs should not eat turkey bones. Turkey bones, especially when cooked, can splinter easily and cause serious health issues for your furry friend. These splinters can lead to mouth injuries, choking, or even puncturing their digestive tract. Stick to safer alternatives to keep your canine buddy out of harm's way.

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?

Cooked turkey bones are more likely to splinter compared to raw bones, increasing the risk of injury.

Turkey Bones



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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why Are Turkey Bones Bad for Dogs?

Turkey bones can splinter and break into sharp pieces when chewed, posing a significant risk. The shards can cause severe injuries, such as tears in the esophagus, stomach, or intestines, and they can also cause bacterial infections. These risks make turkey bones a dangerous choice for your dog.

How Many Turkey Bones Can Dogs Eat?

Zero, zip, nada. No amount of turkey bones is safe for dogs. The risks associated with even a small piece are too high. If you're tempted to give your pup a treat during the holiday feasts, stick to dog-safe, bone-free options instead.

Similar Toxic Products

Several other bones and bone-like items can be equally hazardous:

  • Chicken Bones: Just like turkey bones, they can splinter and cause serious internal damage.
  • Pork Bones: Another type that easily splinters and should be avoided.
  • Cooked Bones in General: Any cooked bones become brittle and pose a high risk of splintering.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Turkey Bones?

First, stay calm. Then, contact your vet immediately. Describe the situation in detail, including how many bones your dog ate and when. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a vet, as this can cause more damage. Follow your vet's guidance carefully.

Signs and Symptoms of Turkey Bone Poisoning in Dogs?

Look out for these warning signs if your dog has ingested turkey bones:

  • Choking or Gagging
  • Excess Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal Pain

How Long After Eating Turkey Bones Will a Dog Get Sick?

Symptoms can appear within minutes to a few hours after ingestion. Prompt action and keen observation are crucial.

When to Contact Your Vet for Advice?

Immediately! Even if no symptoms are yet visible, proactive consultation with your vet can prevent serious complications down the line.

How to Treat Turkey Bone Poisoning in Dogs?

Upon arrival at the vet, immediate steps may include X-rays and physical examination to locate any bone fragments. Treatment could involve surgical removal and antibiotics to prevent infection. The duration of treatment varies but usually includes post-surgery recovery time.

Treatment Costs: Veterinary care can quickly add up, especially in emergencies. Having pet insurance can be a lifesaver, both for your dog and your finances. It helps cover unexpected costs and ensures your pet gets the best care possible.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Dogs love to chew, so here are some safe options:

  • Rubber Chew Toys: Durable and safe for long chewing sessions.
  • Rawhide-Free Alternatives: Look for specially formulated dog chews.
  • Carrots or Apples: Natural and healthy chew options, just remove any seeds or cores.


In summary, turkey bones are a no-go for dogs due to the high risk of splintering and internal damage. Opt for safer chew treats and always consult your vet if you're unsure. Keeping your pup safe and healthy is always the top priority!