There is much debate about the safety of giving dogs ‘real’ bones like those from a turkey. While bone-shaped biscuits may be a household staple for your best friend, we did some research as to be benefits and risks of feeding your dog a turkey bone. Here’s what you need to know before you feed your dog a turkey bone.
Cooked turkey bones are dangerous
Do not ever feed cooked turkey bones to your dog. It is very dangerous and can cause serious injury to your pet.
4 possible consequences when dogs eat turkey bone
- Broken teeth or periodontitis
- Mouth injuries
- Bones stuck in the stomach
If you feed your dog cooked turkey bones or any hard bone you’re risking broken teeth or periodontitis. If your dog breaks a tooth, they might need to have the tooth surgically removed.
Even if your pup doesn’t break a tooth, hard bone can injure your dog’s mouth in other ways. Cuts could happen on the pup’s lips or cheeks or bone could get stuck in your dog’s jaw requiring surgery.
Hard bone can cause pups to have constipation. While this usually can be resolved easily, it can be very uncomfortable for your pup.
Turkey bones can become stuck in your dog’s stomach and cause blockages. If you think your dog has a bone stuck in their stomach, seek medical treatment immediately.
Can dogs can eat turkey bones?
After reading all of these potential consequences you’re probably wondering if your pup can even have turkey bones at all. The answer is yes, as long as the bones are raw. Raw bones and meat can come with additional risks for foodborne illness. Most healthy dogs should be able to handle raw bones, if you have an elderly or immunocompromised dog, check with your vet before feeding anything raw.
What should you do if your dog gets a cooked turkey bone?
If your dog gets a cooked turkey bone try not to panic or assume the worst. Hopefully, you catch them with it quickly enough that all you need to do is pry it out of your pup’s mouth. If you have a dog, you know that there is no faster mammal then a dog running away after you’ve asked them what’s in their mouth! You don’t want to turn this into a game of chase and risk your pup choking. Try offering them another high value treat so they drop the bone and run for something else tasty. You could also try to lure your dog into a smaller space like the bathroom to get the bone away from them safely.
If you’re not quick enough to get the bone away from your pup before they’ve eaten some or all of it, you might want to give your vet a call. Let them know how big you think the bone was or how much your pup ate. They will be able to advise you on next steps. This might include bringing your dog in for an X-ray to see if the bone needs to be surgically removed or monitoring your dog for vomiting, hunching (trying to poop), bloody stool, or mouth discomfort.
The bottom line, if you choose to, feed turkey bones carefully and supervise your dog around any cooked turkey bones. This is especially important at Thanksgiving, Christmas or other large gatherings where you might serve a whole turkey. White meat turkey can be a great protein choice for your pup, just make sure to feed responsibly!
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.