Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones? Thanksgiving Q&A

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you’re likely Googling turkey recipes and drooling in anticipation of the giant, delicious cooked bird that’s going to become the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table. While letting your doggies join in by feeding them leftovers might be tempting, not all festive foods are suitable for your canine companion. Can you give dogs turkey bones? Read on and all will be revealed…
Stephanie Laming - Licensed Insurance Representative of 11 years & Dog Mum to 5 year old Tina
October 6, 2022
min read

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?

Turkey bones are choking hazards for dogs and best avoided. 

Why are turkey bones bad for dogs? Because they can splinter and damage your dog’s tummy, throat, or intestines. 

Cooked bones are far more dangerous than the raw variety, as they splinter far more easily, and could cause severe damage to your doggy’s digestive system. But, when it comes to turkey bones in particular, raw bones can also splinter, and must only be fed to Fido under careful supervision. 

Can Dogs Eat Raw Turkey Bones?

So you’re wondering, can dogs have turkey bones? If they’re raw, the answer is yes, but even then there are dangers to look out for. While raw bones don’t splinter as easily as the cooked variety, they can still break into tiny shards which could cause some serious harm to your bff. 

Only feed your dog larger bones and turkey necks, which pose less of a choking hazard, and make sure they only eat these treats under your watchful eye. Or, you can go the safer route and avoid giving your dog even raw turkey bones, just in case. If your dog experiences any symptoms such as fatigue, bloody stools or vomiting after consuming turkey bones, whether raw or cooked, take them to a vet right away. 

Did you know pet insurance can help cover emergency health expenses? Click here to learn more and compare affordable plans. 

Potential Side Effects

The most common symptoms for dogs experiencing damage caused by eating bones are: 

  • if your dog is vomiting, 
  • hunching over,
  • having difficulty pooping, 
  • seems to be in pain,
  • has mouth damage or discomfort, or 
  • bloody stools. 

Damaged teeth are another potential hazard bones can cause. 

Also be on the lookout if your dog: 

  • has lost their appetite, 
  • has less energy than usual, 
  • is coughing a lot or drooling, 
  • is gagging and retching, or 
  • is struggling to breathe. 

These are all also potential symptoms of an intestinal blockage, punctured tummy or similar digestive problems. 

What to Do if Your Dog Has Eaten Cooked Turkey Bones

Can dogs eat cooked turkey bones? Since cooked turkey bones do splinter far more easily than raw bones, the answer is a definite no. But what if you fed your dog cooked turkey bones without knowing the risks, or what if your dog managed to get their hands on some cooked bones by accident? 

If you catch your canine in the act, try your best to pry the bone out of their mouth. To stop them from running away, it may be best to offer them another treat, for example some cooked, deboned turkey meat, which should cause them to drop the bone. If it’s too late and the turkey bone has already been partially or fully swallowed, it’s best to call a vet and explain the specifics of the situation. They may decide to bring you in for X-Rays if they feel your dog is at risk. 

Whatever you do, don’t panic! While a worst case scenario would be for your dog to have surgery to remove the bone, in many cases, this won’t be necessary. 

Final Thoughts

So- are turkey bones safe for dogs????

Yes, but only if they’re raw, and even then there are risks which may cause paw-parents to avoid it all together, just to air on the side of caution.  

It’s a much better idea to serve your dog turkey meat. Cooked, unseasoned and skinless turkey meat or ground turkey (as long as it contains no additives) are both safe for your dog to eat in moderation. 

If you’re set on serving turkey bones to your best buddy, make sure they’re raw, not cooked, and if your dog consumes cooked turkey bones by accident, monitor them closely and be prepared for a trip to the vet if any symptoms present themselves. 

Follow the tips in this post to keep your K9 safe, and have a happy, vet-bill-free Thanksgiving.

Find the right insurance plan for your pet using Goodpaw
Get a Free Quote

GoodPaw Pet Services Inc., GoodPaw, offers free advice, product information and other editorial resources that are intended for informative purposes only, and should not be used in place of proper veterinary care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat your pet. If your pet is experiencing any health concerns, contact a licensed veterinarian. GoodPaw assumes no responsibility for action taken based on information given from

Ready for peace of mind

As opposed to looking at just one insurer, using our tool to compare policies and pricing helps ensure that you’re getting what you need and not paying for what you don’t

Start My Quote Now