Can Pugs Eat Turkey? A Guide to Benefits & Risks, Safe Feeding Tips

can pugs eat turkey

Wondering if your Pug can join in the Thanksgiving celebrations this year?

Can Pugs eat turkey?

Today we’re going to be clearing up the age-old question on every Pug parent’s lips this time of year…

Can Pugs Eat Turkey?

Turkey meat in and of itself is perfectly healthy for your Pug. However, that doesn’t mean your pet is safe to eat any piece of turkey.

Even though Pugs can eat turkey meat, it’s important to take all the necessary precautions before sharing any of your dinner (despite those big pleading eyes).

The safest way to feed your Pug turkey is to offer them a small portion of skinless, boneless meat.

Remember, lots of the seasonings that we put on our human food are not healthy for your Pug.

Just because turkey meat is safe for your Pug to eat, doesn’t necessarily mean your Thanksgiving dinner is!

If you’re thinking about feeding your Pug turkey meat, we recommend having a conversation with your vet first. Your vet will be able to give you their professional opinion and advise you as to the healthiest and safest way to prepare turkey meat for your Pug.

Is Eating Turkey Good for Pugs?

Turkey meat in its pure form comes with lots of health benefits for canines of all breeds. Turkey is high in digestible protein and contains lots of nutrients. Turkey is a healthy source of protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

2oz of boneless, skinless turkey breast contains 16 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, approximately 30 grams of sodium, and 70 calories.

Some practitioners even say that turkey is better for your dog than chicken. This is because turkey is thought to be less inflammatory, making it a great option for dogs suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions and allergies.

Because of its lean protein content, turkey is great for building lean muscle and boosting your Pug’s natural immune system.

But remember, Pugs can become overweight easily, so a little goes a long way.

Can Pugs Get Sick from Turkey?

Though turkey is a safe food for Pugs, there are some precautions you should take when preparing turkey meat for your canine. Let’s take a look at some of the risks below.

Pancreatitis: sometimes if a dog eats the fatty skin of the turkey meat they may develop pancreatitis. This is very unpleasant for your Pug and causes a range of symptoms including vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Choking hazards: the smaller bones found in poultry can be very dangerous for dogs. They break easily and split into shards that can scratch or damage your Pug’s esophagus if they swallow them.

Gastrointestinal distress: if you feed your Pug too much turkey meat they may experience some very unpleasant tummy trouble including diarrhea, and vomiting.

Obesity: pugs love to eat but they are prone to obesity. It’s really important to limit how many treats we give our Pugs as obesity can lead to a range of more serious health conditions.

What Part of a Turkey is Best for Pugs to Eat?

The healthiest option for Pugs is a small piece of lean, white turkey meat.

White meat is leaner and higher in protein than dark meat. Therefore, although both are safe and healthy, people think that white meat is healthier than black meat.

Be sure to remove any excess fat, skin, and bones too. A small portion of unseasoned turkey breast is the perfect snack. Full of protein, nutrients, and very, very healthy indeed.

What You Should Avoid When Feeding Pugs Turkey

In most cases, a little bit of turkey meat won’t do your Pug any harm. In fact, unless your Pug has a specific allergy to turkey meat, it is rarely the meat itself that causes problems.

1. Seasoning

The biggest issue with feeding turkey to dogs is that it’s usually cooked in a way intended for humans with lots of seasonings and spices.

These added extras may be delicious but they can be harmful to our pets, causing digestive distress, pancreatitis, or food poisoning.

In fact, common seasonings like garlic, onion and spices are toxic for dogs. Likewise, processed meats contain salt in quantities that could pose a risk to our pets.

2. Skin & bones

Aside from seasonings, make sure to avoid feeding your Pug the skin and/or bones of the turkey. Pugs, like all dogs, love chewing on bones but the bones found in poultry are small and pose a choking hazard for canines.

The skin of the turkey might be irresistible to your Pug but its high-fat content could put them at risk of nasty health complications such as pancreatitis, tummy upset, and inflammation.

How to Cook Turkey Food for Your Pugs

If you’re thinking of introducing turkey into your Pug’s diet we’ve got a recipe for a festive turkey dog dinner that we think you and your Pug will just love.

1. What you’ll need

  • Water
  • Ground turkey breast (pre-cooked)
  • Brown rice (pre-cooked)
  • Carrots and beans (pre-cooked)
  • Pumpkin (pre-cooked and mashed)
  • Fish oil
  • Wooden spoon
  • Scissors

2. Cooking steps

  1. In a large skillet or pot add the pre-cooked turkey
  2. Next, add the pre-cooked brown rice
  3. Following this add the pre-cooked carrots and beans
  4. Add the pre-cooked, mashed pumpkin
  5. Add water and mix
  6. Take two fish oil tablets, snip them in half using scissors and pour in the oil (discard the capsule casing)
  7. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly
  8. Place in the oven on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool

3. Tips and warnings

  • Do not use the same water that you pre-boiled the turkey in to cook your other ingredients. This water will have absorbed all of the fat from the turkey meat and could give your Pug an upset tummy.
  • The recipe calls for mashed pumpkin. Make sure that you boil and mash fresh unseasoned pumpkin, or buy plain canned pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling is not suitable for dogs as it contains lots of additives and additional ingredients.
  • This recipe calls for ground turkey. Some ground turkey products found in stores will have a higher fat content (especially if they are not pure breast meat). To keep your Pug’s dinner as lean as possible ask your local butcher or meat counter assistant to grind fresh turkey breast for you.
  • Before feeding turkey meat to your Pug, or making this recipe, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian.

Or, if you prefer, you can watch a video tutorial for this recipe right here.

Thanksgiving … Eat Turkey in Pug Style

So, there we have it.

Yes, Pugs can eat turkey.

As long as your Pug does not have a specific allergy to the meat, it is perfectly safe to offer your Pug a small piece of unseasoned turkey meat.

Just remember no bones, no skin, no seasoning.


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