Should Dogs Eat Cooked Turkey Bones?

Let’s cut to the chase: Dogs should never be fed cooked turkey, chicken or other fowl bones. In fact, they ought not to eat any bones that have been cooked.

Image by Steve Johnson

Image by Steve Johnson

The reason is simple: Cooked bones are brittle and when the dog gnaws them, the bones are more likely to splinter. And these splinters can lodge in esophagus, stomach or even intestines.

However, the broth made from a turkey carcass (or other bones) is very nutritious and you can feed your dog a cup or so of this broth. You can add carrots, beets, greens, broccoli, squash and other vegetables too—But don’t add onions, garlic, grapes, avocado or seeds from apples or pears.

When you make bone broth, boil the bones hard for a few hours to coax the nutrients from the bones. If you do this long enough, you will make a broth that gels when cooled – consommé.

I like to add turmeric to broth. Sometimes I add kelp and nettles. Once the broth has cooled to room temperature, I’ll add ½ cup of chia seeds for each quart of liquid. I’ll add a cup or two of this broth concoction to the dogs’ supper.

When Alice was a puppy, I tried feeding her kibble. Now, it did not matter the quality of kibble; within 3 days of eating it, She was the most rancid smelling dog you ever did know.

I began to experiment. I found that she could eat raw chicken or beef with no foul odor.

One November, turkeys were on sale for $0.19 per pound. I bought a bird and chopped it into 2 pound servings. But that bird made her sick. She smelled as bad as she did eating Kibble but only after one serving. I wrote a blog post about this. Its title is Dog Food: Observations Regarding Meat Quality.

Anyway, you CAN feed raw bones – be they chicken, turkey, or other fowl. You can also feed beef, lamb, goat and so on; however you’ll still want to be on the look out for sharp bones such as lamb chops which have very pointed ends. T-Bone steaks have sharp bones, so I use them for broth but I don’t them feed even the raw bones to my dogs. I do feed beef knuckle bones, rib bones, even leg bones. Some vets caution against feeding “weight bearing bones;” I have fed them with no ill effects. If you are worried, simply coax the nutrition from the bone in the form of broth.

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