Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?

Those big brown puppy dog eyes looking up at you can be so hard to resist, but during Thanksgiving you might find yourself asking, can dogs eat turkey bones? We want to show our dogs we love them by giving them everything we have. You see a dog form a connection with their owners that is truly unbreakable because of that devotion their owners consider them to be part of the family. For this reason, it can become hard for the owners to say no to the begging and whining that happens under the dining room table.

We know that what we are eating is healthy for us and don’t even think that it might not be healthy for our dogs. There are a lot of foods that we eat that are just fine to give to our dogs, but we have to remember that certain foods can be very dangerous for our dogs to ingest.

One that we might not even think twice about is turkey bones. In America, we sit down at the table every Thanksgiving to partake of that special meal that we worked so hard to prepare and share with our loved ones. Why wouldn’t we want our dogs to be a part of that day too?

You may look at that leftover bone on the plate and think that your sweet fur baby would love to get their teeth into it. But that would be a very bad idea because turkey bones are very dangerous for dogs. You may think that can’t be right, dogs eat bones all the time and when you go to the pet store they sell bones for dogs.

Why Not Turkey Bones

You may say to yourself, what is the big deal? Don’t dogs eat other types of bones? Why can’t they eat turkey bones too? These are great questions! A cooked turkey bone is extremely dangerous to a dog because when they are cooked they become brittle. So when a dog bites into a cooked turkey bone it could splinter in their mouth causing so many problems including serious injury.

What Could Happen

Once the bones have splintered in the mouth the effects could start there and continue throughout the body of the dog causing serious harm.

1. Mouth

It all starts with the mouth and the splintered turkey bone could get caught in the teeth of the dog. This could cause the splinters to cut the gums, the inside of the dog’s cheek, tongue, and could even cause their teeth to fall out. The bleeding and pain may not show right from the start, but the longer the splintered pieces of bone are in your dog’s mouth the more damage that could happen. This might lead to a very expensive vet visit but will also leave your dog in pain for weeks.

And that’s if the splinters of bone just get stuck in-between your dog’s teeth. It’s also possible that biting into that bone actually could break your dog’s teeth. Not only is this going to be an expensive visit to the vet, but it’s also going to hurt your dog quite a lot.

2. Internal Issues

The damage that the turkey bone has caused to the dog’s mouth is just the beginning of the problem that you will face. If the turkey bone fragments get into the dog’s digestive tract, then the damage could be life-threatening. The splintered piece of turkey bone could cut the throat, their stomach, and other parts of their digestive tract.

As much damage as the bone caused going in keep in mind that it will cause that much coming out. Constipation could be one of the results and could cause a lot of discomfort to your fur baby. The cuts that are caused by the fragments of bones are going to leave an open door for infection and could lead to so many complications in the future. The topper is that if the bone splitters get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract it could cause a blockage that would lead to surgery or even death.

Other Options

Can dogs eat turkey bones? There are other options where your dog can eat turkey bones, if the turkey bone is raw then it will not splinter and hurt your sweet puppy.

There are some things that you should keep in mind when feeding raw bones to your dog. There is a risk of a food borne illness with raw food, but if your dog is healthy it should be able to handle the raw food. If your pet is immunocompromised or elderly then giving them raw foods could risk their lives.

Knowing What to Do

Hopefully, if your dog does get a hold of a cooked turkey bone you will catch them and be able to get it out of their mouth before any damage can happen. When approaching them after you know that they have gotten ahold of a bone, remember to be very calm speaking to them. I know that asking a dog what they have is an open option for them to run faster than the speed of light to keep from losing it. My advice would be to get one of their favorite treats and try to trade with them before you end up in a chasing game with them.

If they do end up eating some of the bone before you can get it from them, call your vet and tell them what has happened. Try and get some type of measurement of the bone and about how much you think that your dog might have eaten. You may have to take them in for an x-ray to find out just how much of the bone is there and if surgery will be needed.

Things that you need to keep a close eye on are vomiting with blood, watching for constipation or bloody stools. Make sure to examine their mouths to see if there are any cuts or bleeding.


We all are guilty of giving our sweet little dogs food that we are eating. While that may be the case because we love them we need to educate ourselves on what foods our pets can and cannot eat.

Even though food may be safe for you to eat does not mean that the same is for your dog. So when having that turkey for Thanksgiving, it is okay for you to give your dog skinless white meat as a healthy treat. But please remember it is always wise to talk to your vet before making choices that could be dangerous to your dog’s health. A conversion is better than an enormous vet bill.

Written by – Joy Mason

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.