𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐃𝐨𝐠𝐬 𝐄𝐚𝐭 𝐓𝐮𝐫𝐤𝐞𝐲 𝐁𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬? 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞

The holidays are prime turkey-eating time. And where there’s turkey, there’s bones. It’s only natural to want to share some of that delicious bird with your canine companion. But before you let your dog nibble on those turkey bones, there are some essential safety concerns to consider. Can dogs eat turkey bones without risk? Let’s take a closer look.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?

In short – no. Turkey bones are not safe for dog consumption.

Poultry bones tend to splinter into sharp, jagged fragments when chewed or ingested by dogs. These fragments can then cause damage throughout your dog’s digestive tract. Throat injuries, stomach or intestinal punctures, and intestinal blockages are all common occurrences when dogs eat turkey bones.

Cooked turkey bones for dogs

Cooked turkey bones pose a major threat to dogs. The cooking process causes the bones to become hardened and brittle. This makes them far more likely to shatter when your dog chews on them. These fractured bones can then lacerate their mouth, esophagus, and intestines. A cooked turkey bone splinter is like a shard of glass through your dog’s delicate digestive organs.

Raw turkey bones for dogs 

Raw turkey bones come with risks too. While less likely to splinter, they can still fracture teeth and become stuck in the esophagus or intestines. No turkey bone, no matter how sturdy, is entirely safe for your dog to ingest.

To protect your dog’s health and safety, turkey bones should be avoided. The enjoyment of gnawing that tantalizing bone is never worth the potential harm it could cause.

Dangers of Dogs Eating Turkey Bones

So what happens if your dog gets their paws on turkey bones? Here are some of the most common injuries and issues:

  • Choking – Bones getting lodged in the throat is a scary possibility requiring immediate first aid.
  • Fractured teeth – Turkey’s bones can easily crack or break teeth, leading to pain and veterinary bills.
  • Mouth/throat cuts – Splintered bones can leave external puncture wounds and lacerations.
  • Stomach/intestinal punctures – Ingested bones may puncture or completely perforate the stomach/intestines. This can lead to potentially fatal peritonitis.
  • Intestinal blockages – Bones can obstruct the intestinal tract fully or partially. This requires emergency surgery in many cases.
  • Severe bleeding – Laceration wounds along the digestive tract caused by bones can result in dangerous levels of blood loss.

As you can see, the risks posed by turkey bones are pretty severe. While most dogs will pass bone fragments successfully, you can never know when a life-threatening injury might occur. It’s simply not worth taking the chance.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Turkey Bone?

If your sneaky canine managed to scarf down some turkey bones before you could intervene, stay calm but act fast. Time is of the essence.

Monitor your dog closely for choking, pain, bleeding, vomiting, or distress symptoms. If the bone was swallowed recently (within 2 hours), call your vet, who may advise you to induce vomiting. For bones consumed longer ago, rush your dog to the vet immediately for examination. X-rays can determine if and where bones are obstructing the digestive tract.

Based on the results, your vet will decide whether to let the bones pass naturally or recommend emergency surgery to remove them. Getting prompt veterinary attention gives your dog the best chance of recovery and avoiding lasting injury or illness. So don’t waste time seeing if symptoms improve – take action quickly if your dog got into turkey bones. Their life may depend on it.

Better Safe Than Sorry

We mean our furry friends no harm when we hand over that delicious turkey bone. But any poultry bone can potentially kill a dog. As hard as it is to resist puppy dog eyes begging for a taste, your dog’s safety has to come first. This holiday season – and every day – keep turkey carcasses, bones, and scraps well out of your dog’s reach.


While turkey in moderation can be a healthy treat, turkey bones are too risky to feed dogs. Their tendency to splinter and fracture makes bones a choking/blockage hazard and can lead to puncture wounds or lacerations throughout the digestive tract. No turkey bone is truly safe for dogs to chew or ingest. Keep your dog safe and healthy by avoiding poultry bones altogether. With some simple precautions, you can still give your pup a wonderful turkey-filled holiday without endangering them with hazardous bones.

FAQs About Dogs And Turkey Bones

Q: Can dogs eat smoked turkey bones?

A: No, smoked turkey bones are not any safer than regular turkey bones. They can still splinter and puncture internally and should be kept away from dogs.

Q: Can dogs eat wishbone?

A: No. The wishbone from a turkey, chicken, or other bird presents the same risks and should not be given to dogs as it may fracture into sharp pieces. Safer chews and toys should be provided instead.

Q: Are turkey chews safe for dogs?

A: Turkey chews made specifically for dogs are safe alternatives to real turkey bones.

Sufiyan Ali is a canine nutrition expert with over 3 years of experience researching dog foods. I read books on providing dogs a healthy, balanced diet. Now I love to share my knowledge about dogs diet with you.

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