Is It Safe For Dogs to Eat Leftover Christmas Turkey?

Christmas food and dogs can be a dangerous combination. How dangerous is it for dogs to eat turkey? Is eating turkey safe for dogs? Will my dog get sick if I give them turkey? These questions tend to get asked right after the moment when someone’s dog has wolfed down a large helping of Christmas turkey they were either given or, erm, had taken for themselves. Sometimes well meaning family members are the guilty party when it comes to overfeeding dogs right after the Christmas lunch has been tackled. The sight of lots of leftover food and a dog’s pleading eyes is too much for some people to resist and before you know it you’ve got a dog filled to the brim with foods, some of which may be dangerous.

So, with the help of the RSPCA let’s find out if it’s OK for dogs to eat turkey at all.

Turkey meat can be enjoyed by dogs and cats once the family have had their festive fill, as long as it’s deboned to stop any potential choking hazard.

RSPCA welfare expert Sam Watson said: “It’s a lovely idea to include your pets and the wildlife we share our gardens with in the festivities over Christmas.

“Lots of people like to buy their animals presents and spoil them over the festive season and livening up their diet is just one way of doing this.

“Turkey and vegetables are a great meal to give your dogs as a one off treat on the day. Do be sure to account for this meal and reduce the rest of their daily food allowance accordingly.”

Christmas Foods That Are Dangerous For Dogs

It is important to be careful however, processed meats such as pigs in blankets are not suitable for animals due to the high salt content in them. Stuffing is also not suitable due to the high salt content and other artificial ingredients.

Most pet owners know that chocolate and onions can never be given to dogs and if your dog does accidently eat these foods you should ring your vet straight away for advice.

However, less well-known is that raisins – commonly added to festive bakes – are also extremely dangerous to dogs.

RSPCA chief veterinary officer Caroline Allen said: “We do see an increase in admissions to our hospitals at this time of year. We do see a number of animals who have stomach upsets due to a sudden change in diet, we also see issues relating to ingestion of toxic foods.

“In many cases the ingestion has been accidental, with the pet taking an opportunity to grab some tasty treats that have been left within reach. Mince pies on the coffee table or chocolates wrapped up under the tree can be very tempting and can lead to a visit to the vet.

“If you think your pet has eaten something that might be toxic do contact your vet ASAP, as early treatment is always preferable and can avoid further complications. Even on Christmas day your vet will have emergency cover where you can get help and advice.”

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