Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones? Here's What to Do With Your Thanksgiving Scraps

Somewhere near the top — if not first — on your Thanksgiving list for what you’re thankful is probably your pure very good boy. You would give him a seat at the table with a heaping pile of food if it weren’t for your disapproving family that quickly shut down the idea. But before you start sneaking him bits of your meal under the table, know that there’s something on your plate you definitely don’t want to give to Fido. That food, surprisingly, is the Thanksgiving staple itself — turkey.

A popular kids song told us a while back to give a dog a bone, and it’s true that beef marrow bones and bones frozen with peanut butter can be tasty treats for your pup. However, the bones leftover from your turkey dinner are a whole different story.

Don’t Give Your Dog Turkey Bones

The cooked bones in your turkey are more brittle and breakable, so the parts your dog chews could potentially splinter and puncture his digestive tract, veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker writes for the website

These sharp bone fragments can also cause bad infections in your dog’s stomach and intestines, and get stuck when your little guy is trying to get it out of his system on his next walk. Let me tell you, trying to get your dog to eat an animal laxative is not fun, so it’s better to just avoid feeding the turkey bone.

Cooked bones, which include those in chicken and ham, could also cause broken teeth, bleeding internally or in your dog’s mouth, and a number of internal obstructions, according to the pet insurance company Healthy Paws.

Raw bones, not cooked bones, are OK for your dog.

But even after removing the bones, you still have to be careful about what’s in your turkey. While the nutrients in turkey that are beneficial to you also are healthy for your dog, Thanksgiving turkeys are coated in butter, sauces and spices that your dog doesn’t process as well as you do, the American Kennel Club says. The skin, arguably one of the best parts, has too much fat in it for your dog to easily process, and could even cause serious pancreatitis.

If you’re really not sure what’s in your Thanksgiving turkey, it’s probably best not to feed him it at all. Don’t worry, you can still pamper him with raw bones, extra treats, and as many pats you can possibly give him while you’re home.

Photos via Flickr / cogdogblog, Flickr / Furfante

Photos via Flickr / cogdogblog, Flickr / Furfante

Written by Paige Leskin

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