Considering that dogs are mainly carnivores, people like to get creative and serve them meats of all types. Because of their deliciousness and benefits, raw turkey necks are among the favorite meals dogs get offered. But are they safe? That’s what you’re about to find out!
Read on to know whether dogs can eat raw turkey necks, along with how to prepare them properly and safely.
Are Raw Turkey Heads Safe for Dogs?
Yes, you can safely offer raw turkey heads to your dog. Whether you have dry, freeze-dried, or normal raw heads, they’re a safe treat for your pet. This is because their texture is still soft, so when your furry friend chews them, they’ll crush gently without breaking into splinters. It’s especially safe when you give your dog raw meaty turkey heads that still have connective tissue and meat surrounding them.
However, it’s not safe to give it cooked ones.
Can I Give My Dog Cooked Turkey Heads?
It would be best if you never gave your dog any boiled, cooked, or fried poultry bones. This goes for chicken necks, turkey necks, and duck necks. And it’s mainly because those bones undergo high temperatures to cook correctly, which changes their structures.
Accordingly, the cooked poultry bones will turn into glass-like materials that can break into pointy and sharp pieces. If your dog eats one of those splinters, it can cause severe injuries to its throat and stomach. The same goes for frozen turkey necks, which are a lot harder. As a result, you should always thaw them properly before offering them to your pet.
Benefits of Raw Turkey Necks for Dogs
Raw turkey necks have many benefits that can improve your dog’s health. Here’s a brief roundup about them.
Raw turkey necks are full of beneficial nutrients. For example, they have a high protein content, which benefits animals’ health in many different ways. It improves their muscle development, gives them healthy skin, and regulates hormones’ production, to name a few. And since puppies need more nutrients than full-grown dogs, they can significantly benefit from a few bones.
That said, if your dog suffers from liver or kidney diseases, it’d be best to stay away from high-protein meals and treats.
In addition, raw meaty bones are rich in fats. Fats are known to provide sufficient energy for dogs to run around actively. They also aid in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, reducing inflammation, and improving skin health.
It’s worth mentioning that you should avoid offering your dog treats high in fat if it suffers from obesity, diabetes, or pancreatitis.
Raw turkey necks are also good sources of vitamin B12 and calcium. Calcium is an essential component of bones and teeth, and it plays a massive role in many bodily functions. As for B vitamins, they help the body produce red blood cells and essential proteins.
Moreover, turkey necks are high in trace minerals like zinc, copper, iron, and selenium. Zinc contributes to a healthy immune system and a healthy coat. Meanwhile, selenium is an antioxidant that plays a significant role in metabolism. Copper improves the body’s ability to absorb iron, thus enhancing red blood cells’ functions.
Some studies also suggest that a diet high in selenium might prevent certain types of cancer and benefit dogs who suffer from canine prostate cancer.
Mobility and Joint Benefits
Raw turkey necks are rich in glucosamine and chondroitin. Studies proved that those two have a significant and positive effect on joint health in dogs. They also help dogs who suffer from osteoarthritis, thus improving dogs’ mobility.
Many doctors recommend those two nutrients for dogs with joint issues, whether in pill form or natural sources.
Did you know that more than 80% of dogs over the age of three suffer from dental problems? This makes dental diseases the most common in canines. This percentage also grows each year steadily.
If you leave your dog’s dental issue untreated, it might suffer from bad breath, damaged teeth, and inflamed gums. As an extreme complication of those issues, heart, kidney, and liver diseases might develop. While those cases are rare, it’s an unnecessary risk.
In addition to washing your dog’s teeth, you should give it turkey necks as a treat. You can also do the latter instead of the former if your dog won’t tolerate the brushing. Turkey necks help clear up plaque build-ups on teeth and gums, thus improving dogs’ dental health. However, this fact hasn’t been proven yet by studies.
So for the best results, you should do both. And remember that dogs need special toothpaste for their teeth, so you can’t use yours.
In terms of mental health, turkey necks can occupy dogs for a good while. This is because they’re fun to chew on, so they provide entertainment for your pet. As for physical health, the process of eating a turkey neck requires placing the dog’s front feet on the bone to keep it fixed to the ground. As a result, dogs involve their jaws in eating and their shoulders, legs, neck, and back.
Finally, when you give your dog a raw meat diet, you have to offer a variety of meat. Chicken and turkey necks are an excellent way to do that instead of the usual vegetable and fruit treats.
Downsides of Raw Turkey Necks for Dogs
After telling you all about the benefits, it’s time to address the downsides of giving your dog raw turkey necks. So, let’s jump in!
It’s a well-known fact that raw bones and meat might have harmful bacteria on their surfaces, like E.coli and Salmonella. Those microorganisms might cause food poisoning in dogs, particularly if they already have compromised immune systems or underlying health issues. Dehydrated meat treats also carry the same risk.
Moreover, you can get a bacterial infection due to dealing with raw meat. That’s why you should always follow proper hygiene procedures and wash your hands regularly. And if your dog has a health issue, it’s best to stay away from serving turkey necks altogether. Luckily, there are many healthy alternatives. But generally, those risks are the same for most raw dog food.
Although not a common issue for dogs on a raw diet, you should watch your pet’s calories intake to avoid it getting obese. Unfortunately, most raw meaty bones, especially turkey necks, are high in calories. And dehydrated necks even have a higher calorie content.
As a result, you should only give your dog turkey necks as an occasional treat. Keeping them as a regular part of its diet isn’t recommended, especially if it’s raw feeding. And don’t give them to your dog instead of a whole, balanced meal.
As a rule of thumb, if you have a medium-sized dog, you should offer it dehydrated turkey necks one or two times a week. If you exceed that limit, it may gain more weight than it should.
Finally, before introducing any new foods to your dog, you should consult your vet. They’ll tell you how to incorporate them healthily without overdoing it.
Turkey necks have large bone pieces inside them. Those pose a choking hazard for dogs, especially small ones. Ideally, when dogs eat turkey necks, they should chew appropriately so that the bones will crumble into smaller pieces. However, some dogs aren’t as patient and can take the entire neck in one bite.
In this case, a large bone piece might get lodged in the dog’s esophagus or back of the throat, thus stopping it from making its way down to the stomach. There’s also the risk of small bone pieces entering the trachea, which will hinder the dog’s ability to breathe.
As a result, you should always keep an eye out for your dog after feeding it a turkey neck. If you notice any odd reaction, contact your vet immediately. You can also choose turkey necks more carefully, making sure to get the proper size for your dog.
Obstruction and Constipation
If your dog doesn’t chew the raw turkey neck properly, some bone pieces might not get properly digested. As a result, they can cause constipation for your pet. Although constipation varies in severity, some cases might require a visit to the hospital.
Those small bone fragments might also damage your dog’s gastrointestinal tract and intestines. But again, this risk increases in the case of cooked bones.
More so, since bones are hard, they might obstruct your canine’s stomach. This case requires immediate medical care, and your doctor might schedule a surgical procedure to treat the obstruction.
How to Prepare Raw Turkey Necks for Dogs
You can serve raw turkey necks to your dog in two different ways, raw and dehydrated. To prepare dehydrated turkey necks for your dog, you can air-dry them slowly. But don’t forget to read the instructions and processing method before purchasing them. Also, don’t try to dry turkey necks using high temperatures.
If you don’t want to deal with this hassle, you can purchase ready-made dehydrated necks from any pet store or an online retailer.
As for raw turkey necks, you can either purchase them frozen or fresh. You can find them in supermarkets, butcher stores, or online stores.
What Benefits Dogs More, Turkey Necks, Duck Necks, or Chicken Necks?
Chicken necks, duck necks, and turkey necks are all excellent sources of proteins. However, turkey has more protein per pound than the two other types of meat. It’s also softer and contains fewer calories and fats.
With that being said, the three types of meat are all full of nutrients and vitamins, and they have similar balances of micronutrients. So, if chicken necks are more accessible for you to get than turkey necks, it’s OK to serve them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Give My Dog Bone Broth Instead of Bones?
Yes, you can. Thick bone broth is highly nutritional and delicious for dogs. But like fresh turkey necks, you shouldn’t offer bone broth as a replacement for a balanced, healthy meal. Instead, offer it as an occasional treat.
Can Older Dogs Eat Turkey Necks?
Technically, yes, you can give your dog a raw turkey neck no matter its age. However, if you have an older dog with poor teeth health, you should look for an alternative. If your dog loves turkey necks, make sure to hold each neck in your hand as you feed it to your dog so that it chews gently without damaging its teeth.
Can I Give My Dog Turkey Giblets?
Yes, you can. “Giblets” is commonly used to refer to organs that people remove from poultry before cooking. So, for example, you can give your dog the turkey’s heart, liver, or gizzards. Those are all nutritional meats that can benefit your pet’s health.
Can Dogs Eat Turkey Mince?
Turkey mince is delicious and beneficial, so yes, you can. But dogs’ diets differ significantly from ours, so you need to ensure you’re serving it plain. Also, you should read the instructions on the package when you purchase it to ensure it doesn’t contain additives or nitrates. Those can upset your pet’s stomach.
To Wrap Up
If you’ve been wondering about the safety of offering turkey necks for dogs, we’ll assure you. You can feed them to your dog as an occasional treat once a week as they’re highly nutritional and delicious. However, you should make sure you’re following safety procedures and stay away from giving your pet cooked bones.