Why Should Dogs Not Eat Turkey

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Unless they have a medical issue like allergies, dogs can typically eat turkey, but you must first remove any bones from the meat.

Chicken, turkey, and duck bones are particularly brittle and prone to splintering when cooked. Giving these to your dog can result in major problems because it’s common for them to splinter in the digestive tract or the throat, which can cause your dog extreme discomfort and bleeding.

Additionally, since many types of seasoning can be toxic or hazardous to dogs, you shouldn’t give your dog turkey that has been spiced. It’s probably better not to serve your dog Thanksgiving turkey unless you’re one of those people who doesn’t think flavoring meat before or while cooking is necessary.

There is also the issue of the stuffing’s ingredients that you added to your chicken before cooking. In addition to several herbs and oils causing different digestive problems, onions can be harmful to dogs.

Make sure the turkey is fresh and that you prepared it yourself. Preservative-infused turkey, like the majority of lunch meat turkey, may include chemicals that are hard for dogs to digest. Avoiding them is recommended.

Is it okay to feed turkey to dogs?

“Yes and no,” is the succinct response. Dogs cannot get sick from turkey. It is a plentiful source of nutrients like protein, riboflavin, and phosphorus and is an ingredient in many commercial dog meals. Under the direction of a veterinarian, it can be a crucial component of a homemade dog food diet when boiled simply.

However, plainly cooked turkeys are rarely served on Thanksgiving. We season our birds with salt, pepper, herbs, and spices after rubbing them with butter and oils. We load them with stuffing, additional herbs, onions, and garlic. We find this to be delicious. It is a formula for severe digestive trouble and, at worse, pancreatitis in our dogs.

When my dog eats turkey, what happens?

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms in your pet if it stole a bite of the Thanksgiving turkey or if a family member has been feeding it table scraps: vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lack of energy, difficulty breathing, and bleeding. Immediately get in touch with a veterinarian if you see any of these signs.

Which meat is off-limits to dogs?

Ham, bacon, and fat trimmings Bacon, bacon grease, ham, and fat that has been removed from meat or bones all contain a lot of salt and/or fat and, at the very least, can give dogs and cats indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhea. These meals can also result in pancreatitis, a serious, potentially fatal pancreatic inflammation.

What meals are poisonous to dogs?

Canine toxic food

  • onion, chives, and garlic. The onion family is extremely poisonous to dogs and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and red blood cell destruction, whether it is dried, raw, or cooked.
  • Chocolate.
  • nut macadamia.
  • Cobs of corn.
  • Avocado.
  • synthetic sweetener (Xylitol)
  • Alcohol.
  • roasted bones

What portion of turkey can a dog eat?

Can our four-legged family members eat some of the delicious foods on the table, such the turkey? Yes, they can in the case of turkey! You can include grilled, roasted, or fried turkey in your dog’s daily treat allowance.

However, before you carve your dog a piece, keep the following in mind:

Treats can account for up to 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. That equates to around 40 grams of white meat or 30 grams of dark meat, NOT counting the skin, for a standard 25 pound dog. That is not a lot!

Tryptophan is a great amino acid to get from turkey. Large amounts of turkey for dogs can result in an increase in flatulence, but too much tryptophan and turkey may make us feel exhausted in people. If you give your dog too much turkey, he might toot!

Savory flavors and dogs frequently don’t get along. Garlic and onions, for instance, might affect a dog’s red blood cell activity and should be avoided. The amount of garlic seasoning on the turkey may be too much for your dog if you can smell it.

Turkey meat from a deli is not a wise choice. Deli meat is frequently packed with extra salt, fat, and seasonings, making it a less-than-ideal choice for many dogs.

Roasted or baked turkey breast can be a generous treat if your dog is not easily stressed and takes changes to its diet well. However, take care not to overindulge or give the turkey any unidentified substances. When in doubt, give your dog a reward made especially for them, like Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Soup BonesTM in Real Turkey & Rice Flavor or her Nutrish Turkey Bacon Recipe snacks.

Is turkey healthier for dogs than chicken?

Turkey triumphs because it is the meat that is best suited for dogs of all ages and health conditions! It seems sense that Now Fresh’s chief nutritionist, Dr.

What kind of meat is ideal for dogs?

What dog doesn’t become hyperactive when there is around meat? Animal-based proteins, such as those found in chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, chuck steak or roast, aid in the development of robust dogs. There are certain guidelines to follow:

  • Always properly prepare beef. Never offer it uncooked or raw.
  • Steer clear of fatty meats like bacon.
  • Cut everything human food, including meat, into bite-sized pieces. Also acceptable is ground beef.
  • Meats that are rotten, moldy, or old are not acceptable.

Can dogs eat slices of turkey?

Your dog will enjoy a gratifying snack of real, cooked, unseasoned turkey breast with the skin, bones, and fat removed. Slices of processed deli turkey meat should not be given to dogs, though, as they are high in sodium and preservatives and may harm your dog.

Do dogs fall asleep after a turkey meal?

My grandmother was a character out of a novel “My sister and I refer her Nana. Nana was an excellent cook who frequently showed her affection by preparing scrumptious meals and comfort foods. Thanksgiving, the most celebrated food festival in America, was unquestionably the event to attend at her house. My family, like many Americans, gobbled up everything Nana put on her crowded dining room table that day, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, butternut squash, toasty buns, salads, corn casserole, and, Thanksgiving course, the required roasted turkey. My sister and I used to overindulge at this annual feast and then go into food induced comas, sleeping off the excess for many hours before waking up to consume one more piece of pie.

Years later, I discovered that the tryptophan amino acid, a specific ingredient in turkey, was probably to blame for my post-meal sleepiness. An initial proponent of this hypothesis claimed that turkey flesh has abnormally high quantities of tryptophan.

Tryptophan is taken and utilised by the body to make the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin (a hormone). Melatonin aids in promoting sensations of sleepiness (i.e., improves sleep), whereas serotonin’s neural pathway provides relaxing and anti-anxiety properties. According to the hypothesis, the body produces more melatonin and serotonin after eating a high-protein meal, especially one that is high in tryptophan, which results in sleepiness, decreased anxiety, and a peaceful frame of mind. The post-turkey coma has here!

Early in the 1980s, the tryptophan/turkey idea gained so much traction and acceptance that nutrient-supplement businesses made the decision to completely ignore the turkey component of the equation and start creating and marketing tryptophan supplements instead (L-tryptophan). These were initially marketed as sleep aids and ways to lessen anxiety symptoms. The advertised advantages of L-tryptophan, however, quickly grew to include, among other things, claims that it would improve athletic performance, alleviate facial pain, prevent premenstrual syndrome, and improve attention in children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. But this is how these things work. (The marketing of L-tryptophan as a therapy for Tourette syndrome is my particular favorite.)

L-tryptophan had a solid reputation as the essential amino acid for “everything that ails you’ until 1989, when it was discovered to be the cause of eosinophilia-myalgia in more than 5,000 people, resulting in at least 37 fatalities and hundreds of lifelong disabilities. Its import and sale as a supplement were swiftly outlawed by the US Food and Drug Administration. The prohibition was in place until 2009, even though the issue was ultimately identified as a contaminant in a supplement purchased from a Japanese supplier (rather than the L-tryptophan itself). Although L-tryptophan is once again offered as a nutrient supplement, it has never again attained the kind of popularity it formerly enjoyed as a supplement for people.

Tryptophan and Dogs

It’s surprising that L-tryptophan was mostly overlooked by the dog community until a study found that providing supplementary L-tryptophan to dogs may lessen aggressiveness motivated by dominance or territoriality1 in 2000. (see references on page 10). The researchers also looked at hyperactive and excitable dogs, but they were unable to detect any effects of L-tryptophan on either of these characteristics. However, the research gave rise to the misconception that tryptophan supplementation was helpful in calming dogs down and lessening issue aggression, both of which were not supported by the study.

There are many L-tryptophan products on the market now that claim to relax and reduce anxiety in dogs. It’s interesting to note that none of these products include only L-tryptophan; instead, they all also contain ingredients like chamomile flower, passion flower, valerian root, or ginger, all of which are said to have a calming effect on dogs.

So what does science have to say? Does consuming turkey or ingesting L-tryptophan supplements help people feel calmer and less anxious? Can it be used as a useful nutrient supplement to help dogs with behavioral behaviors brought on by anxiety?

The Turkey Sleepiness Myth

The idea that eating turkey makes you sleepy or calms you down is a myth. The theory falls short in a number of ways. First off, tryptophan content in turkey meat is not particularly high. It has about the same amount of tryptophan as other meats, but only about half as much as some proteins derived from plants, including soy. Do you fall asleep after eating a lot of tofu?

Second, studies have demonstrated that the tryptophan intake following a typical high-protein meal, even one with a lot of tryptophan, is not nearly high enough to significantly alter serotonin levels in the blood or in the synapses of neurons, where it counts the most.

Third, tryptophan that is transported in the bloodstream after eating needs to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain in order to be transformed into serotonin (and subsequently into melatonin). Only a specific number of each type of amino acid may pass through this barrier, making it very selective. Due to its size, tryptophan must outcompete numerous other amino acids of a similar kind in order to pass the barrier. Tryptophan levels do rise after eating, especially if the meal contains a lot of protein, and it starts to pound on the blood-barrier door for admission. Although turkey has all of them, other amino acids that are also present in significant concentrations are also in competition with it. Because of this, relatively little tryptophan is converted in the brain after a meal that contains several other nutrients.

So why are you feeling so sleepy? It’s more likely that eating too much (which reduces blood flow and oxygen to the brain as your body diverts resources to the mighty job of digestion), drinking a little holiday (alcoholic) cheer, and possibly consuming a lot of high-carbohydrate foods like potatoes, yams, and breads—which leads to a relatively wider flu—are the real causes of the drowsiness and euphoria that we all experience after a great turkey dinner at Nana’ Whatever the reason, don’t give the turkey or the tryptophan the benefit of the doubt.

Tryptophan: Flying Solo

That being said, the incorrect emphasis on turkey did have some advantages in that it prompted researchers to examine tryptophan’s possible effects on emotions and behavior when taken as a supplement. Tryptophan (and its metabolite 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP) is a precursor to serotonin and has been investigated as a replacement or adjunct therapy for serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRRIs), drugs that are frequently prescribed to treat depression in humans and are occasionally prescribed to treat anxiety-related behaviors in dogs.

Even though there hasn’t been much research on the effects of tryptophan supplementation in dogs, the initial dog study from 2000 was followed by a number of insightful papers:

Tryptophan and Anxiety

A sample of 138 privately owned dogs with anxiety-related behavioral issues was investigated by researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands2.

Design of the study: Half the dogs were fed a regular dog food (control), and the other half were given the same chow that had been made with added L-tryptophan. The designated groups for the dogs were unknown to both the owners and the researchers. In other words, this was a “double-blind, placebo-controlled study,” which is the “gold standard of research designs” (for more information on studies, check my book Dog Food Logic). For eight weeks, owners fed their dogs the prescribed food and noted any behavioral changes they saw. In order to evaluate the dogs at the conclusion of the trial, the researchers also carried out a series of behavioral tests.

Results: Although the supplemented dogs’ blood levels of tryptophan increased significantly (by 37%), neither the owners nor the researchers saw any behavioral differences between the supplemented dogs and the control dogs. All of the dogs’ behavior did mildly change over time, but this shift was attributable to a placebo effect (more on placebos in the column next month). Overall, treatment with L-tryptophan did not appear to have any calming effects on the study dogs.

Tryptophan and Abnormal/Repetitive Behaviors

A group of 29 canines was found to exhibit a variety of abnormal-repetitive behaviors, including circling, anxiety-related lick granulomas, light chasing/shadow staring, and feces eating. (Note: One can dispute the inclusion of stool-eating in this study, as many veterinary specialists believe that eating feces is a widespread and typical kind of scavenging behavior in domestic dogs.)

Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study was used for this one. Additionally, the study’s authors employed a “cross-over design” in which half the dogs were initially given the control diet while the other half were initially provided the test food for a length of time, followed by a second study period during which all the pups were shifted to the alternate diet. When a researcher only has a few volunteers, this widely used study design is beneficial since it helps to control for the placebo effect.

The dogs received treatment for intervals of two weeks, and daily frequency counts of their anomalous behaviors were kept.

Results: Supplemental L-tryptophan had no impact on the frequency or severity of abnormal/repetitive behaviors, according to the researchers. While the dogs were receiving the additional tryptophan and while they were consuming the control food, the owners noticed gradual improvements over time, despite this (there is the insidious placebo effect again).

This study’s limitations included its short duration and focus on unusual behavioral issues that are well known for being difficult to treat. However, this study did not offer any proof to back up the use of tryptophan supplementation for canine repetitive behavior issues. Sorry, there isn’t a straightforward solution with L-tryptophan for those of you who live with poop-eating pets.

Tryptophan-Enhanced Diet and Anxiety

The same meal was either offered to dogs with anxiety-related behavioral issues as a control, or it was supplemented with L-tryptophan and alpha-casozepine, a little peptide derived from milk protein4.

This single-blind, crossover trial only included dog owners who were unaware of the treatments. Following an initial eight-week period on the control diet, all of the dogs were then moved to the test food for an additional eight weeks. It is impossible to discern between a placebo effect and a real diet effect in this study because the treatment group always adhered to the same protocol as the control group in this study design. (Note: The authors of the study only briefly highlight this significant issue in the research design.)

Results: For four of the five identified anxiety disorders, there was a slight decrease in the behaviors associated with anxiety as measured by the owners. While the change in score was statistically significant, the original severity of the difficulties was judged in each case as being relatively low (1 to 1.5 on a five-point scale where a score of 0 denoted the absence of the problem and a score of 5 denoted its utmost severity). This is not unexpected given the narrow margin between a score of 1 and a score of 0. Finally, since casozepine and L-tryptophan were added to the diet, specific conclusions about casozepine cannot be drawn.

Take-Away Points for Dog Folks

Ignore the turkey first. Turkey does not contain any more tryptophan than any other dietary protein, despite the fact that it can be a high-quality meat to feed to dogs (especially if you choose a dish that combines human-grade meats or are cooking fresh for your dog). Giving your dog turkey won’t make it calmer (unless you allow him to stuff himself silly along with the rest of the family on Thanksgiving Daya practice as unadvisable for him as it is for you).

Second, when contemplating the efficacy of supplemental L-tryptophan or a tryptophan-enriched food as a treatment for anxiety-related issues, keep your skeptic hat firmly in place. The initial trial from 2000 revealed no effect in treating hyperactivity but did find a moderate effect in treating dogs with dominance-related aggressiveness or territorial behaviors.

Then, two placebo-controlled studies found no impact at all, and the one that found a minor amount of behavior change could not rule out a placebo effect.

Human nature drives us to seek out quick answers for any issues that plague our dogs. For dog owners who are desperate to help their dogs, hearing about a nutrient supplement or specially prepared food that claims to lower anxiety and calm fearful dogs is powerful information. These kinds of claims are particularly alluring due to the horrible effects anxiety issues can have on a dog’s quality of life and the fact that they are frequently difficult to treat using the conventional (and effective) method of behavior modification.

Another danger associated with our propensity to turn to unproven nutritional “cures” is that owners who choose the supplement instead of tried-and-true methods like behavior modification could waste valuable time that could be used to really assist a dog in need. My advice is to enjoy the turkey but teach the dog until we have greater scientific proof that L-tryptophan plays a role in altering bad behavior in our dogs.