Can I Give My Dog a Slice of Turkey Deli Meat?

Many pet parents have been in a situation where they are making themselves a sandwich, and their beloved pup is looking up at them with big eyes hoping for a tasty piece of deli meat. We always want to make our dogs happy, but sometimes we have to think about what is best for their health first.

Deli meat may be alright for humans to consume, but that is not necessarily the case for dogs. There are a few reasons you should not toss your dog a piece of deli meat while in the kitchen.

deli meat

Instead, try giving your dog a healthy turkey snack. Many dog foods and treats contain turkey as the main ingredient.

Is Deli Meat Okay?

Deli meat, hot dogs, and other processed meats contain high amounts of salt and preservatives, neither of which are good for dogs. In fact, ingesting them can be harmful to your pup’s health. At the very least, it can cause an upset stomach.

It is unhealthy to feed deli meat of any kind to your dog regularly. The combination of high sodium levels and a large number of nitrates can cause digestive and kidney problems in dogs.

Deli meat also has a variety of marinades and seasonings, including garlic, onions, and hops. These ingredients are highly toxic to dogs if consumed. If your dog ingests these food items, it could cause excessive or heavy panting, rapid heart rate, fever, seizures, and, in severe cases, death.

Is There a Safe Deli Meat Option?

Unfortunately, there is no safe option when considering which deli meat to feed your dog. Your best bet is to avoid feeding deli meat to your dog altogether.

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While deli meat itself is not necessarily toxic, it has high sodium and fat content, a large number of calories, and possibly poisonous seasonings. All of this is not good for your pup’s health.

If you insist on giving your dog a deli meat snack, turkey or chicken breast deli meats are the best options. Try to choose one that is low-sodium and mostly plain. Also, make sure you only give it to them as a rare treat.

Is Turkey Safe for Dogs at All?

Turkey meat itself is not toxic to dogs. In fact, it has many great benefits. Turkey is high in protein and other valuable nutrients that are great for your dog to eat.

With this being said, not all turkey is created equal. It greatly depends on how the turkey you want to feed your pup is prepared.

Thanksgiving turkey leftovers are not a great turkey treat option for your dog. It is baked with tons of oil, salt, and other seasonings like garlic and onion. All of these ingredients are bad for your dog’s health.

If you want to feed your dog a healthy turkey option, ensure that the meat is plain and cooked. Turkey can be a wonderfully healthy snack for your dog.

The meat itself is lean and does not contain a high-fat content like other meats might. Not only is the turkey meat safe for your pup to eat, but the giblets, which are the heart, liver, and other organs, also make a great snack for your dog. Read more at the Spot & Tango blog here.

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How Can You Prepare Turkey for Your Dog?

If you want to give your dog a delicious turkey snack, it is simple to properly prepare the meat to be safe for your pup to consume.

You can feed your dog raw turkey if they are currently on a raw diet. Ensure that you are getting a turkey from a trusted source and that it is not rancid.

If you would rather cook the turkey, you can boil it or bake it until the meat is cooked through. Remember, you do not want to season the meat at all. Seasonings can be bad for your dog to ingest.

Turkey can make up to 10% of your dog’s daily calories. Always supervise your pup if they are trying a new food for the first time. If your pup is not used to raw meat, you should cook the turkey thoroughly to ensure that it does not cause them to get sick.

While turkey deli meat is a no-go for dog snacks, turkey meat can be a healthy part of your dog’s diet. Deli meat and other processed meats are high in sodium, nitrates, fat, and calories. All of these things are not good for your dog to consume.

Leftover turkey can often contain seasonings that we should not feed our pets, so stay away from those when looking for a tasty doggie treat. Turkey meat or giblets specifically prepared for your pup make the healthiest turkey snack.