Turkey and your pets

jojocoNovember 19, 2012

I know this is probably more of a conversations comment, but it is important so I am putting it here. Hope you all will indulge me.

One wintry Sunday, about two years ago, I roasted a large turkey. I decided to treat my dog with some of the pan drippings and bits of meat, mixed in with his dry food. He loved it. Fast forward several hours and he was in severe distress, dry heaves and lots of trips outside. I took him to the emergency vet and he was treated for pancreatitis. Had I waited til morning, he would not have made it. The vet told me that turkey is incredibly high in fat (especially the skin and dark meat) and that many dogs can't tolerate it. He had a slow recovery but eventually recovered, but to this day, if he has anything fatty (a scrap of cheese on the floor,ie) to eat, his stomach will make loud noises all night. His diet is strictly watched.

A little white meat is supposedly fine, but I will never chance it.

Just an FYI for our furry friends.


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never had the extreme conditions you describe...but had a few "poopy butt" poodles.
I swear Chabby must have had a cast iron gut...I would let her lick the turkey platter....and other than a little poopy problems...very mild, never an issue. However I have known other dogs who had miserable holiday nights....so Latte only gets a little white meat.

And I might add....watch for the larcenous ones!! You may not intend them to have turkey skin....but....

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:07PM
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Beware! About 10 years ago a Lhasa-poo named Apple whined and cried for her part of the turkey. Silly me, I caved. Just like Jo's pup, Apple ended up one sick gal with pancreatitis!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:34AM
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Turkey doesn't seem to bother my dog, Elvira. She has had it every year for the last 10 years. One year she was given a little too much and threw it up, then tried to clean up her mess. Yuck! Now I only give her a small bit of white meat. She eats diet dog food so not suppose to have any scraps.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:58AM
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Jo, I also heard this a couple of years ago, so I checked with Pancho's vet at that time. I recently asked Cooper's vet the same question. I had also been told that pork was harmful to dogs, so I was discussing diet in general.

As it was explained to me, any animal fat could trigger such an episode, and it's not usually the fualt of the turkey meat, but the fat/skin/drippings. It was most likely those turkey drippings on the dog food, that's pretty much all fat, but skin will do it too. My vet says that a diet higher in fat than it is in protein will cause it, but that turkey meat itself is not harmful.

The WonderWeiner ate far too much turkey at every holiday, because he'd circulate from person to person, waiting for them to "sneak" him a bite. Of course, that's the same dog that ate an entire box of crayons and pooped technicolor for a week...

Pancho ate everything, from homemade bread to turkey and once managed to lick up most of the turkey drippings from a roasting pan I dropped on the floor. I went to get towels and the mop and when I came back, well, there was a lot less cleaning up to do. Elery used to regularly buy turkey thighs and roast a pan full, then give them to Pancho as supper, Pancho never ate dog food ever, but he didn't get the fat, the skin or the drippings, he just got the turkey itself.

Cooper eats everything too, I just roasted the carcass from the turkey Elery and I boned and rolled, and he ate the meat and skin from both wings for supper, although I didn't give him the drippings because I'm saving that for gravy. Along with a dinner roll and some leftover meatballs, then several "bites" of Dubliner cheese as a snack with Elery at 9 pm.

No pancreatitis, no tummy issues, no messy anything but Cooper is getting way too fat, which can also lead to pancreatitis. The real problem is trying to convince Elery not to feed him so much, no matter what it is. (sigh) And no matter what you're having for dinner, whether it be turkey or ham or prime rib, too much fat isn't good for anyone, including your dog. Be moderate in treating your pets and the holidays will be better for everyone in the family.

Happy Thanksgiving!


    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 1:21AM
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Very good discussion! I have a new kitten who apparently is a gourmet as she joins us at the table every meal wanting people food. She will literally walk away from her bowl when she sniffs the carefully selected cat food I provide for her and the other kitties.

Brownie is a rescue (her family lost their home and they are living in their truck). I was more concerned about what the family was eating so I didn't want to ask about Brownie's routine. I am taking her to the vet tomorrow so I will be asking for guidance.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:12AM
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Thank you everyone for sharing the experiences with your dogs. I saw in the local paper few years ago, that turkey was not good for them, I am relieved to hear stories that in moderation does no harm.
I watch my dogs diet because I consider them my responsibility and I want them to live a long and happy life.

Mustangs, very touchy story, my dogs are also rescue.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Yes, it's mainly the skin that's the problem, since it contains mostly fat and that's what people tend to give their dogs/cats. Also, since there is so much skin, it's easy to give too much once you start and the darling is begging. The meat itself is fine. Of course, like always, cooked bones are a big no no. Raw bones are good.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:35AM
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I've bred and owned many, many Abyssinian cats. They all love turkey, and AFAIK fat does them no harm. This was the opinion of my New England vet. I've never had an overweight cat, so this may not apply if your kitty is packing a few extra pounds.

We were cutting up our pre-T'giving turkey last week. DH turned his back briefly and came back to find Zack on the counter happily snacking on stray bits of meat and skin. BIG difference between dogs and cats is that cats can get to just about any horizontal surface if they are determined.

Bones are a whole other issue.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:53AM
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The vet told me to never give turkey skin to the dogs. I may give them little bites of the cooked meat, but not the fat or the skin.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:38PM
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My Lhasa used to jump up and try to grab the skin from my mouth back when I would eat it. He thought the turkey was good, and of course expected (beg for) some, but I'd microwave the skin until crisp like a potato chip (delicious, BTW) and he would fight me for it. But he didn't get too much of it. "Twasn't that much of it and I liked it enough to fight the little terrorist for it.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:24AM
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