Can German Shepherds eat Turkey?

No doubt, Turkey meat is enjoyed by people all over the world. It’s a part of various religious traditions and rituals. The soft bird meat can be used in versatile dishes which can be very appetizing. We love it, so do our beloved German Shepherds. But the question is, can german shepherds really eat turkey? Is it safe for them? If so, how to feed it properly.

German Shepherds are enthusiastic pets. They are active and love to be involved in physical activities. This is the reason why protein is an important part of their diet. They also love meat and other forms of animal protein. Although most dog parents feed red meat and bones to their dogs as sources of protein, turkey meat can be a tasty alternative as well. 

Can my German Shepherd eat turkey?

Yes, turkey can be consumed by dogs in general and German Shepherds in particular. Turkey meat is indeed a good alternative to the traditional cuts that are served to dogs. If you have been contemplating on introducing a new source of animal protein to your dog’s diet, it can be a good option. Turkey meat should be served skinless. This is the main condition that one needs to take care of when serving bird meat to dogs. Just because you love a beautiful crisp skin roasted turkey doesn’t mean it’s good for your German Shepherd too!

Turkey is not only safe for your dog but also has several health benefits. In fact, turkey is an ingredient in many commercial dog foods. So chances are, your German Shepherd has already consumed turkey at some point. 

How is turkey beneficial for my German Shepherd?

Every dog’s health needs are different in terms of breed, age, and size. Their nutritional requirements vary because of that. However, German Shepherds are big, playful, and like to remain active. Increased activities demand more energy and that is why they need a good quantity of protein. Turkey is packed with nutrients and can help your dog in several ways. Let’s look at them –

  1. Helps in muscle growth – Turkey is an excellent source of protein. A 100 grams serving of turkey meat contains 27 grams of protein. This means that if you include turkey in your German Shepherd’s meal, there is little to no need for another source of protein. German Shepherd, especially when they are of growing age, require a good quantity of protein. This ensures that they grow up to their full potential and stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Strong muscles are important to maintain proper health even later in life. 
  2. Good source of fat – Although it might seem that fat should be avoided at all cost, the truth is, both humans and animals require a certain quantity of fat in their diets. Every 100 grams of turkey contains 8 grams of fat. This indicates that the content is neither too high, nor too low. This makes turkey apt for the consumption of dogs. Dogs, especially German Shepherds, require a fixed quantity of fat in their diet. This is because fat is literally the fuel for muscles and helps dogs in all sorts of movements. Additionally, because of the fact that the fat content is limited, a planned turkey meal over sometime can also lead to weight loss in fluffier German Shepherds. 
  3. Provides energy and enhances metabolism – Turkey meat contains riboflavin. This component is essential for dogs, especially for breeds such as German Shepherds who need a lot of energy. Riboflavin helps in improving metabolism. This has two advantages. First, fast metabolism means quick energy. Second, good metabolism also ensures that your dog doesn’t gain extra pounds which can be a big problem in the case of big dogs. 
  4. High Vitamins and Minerals content – Turkey contains a good quantity of both minerals such as Zinc and Vitamins such as B-6 and B-12. This makes turkey an important source of these essential nutrients which have a whole lot of benefits for your dog. If your German Shepherd suffers from ailments often, it can be an indicator that they may have a weak immune system. Zinc helps with improving the immunity in dogs. It also regulates thyroid functions. On the other hand, Vitamin B12 is important for the nervous system and brain functioning of your dog. German Shepherds are usually intelligent and love to participate in learning tricks. This is the reason why they need a good source of Vitamin B12 in their diet. Vitamin B6 helps in amino acid metabolism. The process also helps with bladder heath. 
  5. Alternative to allergic meats – If your dog is allergic to any sort of meat such as chicken, lamb or pork and you haven’t tried out turkey yet, you should totally go for it. It can be a good alternative because it contains all the essential nutrients that your German Shepherd might be missing out on because of the allergies. To be safe, you should start off with a small quantity. 
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How to feed turkey to my German Shepherd ?

Turkey meat is delicious and most dogs love it. German Shepherds often enjoy their meat raw. However, it is advised that the first time you feed turkey, you should cook it properly for some time and then serve. Additionally, dogs cannot digest skin. So, make sure the meat you’re serving is skinless. Another important thing to keep in mind is to remove all the bones carefully before serving them. Never feed any cooked bones to your dog.

Here is a simple recipe to get you started with serving turkey to your pet. 

Turkey and Vegetable Rice 

Step 1 – Take some rice, wash and soak them. You can also add beans or any other grain that your dog loves. 

Step 2 – Pick out the skin and bones from the turkey and wash them thoroughly. Thereafter, cut it into small pieces. 

Step 3 – Chop your dog’s favorite vegetables. 

Step 4 – Put the turkey meat and vegetables into a pot and boil. Once boiled, keep the stock aside, don’t throw it away. You can use the broth for your own use. However, we will be using it in this recipe itself.

Step 5 – In a pan, take some sesame oil and heat it up. Add a sprinkle of dried rosemary. Add the vegetables and simmer on low heat.

Step 6 – In a rice cooker, boil the rice with the broth from boiling the meat and vegetables. 

Step 7 – Add the cooked rice (and beans) to the vegetables and cook for another couple of minutes. 

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Step 8 – Let it cool down for some time and serve to your German Shepherd. 

Things to remember before feeding turkey

Yes, there are certain things that you need to take care of before you introduce something new to the diet of your dog. This is because every dog is different, has a different medical history, and needs accordingly. 

  1. You must consult your vet before you introduce turkey to your dog. You should also enquire about the quantity that your German Shepherd should consume. 
  2. Turkey meat can cause allergies in some dogs. So it is better to feed a small amount of turkey to your pet and check for any side effects. 
  3. Always make sure the turkey is skinned and the bones removed before serving it. 

Our Verdict

Yes, German Shepherds can eat turkey. However, Pet owners must take precautions on how to feed the turkey properly. It is advised to consult a vet before adding anything new to your dog’s diet. With that been said, Turkey is a really good source of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. If given in a proper way, no doubt about its positive impacts on your GSD’s health.   

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