Raw turkey for dogs

Raw Turkey for Dogs

Raw turkey for dogs is a lean protein that’s chock-full of vital minerals and vitamins.

All my dogs Missy, Buzz and Wally love it!

Update 2023: With $6.70/lb for turkey breasts, the retail price for turkeys is at a record high due to high supply costs from feed, fuel, fertilizer and labor.

That makes it even more important to hunt for discounted cuts of turkey, and/or to place a bulk order with raw dog food retailers to get a better price.

That said, here’s what you’ll learn in this blog post:

  • What’s in raw turkey?
  • Cuts of raw turkey you can feed your dog
  • Can a dog eat a turkey leg bone?
  • Where to buy raw turkey for dogs, specifically in the USA
  • Which size dogs are raw turkey necks best for?
  • Freeze-dried raw dog food turkey alternatives for traveling

Raw Turkey for Dogs

Raw turkey for dogs, cuts to feed, where to source & more

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated in 2023. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

What’s In Raw Turkey?

According to traditional chinese medicine, turkey falls into the category of neutral foods, as opposed to those of cooling and warming. 

It’s a lean source of protein (= great for weight management purposes!) that’s rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins such as:

  • Iron. Mineral that’s needed to carry oxygen throughout the body.
  • Choline. Nutrient responsible for proper liver & brain function. Also reduces seizure frequency in epileptic dogs.
  • Selenium. Mineral with antioxidant properties.
  • Zinc. Trace mineral and a necessary component of a healthy, functioning immune system.
  • Phosphorus & Calcium. Minerals that are important for skeletal & dental health.
  • Potassium. Mineral needed for healthy muscles, nerves, and enzymes.
  • B vitamins (B 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, Niacin = B 3). Water-soluble nutrients vital for a healthy nervous & immune system, healthy nails & skin, healthy digestion.

Good to know: Raw turkey is lower in saturated fats than chicken and beef.

Cuts Of Raw Turkey You Can Feed Your Dog

You can feed your dog the entire bird, including the turkey:

  • Neck
  • Wings
  • Leg quarters
  • Gizzards
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Legs
  • Breasts

If your pup’s teeth aren’t healthy enough to eat whole bones or if they have a tendency of gulping them, you can also grind the entire turkey with a meat grinder.

Turkey Necks

They’re a favorite raw meaty bone with a nice crunch factor. 

Read all about turkey necks here.

Wally’s raw meal below features a:

  • Whole turkey neck
  • Ground turkey
  • Venison meat
  • Beef green tripe
  • Beef liver
  • Lamb brains
  • Raw duck egg
K9sOverCoffee.com | My dog Wally's raw dog food consists of a raw turkey neck, ground turkey, venison, beef, lamb, and a duck egg.

Turkey Leg Quarters

Next up, let’s take a look at turkey leg quarters. They’re also a raw meaty bone, and a HUGE one!

On average, they weigh about 2 lb:

Weighing a raw turkey leg quarter for DIY raw dog food

Turkey Gizzards

They’re rich, so feed them in moderation.

Turkey gizzards are fed as muscle meat in raw dog food.

For more information on gizzards in general, check out my blog post Gizzards for dogs – how (much) to feed & more.

Cutting up raw turkey gizzards for raw dog food
Cutting up raw turkey gizzards

Turkey Hearts

Turkey hearts are muscular organs that are fed as …you guessed it…muscle meat! They’re particularly rich in Vitamin B12 and magnesium.

For more information on hearts in raw feeding, check out my blog post Why raw hearts for dogs are a powerful raw organ meat.

Cutting up raw turkey hearts for dogs

Turkey Breast

Whenever I see (ground) turkey breast on sale at my local grocery store, I buy it and use it for the pups’ (& my) dinner.

It also falls into the muscle meat category of raw dog food.

K9sOverCoffee | Ground Turkey Breast On Sale At The Grocery Store
Ground turkey breast on sale at the grocery store

Complete Turkey

Complete turkey can be fed as a meal.

It consists of muscle meat, raw meaty bones, and secreting organs.

Depending on the brand, it also features plant matter. For example, fruits, veggies, seeds, and/or nuts.

Turkey Leg Bones

I’ve been asked the question Can my dog eat a turkey leg bone a few times, and my answer is yes.

Now, are turkey leg bones safe for dogs?

Well, in my opinion, they’re as safe as other large raw meaty bones. For instance, pig trotters or duck frames.

That said, turkey legs aren’t commonly sold at raw dog food retailers, and I’m honestly not sure why that is.

I suppose some raw feeders consider them weight bearing bones and a bit too tough for dog teeth.

While I agree that they may be too much for smaller dogs, medium to large and extra large dogs who are used to eating raw meaty bones can eat them just fine.

Pictured below is my pup Wally with a turkey leg bone from a turkey his Daddy shot during wild turkey hunting season in NC (usually early April to early May).

For anyone new to the blog who doesn’t know Wally yet, he’s a 38 lb Feist mix. While he’s not the biggest pup, he eats turkey legs no problem!

Can my dog eat a turkey leg bone?
Hunting wild turkey in NC
Hunting wild turkey in NC

Where to Buy Raw Turkey for Dogs, Specifically in the USA

Over the years, I’ve bought my raw turkey supplies from different sources.

Grocery Store

The most conveniently located one is my grocery store just around the corner where I can find turkey necks and ground turkey breast meat. 

They always have whole turkeys on sale after the holidays, usually towards the beginning of the new year.

K9sOverCoffee.com | Raw Turkey For Dogs: Where to buy and how to feed

Raw Feeding Miami

They carry anything turkey!

From turkey livers, hearts, gizzards, necks, thighs – you name it, they have it.

They also carry turkey grinds that can be fed as complete meal (without plant matter).

Tip: Save 10% off your order from Raw Feeding Miami with my referral discount link.

Raw Paws Pet Food

Raw Paws Pet Food carries complete raw turkey for dogs and cats.

Complete means it’s ready to feed as is following the 80/10/10 raw feeding formula:

  • 80% muscle meat
  • 10% raw meaty bones
  • 10% secreting organs (5% liver, 5% other secreting organs)

If you’re looking to add some plant matter, you can add about 10%. Either your own mix of seasonal veggies/fruit/herbs/seeds/nuts, or a base- or pre-mix.

Here’s what’s in the complete turkey:

Turkey Meat, Turkey Breast, Turkey Frames, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Turkey Gizzards, Turkey Fries.

Note: Turkey fries are testicles. That’s an AWESOME cut to add and counts as a secreting organ!

Learn more about raw testicles for raw dog food here!

You can get the complete turkey as a 3lb chub, 1lb chub, and as 4lb patties. The 3lb chub is the best deal price-wise.

Different options of turkey dog food from raw paws pet food

2 Savings Tips:

(1) You can lower the price even more with my 15% affiliate discount code K9Savings on all things turkey from Raw Paws Pet Food.

 

Different cuts of raw meat from Raw Paws Pet Food
Missy with an order from Raw Paws Pet Food

(2) Shipping is free when you buy $199 or more in frozen raw dog food, so it literally pays off to stock up.

That translates into eleven 3lb chubs to get free shipping.

If you have enough freezer space, that’s a pretty good deal!

One more note on shipping: Raw Paws Pet Food also carries a few select Frozen Free Ship Packs that start at $89.

They also have individual cuts of raw turkey if you’re making DIY raw dog food:

Darwin’s Natural Pet

Darwin’s has 2 different turkey recipes, each with veggies.

However, one line is made with free-range meats & organic vegetables, and the other line is made with conventionally-raised meat & vegetables. The price difference is about $3.00 between the two lines.

That said, both can be fed as is if you’re following the BARF model of raw dog food (with veggies).

(1) Natural Selections Turkey, Ingredients:

Antibiotic-Free Meat (74.64%): Turkey Necks (including bone), Turkey Meat, Turkey Livers, Turkey Hearts, and Turkey Gizzards.

Organic Vegetables (24.66%): Sweet Potato, Lettuce, Carrots, Squash (seasonal), Celery, and Parsley.

Special Nutrient Mix (0.77%): Organic Flax Seed Oil, Sea Salt, Inulin, Cod Liver Oil (source of Vitamin D), Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Vitamin E, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Iodine.

This recipe is made with free-range meats and organic vegetables.

Darwin's Natural Selections Raw Turkey for Dogs & Raw Duck For Dogs with Organic Vegetables
Raw turkey dog food (& duck)

(2) Biologics Turkey, Ingredients:

Meat (74.64%): Turkey Necks (including bone), Turkey, Turkey Livers, Turkey Hearts, and Turkey Gizzards.

Vegetables (24.66%): Sweet Potato, Lettuce, Carrots, Squash (seasonal), Celery, and Parsley (vegetables may vary based on seasonality).

Special Nutrient Mix (0.70%): Organic Flax Seed Oil, Cod Liver Oil (source of Vitamin D), Proprietary Vitamin and Mineral Mix.

This recipe is made with conventionally-raised meats and vegetables.

My Pet Carnivore

My Pet Carnivore has fine ground whole turkey & coarse ground whole turkey (including feet and giblets):

They also carry turkey hearts (3 lb) as well as whole turkey necks (3 pack) and ground turkey necks (1lb).

Note: I’ve ordered from the brand, but not any of their turkey products (I got duck, trout and beaver).

Hare Today

The brand carries mostly individual cuts of turkey, but also has one turkey mix that’s mostly complete – it does lack one other secreting organ besides liver though:

Boneless turkey thigh, bone-in turkey drum, turkey liver, turkey wings with skin & bone, turkey gizzards, turkey heart, turkey neck.

As far as individual cuts of raw turkey, here’s what they have:

Note: I personally haven’t ordered anything from Hare Today but have heard good things about the brand.

Viva Raw Pets

The brand has a complete raw turkey meal for dogs, but no individual cuts of turkey.

Here’s what’s in their turkey dog food:

Turkey with Ground Bone, Turkey Heart, Turkey Gizzard, Turkey Liver, Organic Carrots, Organic Cranberries, Organic Broccoli, Organic Green Beans, Organic Flaxseed Oil, Organic Ginger, Organic Icelandic Kelp, Cod Liver Oil Powder, Organic Wheatgrass, Natural Vitamin E, Organic Shiitake Mushrooms, Green Mussels

You get 2 lb per package and can choose between chunked and ground.

Note: The brand had contacted me to try their products with Wally before we moved overseas to Germany, but I had to pass for 2 reasons.

1 – Most of their recipes include green mussels, which Wally can’t have.

2 – They weren’t willing to compensate me for a review (unfortunately, I can’t pay my bills with free food).

Which Size Dogs Are Raw Turkey Necks Best For?

Raw turkey necks are the perfect size for medium-large(r) dogs.

They vary in length and thickness and can measure anywhere between 4-7 inches, and weigh between 5-13 ounces.

Good to know: Smaller & somewhat softer turkey necks are sourced from female turkeys as opposed to their male counterparts.

They’re an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus, important for skeletal health, and keep dog teeth clean.

Note: While turkey necks are a wonderful raw meaty bone, make sure to rotate the raw meaty bones you feed your dog(s)!

If you feed nothing but neck bones, your pup may come down with dietary induced hyperthyroidism.

That’s because neck bones can include thyroid tissue.

Here are some alternatives for (turkey) neck bones:

What About Raw Turkey For Smaller Dogs?

I don’t recommend whole raw turkey necks for smaller dogs, simply because of their size.

That said, they can eat them once they’ve been cut into smaller parts or if they’re ground.

Cutting up raw turkey necks for DIY raw dog food
Cutting up raw turkey necks for meal prep

You can also hold one end of the neck and let your small pup chew on the other end. Then take it away after they’ve chewed on it for a while.

Good to know: Turkey necks consist of about 40% bone and 60% muscle meat.

They typically weigh between 8-13 oz.

So a 10 oz turkey neck consists of 4 oz bone and 6 oz muscle meat.

Raw meaty bones from smaller poultry are a great turkey bone alternative for small dogs, such as chicken or duck feet.

Both chicken and duck feet are about 4-6 inches in length and weigh about an ounce. They’re a great source of chondroitin and glucosamine which are needed for joint health.

Good to know: Chicken and duck feet consist of 60% bone and 40% muscle meat.

Since they weigh around 1 oz, they consist of 0.6 oz bone and 0.4 oz muscle meat.

K9sOverCoffee | Raw Duck Foot Weighing In At 1 Ounce
Weighing a raw duck foot

If you have a smaller dog but would still like to take advantage of the raw turkey bones, I recommend grinding them with heavy duty meat grinders such as these.

It’s powerful enough to grind turkey necks and chicken leg quarters.

Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Turkey Alternatives for Traveling

It can be tricky to find room for a big cooler filled with ice and raw dog food when you’re traveling with your entire family!

Freeze-dried raw dog food is a decent space-saving alternative for that scenario.

For example, freeze-dried turkey dog food such as:

BIXBI Rawbble freeze-dried turkey dog food

Raw Turkey For Dogs: Bottom Line

Turkey is a great protein that’s low in fat.

It’s chock-full of all the minerals and vitamins necessary for a strong immune system.

In our pack, it’s definitely a year-round favorite with Missy, Buzz, and Wally!

In order to keep the price down, see about ordering in bulk to save on shipping costs and/or use a discount from an affiliate raw feeder.

For example, my 15% OFF affiliate discount code K9Savings good for anything from Raw Paws Pet Food!

If you’re looking for a space-saving raw dog food alternative when traveling, consider giving freeze-dried raw dog food a try.

Leave your comments or questions below in the comment section below this blog post!

 

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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2 responses to “Raw Turkey for Dogs”

  1. Lindsay Stordahl Avatar
    Lindsay Stordahl

    Sometimes I can find great deals on turkey at the grocery store right after thanksgiving if I remember to look! And same thing for chicken after big grilling holidays like 4th of july.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Those are great tips, thanks, Lindsay! One way of really getting the biggest bang for your buck on those deals is if you’re able to buy in large quantities and freezing them. I still have a freezer chest on my list of things to get.

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