Raw turkey necks for dogs have been a staple food in my home since 2015.
That’s when I switched my then-Boxer mix pups Missy & Buzz from kibble to raw dog food.
Spoiler alert: They loved eating raw turkey necks, and so does my current pup Wally! He’s a Feist mix.
In this blog post, I’ll share how I feed them whole as well as:
- Why are raw turkey necks safe for dogs?
- Benefits of turkey necks for dogs
- 2 different ways of feeding them
- A feeding video
- How to prevent dietary induced Hyperthyroidism in dogs
- When not to feed turkey necks and alternatives
- Can dogs eat raw turkey giblets?
And last but not least:
- Where to buy raw turkey necks for dogs in the US, including a 15% off coupon code
Turkey Necks for Dogs: How to Feed & More
Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated in 2023. Some of the links are affiliate links I earn money through at no additional cost to you.
- Why Are Raw Turkey Necks Safe For Dogs?
- Benefits of Turkey Necks for Dogs
- How To Feed Your Dog Turkey Necks
- When Not To Feed Your Dog Turkey Necks
- Can Dogs Eat Raw Turkey Giblets?
- Turkey Necks For Dogs: Bottom Line
- Content Related to Raw Turkey Necks for Dogs:
Why Are Raw Turkey Necks Safe For Dogs?
First things first, let’s talk about how safe it is to feed your pups raw turkey necks. After all, feeding raw bone can be intimidating for new raw feeders!
I know this because I’ve been there and felt that way!
I remember coming up with all sorts of horror scenarios like my pups choking on turkey necks and dying a miserable death.
However, none of that happened and I was able to quickly overcome my fears.
That’s because I saw that Missy and Buzz instinctively knew how to eat their turkey necks.
I also began by holding one end of the turkey neck and letting the pups chew on the other end.
That way I made sure that they didn’t try to eat it whole.
It also teaches them polite behavior around high-value food items while humans hold or touch the food.
That said, 9 years of feeding raw turkey necks have definitely turned me into a confident raw turkey neck feeder.
Let me explain why they’re so safe for dogs to eat.
In raw feeding, there are 3 main types of meat that you feed in different quantities:
(1) Muscle meat (70-80%, depending on whether or not you add plant matter)
(2) Secreting organs (10%)
(3) Raw meaty bones (aka RMBs)
Turkey Necks are Raw Meaty Bones
They consist of soft, pliable bone and meat that’s still attached to the bone.
To be more specific, turkey necks consist of roughly:
- 40% bone
- 60% muscle meat
You’ll want to take that ratio into account when you’re making DIY homemade raw dog food.
Turkey Necks are Soft and Pliable
One of the reasons why they're so safe to eat is because they're soft and pliable.
Dogs have a very acidic stomach environment that's designed to digest raw meat, including soft, raw bones, without a problem.
How to Cook Turkey Necks for Dogs
I keep getting asked if it's OK to cook raw bones intended for feeding, including turkey necks.
No, it's not.
DO NOT COOK TURKEY NECKS!!!
Turkey necks are not safe to feed once they've been cooked.
That's because cooking changes the density of the bone structure and makes them brittle.
When they break, they're pointy and can cause intestinal damage.
So it's important to NEVER feed your dog cooked bones.
Only feed raw meaty bones. Those are soft!
Benefits of Turkey Necks for Dogs
Although raw meaty bones like turkey necks only make up 10% of raw dog food, they're an essential component of it.
Without them, raw dog food would not be balanced and would cause nutritional deficiencies.
That's because raw meaty bones like turkey necks are a great source of lean protein, calcium and phosphorus.
They're also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, which makes them great for joint support.
That makes them so much more efficient and healthier than synthetic joint support pills!
Whole turkey necks naturally clean and strengthen your dog's teeth. No more teeth brushing required!
They also provide mental stimulation and a fabulous jaw workout.
That's because chewing is a natural dog behavior and should be supported.
Especially if you don't want them to chew on inappropriate items like your shoes or kids' toys!
Good to know: The turkey necks from Raw Paws Pet Food are sourced from turkeys raised on family farms in the USA.
How To Feed Your Dog Turkey Necks
There are a few different ways of how you can feed your dog raw turkey necks.
- One option is to feed them whole as part of a balanced raw meal.
- Another option is to feed them ground as part of a balanced raw meal.
- Of course you can also use them to make highly nutritious bone broth.
- You can also add raw turkey necks to your dog's weekly dental cleaning routine, even if you usually feed pre-made raw dog food.
Good to know: Whole turkey necks from Raw Paws Pet Food come in different sizes and weigh between 8-13 oz.
So keeping in mind that turkey necks have about 40% bone content, you'll find anywhere between 3.2 oz - 5.2ish oz of bone on their turkey necks.
That's important information to know when you're including them in raw meal prep.
The rest of the turkey neck is meat that counts towards your dog's muscle meat allowance!
1. Feed Them Whole
As mentioned at the very beginning of this blog post, both Wally, Missy & Buzz usually eat their raw turkey necks whole.
I combine them with other cuts of muscle meat and secreting organs for a whole meal.
I also add some plant matter several times per week.
When I do, I either make my own veggie and fruit smorgasbord. For example puréed spinach, celery, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms and blueberries.
Or, I add a dehydrated veggie & herb pre-mix like Dr. Harvey's Paradigm. That makes veggie meal prep a lot quicker.
This particular meal features:
- A whole turkey neck
- Ground turkey
- Venison meat
- Beef green tripe
- Beef liver
- Lamb brains
- A raw duck egg
2. Feed Them Ground Or Cut Up
If your dog has weak teeth or misses several or all of his teeth, he obviously won't be able to eat whole turkey necks.
In that case, you'll have to grind the turkey necks for him. You can do that with powerful meat grinders such as these.
If your pup has no teeth issues and you prefer adding a little turkey neck to your pup's individual raw dog food containers, just cut them up!
But watch your fingers and be sure to use a sharp, serrated breadknife.
3. Use Turkey Necks To Make Nutritious Bone Broth
You can also use whole, raw turkey necks to make delicious and nutritious bone broth for your pup and yourself!
Bone broth is great for joint support because the chondroitin and glucosamine seeps out of the bones and into the broth.
It's also great for an upset doggie stomach, detoxifies the liver and can work as a meal topper for picky eaters.
Just a heads up: You don't have to use a variety of raw meaty bones for bone broth if you don't have access to them. It's fine to just use turkey necks and soup bones.
4. Add Raw Turkey Necks to Your Dog's Dental Health Routine
Even if you don't need whole turkey necks to make homemade raw dog food, you can add them to your pup's weekly oral health routine.
They're a great, natural tool to help scrape plaque off your dog's teeth and massage their gums.
Plus, chewing on real bones is one of the most natural dog behaviors that exercise their jaws and battle boredom!
When Not To Feed Your Dog Turkey Necks
However, if your dog has a food sensitivity to turkey, you obviously shouldn't feed him or her anything turkey, including turkey necks.
In that case, you'll need to feed raw meaty bones from other animals. For example, duck necks or chicken necks.
Tip: Use my affiliate discount code K9Savings for an additional 15% off from Raw Paws Pet Food.
If turkey necks are too large for your pup, try feeding smaller raw meaty bones like chicken necks, feet and wings.
Alternatively, break or cut your turkey necks into smaller pieces.
Note: For variety's sake, offer your dog different raw meaty bones, ideally from different animals.
This also ensures that they'll get more nutrients as different cuts of meat from different animals vary heavily in nutrients.
How to Prevent Dietary Induced Hyperthyroidism in Dogs
It can also prevent dietary induced hyperthyroidism in your dog.
This condition can be caused when dogs eat TOO MANY turkey necks (and head meat), or only turkey necks for their raw meaty bone allowance.
It still seems to be a rare occurrence that's likely linked to a predisposition in some dogs towards hyperthyroidism.
The reason for this is that raw meaty neck bones CAN include thyroid tissue if it hasn't been removed by the processing facility.
To avoid this, make sure to alternate your raw meaty bones!
Other RMBs you can feed are:
- Rib Bones
- Femur Bones
- Neck Bones
- Tail Bones
So again, for variety's sake it's important to rotate what you're feeding your pup!
You should never feed just one single recipe but really alternate between different cuts and protein sources.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Turkey Giblets?
They sure can!
Turkey giblets are a collective term for several different cuts of turkey:
Turkey Necks For Dogs: Bottom Line
Raw turkey necks weigh anywhere from 8-13 oz and have a bone content of about 40%.
They're naturally rich in calcium, phosphorus, glucosamine and chondroitin. Those are important for strong bones and healthy joints.
Raw meaty bones like turkey necks are also great to naturally help clean dog teeth, provide a jaw workout and mental stimulation.
But remember to only feed your dog RAW turkey necks!
That's when they're soft and pliable, and your dog's acidic stomach has no problem digesting them.
When you cook bones like turkey necks, they become brittle and can easily break. That's when they're pointy and dangerous.
So remember not to feed your dog any cooked bones!
The only time when cooking turkey necks for dogs is OK is when you use them to make homemade bone broth.
Other than that, you can either feed your dog whole raw turkey necks or grind them with a meat grinder.
If you have a gulper and want to feed a whole turkey neck, hold one end of the neck and let your dog chew on the other end.
I demonstrate this in my turkey neck feeding video here.
If you'd like to go ahead and order a bag of turkey necks from Raw Paws Pet Food, just click the button below. Remember to use my affiliate discount code K9Savings for 15% off.
Unless you like paying full price, ha!
Note Regarding The 2023 Turkey Neck Giveaway
Our 2023 Turkey Neck Giveaway has come to an end. We'll soon offer a new giveaway for a different cut of raw meat. Once we do, you'll find the link to it here.
Jan 1, 2023Congrats to the lucky winner, Mary! April 1, 2023Congrats to the lucky winner, Michaela! July 1, 2023Congrats to the lucky winner, Deborah! October 1, 2023Congrats to the lucky winner, JoAnn!
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- Raw Paws Pet Food Variety Pack Review
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