Can Dogs Eat Turkey Burgers Safely?

I spent this past weekend visiting relatives, and as I was leaving, I picked up a turkey burger from the food truck parked at their summer home.

I bought burgers for me and for my dog who accompanied me the whole long drive, and I ordered a couple of extra ones to go. They were really tasty! Naturally, my pup loved the burgers, too.

As I fed him his treat, I wondered if maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to give dogs turkey burgers. Can dogs eat turkey burgers safely?

What Is a Turkey Burger?

Before we answer the question can dogs eat turkey burgers, let’s define this burger that’s often considered a healthy alternative to beef.

A turkey burger is a meat patty made from ground turkey, often mixed with other ingredients like egg, breadcrumbs, and vegetables. Turkey burgers are a healthy alternative to beef in many aspects.

They contain less fat and cholesterol than beef patties, which makes them better for you if you’re trying to lose weight or lower your cholesterol level. They also have a high protein content.

Health Benefits of Turkey Burger for Dogs

Can you give a dog turkey burger? The answer is YES!

burger patties and sausages on the grill

Turkey burgers are a great way to add some variety to your dog’s diet. They are high in protein, low in calories and fat, and loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Turkey burgers for dogs can be a healthy alternative to other types of protein-rich foods, including beef and chicken. Here are some health benefits of turkey burger for dogs:

  • Turkey is a great source of protein.
  • Turkey contains B vitamins, which help with energy production and metabolism.
  • Turkey contains niacin and riboflavin (B6 and B12), which help the body turn food into energy.
  • Turkey contains taurine, an amino acid that helps prevent heart disease in cats and dogs by keeping their blood vessels healthy and preventing plaque buildup on their arteries.

Potential Risks of Turkey Burger for Dogs

Why can’t dogs eat turkey meat, in some cases? While turkey is a healthy, lean meat that can be a great option for your dog’s diet, turkey burgers are not always safe for dogs to eat.

Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to turkey, so it’s important to know what ingredients are included in the burger before feeding it to your dog.

Most commercial brands of turkey burgers contain chicken broth and other additives that could be dangerous for your pet.

Turkey also contains high levels of protein, which can lead to kidney damage in some dogs. If your dog has had kidney disease in the past or is taking medication that may affect the kidneys, you should consult with your veterinarian before feeding them turkey burgers.

Turkeys contain selenium, which can cause health problems for dogs if they eat too much. Selenium toxicity is more common in smaller dogs because they have a higher metabolic rate than larger dogs and are more likely to eat more turkey per bite than larger breeds.

If you’re concerned about whether or not your dog can eat turkey burgers safely, talk to your veterinarian about how much turkey your dog should eat at one time and what type of turkey would be best for them.

4 Tips When Giving Turkey Burgers To Your Dog

Choose Plain Meat

It’s important to use lean ground turkey when making your dog’s turkey burgers. This allows you to control how much fat is going into their diet while still giving them the high-protein boost they need.

If your dog has diabetes, there are some things you should be aware of when it comes to turkey burgers. The most important thing is that you should avoid giving your diabetic dog any glazed turkey burgers—this includes those that are frozen and ready-to-eat (RTE).

When we say “glazed,” we mean dipped in a sweet sauce or syrup before being cooked—and that’s where the problem comes in.

brown dog eating food on a person's hands

Diabetic dogs have trouble regulating their blood glucose levels because they don’t produce enough insulin or can’t use what they produce properly; this means they need to be on medication so their bodies can do what they’re supposed to do on their own.

Feed Your Dog in Portion and in Moderation

Turkey burgers contain salt and fat, so they’re not the healthiest choice for your pup if given to them daily. You don’t want to overfeed them, because they’ll be prone to bloating and diarrhea if they consume too much of these burgers.

Also, too much salt can cause dehydration in dogs who have heart problems or low blood pressure, so keep an eye on them after feeding them turkey burgers.

If you’d like to make sure that your dog is getting enough nutrients from the turkey burger, try mixing it with other ingredients like brown rice or beans for more fiber–that way your pup will get all the benefits of both!

Remove Fat

Too much fat isn’t good for your dog’s digestive tract—they can cause diarrhea and upset stomachs.

And while they may not seem like a big deal at first, these symptoms can quickly become dangerous if they go unchecked, or if they happen too often.

As a result, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s diet and make sure that he or she doesn’t have too much fat in their food.

Is ground turkey good for my dog?

Yes, ground turkey is very safe for dogs to eat. If you’re concerned about how to prepare it safely for your dog, here are some tips:

  • Choose a lean ground turkey with less than 10% fat content.
  • Never feed your dog raw meats—they can be dangerous and cause illness.
  • Make sure any ground turkey you buy has been handled properly and is free of bacteria that could make your dog sick.

Consider Turkey Burger Alternatives

Turkey burgers are a source of protein, much like beef burgers, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only option when it comes to healthy dog food.

There are lots of healthy options for your dog that can be substituted for turkey burgers in their diet. For example:

  • Chicken or beef meatballs
  • Chicken or beef jerky
  • Pork belly strips
  • Dried fish

Thinking of other meat alternatives? Here are two posts that might interest you, can dogs consume luncheon meat, and considering kangaroo meat for dogs.

How Much Turkey Burgers Can Dogs Consume?

The answer to this question depends on the size of your dog and his or her health. If you’re feeding your dog turkey burgers, then you should know that they can be a good source of protein for your animal.

cooking burger patty on the grill

However, it’s important to keep in mind that dogs need more than protein and other nutrients to stay healthy. They also need carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, water and fiber—just like humans do!

So how much turkey burger can your pet eat? Well, the amount varies depending on how big he or she is.

For example: A medium-sized dog might only need 1/4 cup of cooked ground turkey per day while a large-sized dog might need up to 3/4 cup per day.

And remember that puppies tend to eat more than adults because they are still growing so consider these figures as guidelines rather than hard-and-fast rules.

How to Give Your Dog Turkey Safely

Dogs are a lot like humans—they love to eat turkey burgers. But if you’re feeding your dog some turkey burgers, it’s important to make sure you’re doing it safely. Here are some tips for ensuring that your dog is getting the most out of his or her turkey burger without getting sick:

  • Always check the expiration date on the package before buying it.
  • Make sure you store any leftovers properly in the fridge or freezer so they don’t spoil.
  • If you buy a frozen turkey burger, be sure to thaw it completely before feeding it to your dog.
  • Don’t give them too much at once; dogs don’t have the same tolerance for foodborne bacteria as people do, so it’s best not to overfeed them.
  • Never give your dog raw meat or any meat that hasn’t been cooked properly thoroughly, like medium rare.

Can You Combine Turkey Burgers With Other Meals for Your Dog?

Sure, you can combine turkey burgers with other meals for your dog. But there’s a catch: you have to make sure that the meal is a healthy one. If you give your dog too many high-fat foods, they could develop heart problems or even diabetes.

It’s also important that you don’t give them more than one serving of turkey burger in one day.

The reason for this is because turkey is so high in protein—it can cause kidney problems if it’s consumed too frequently. You should also make sure that your dog doesn’t eat any other foods before or after eating the turkey burger. This will prevent stomach upset and make their digestion easier on them.

Are Turkey Burgers Safe for Puppies To Eat?

Yes. Turkey burgers are a good choice for small dogs and puppies. The reason is simple—turkey is a low-fat meat, which makes it a great alternative to beef and other high-fat meats.

dog waiting to eat food

If you’re planning on feeding your dog turkey burgers, keep in mind that raw turkey contains salmonella, so it’s important to cook the meat thoroughly. You can also choose to make the burger yourself from ground turkey, which will ensure that no salmonella bacteria remain after cooking.

You may also want to avoid feeding your pup frozen or pre-made turkey burgers, which have been linked with bacterial contamination in recent years.

Is Ground Beef or Ground Turkey Better for Dogs?

There are many reasons why you might want to consider switching your dog’s diet from ground beef to ground turkey, but let’s start with the most obvious—turkey is healthier for your pet.

Ground turkey is low in fat and calories, and it has a higher protein content than ground beef. That means your dog will likely feel more full after eating it, which could help them maintain their weight.

On top of that, turkey is also easier on your dog’s digestive system. This is because turkey contains less lactose than beef does, which means that it’s easier for your pet to digest and absorb.

Talk Turkey: Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

Can Pregnant Dogs Eat Turkey Burgers?

Yes, pregnant dogs can eat turkey burgers.

However, it’s important to make sure that the turkey burgers are made with quality meat, not just any old turkey. Pregnant dogs need protein and iron. The best way to get these nutrients is through animal products like beef and chicken, but when a pregnant dog can’t have those meats, turkey is a good alternative.

When making your own turkey burgers at home, be sure to use lean ground white meat without any added fat or fillers. You can also choose to add other ingredients like carrots, celery and onions to the burger mix if your dog likes them!

Can Senior Dogs Consume Turkey Burgers?

Yes, senior dogs can consume turkey burgers. Turkey is a good source of protein, and it’s easy on the digestive system. It’s also a great alternative to beef, which can be difficult for older dogs to digest. If your dog has any health issues, however, talk to your vet before feeding him or her a turkey burger.

senior dog lying on the floor

Can Diabetic Dogs Have Turkey Burgers?

Yes, diabetic dogs can have turkey burgers. Turkey is a low-fat meat that’s great for dogs with diabetes, since it helps them keep their blood sugar levels under control. It’s also a good source of protein, which helps keep your dog strong and healthy.

If your dog has diabetes, you’ll want to make sure he doesn’t have too many carbs in his diet because those can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. But turkey burgers are low-carb, so they’re a great choice for your pup!

If you’re considering glazing your burgers or other dishes with some BBQ sauce, here is a post I wrote on can dogs have BBQ sauce. Hope you find it helpful!

Can Dogs Eat Raw Turkey Burger?

Yes, but I would strongly advise against it.

You may have heard that it’s ok to give your dog raw turkey burger, but that’s not necessarily true. Dogs can eat raw meat and they will be fine, but there are some risks associated with giving them raw turkey burgers.

Raw turkey burgers can be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, which is why feeding your dog this type of food is not recommended by many veterinarians.

If you decide to feed your dog a raw turkey burger, make sure that you purchase it from a reputable butcher or supermarket.

You should also avoid feeding your dog undercooked meat (including ground beef) as well as chicken livers or other organ meats because these could contain parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms.


Turkey is a nutritious food that most dogs should have no problems eating, provided it fits in with their rations. It’s worth noting that there are also risks associated with turkey and pork, such as with chicken or beef.

If you have a picky dog, try leaner meats. And as always, make sure to monitor your dog while they’re eating to make sure they are eating healthy and within reason. Dogs will often overeat under the table; a turkey burger can be just the thing to satiate their appetite!

Keep checking in for more posts like this! If you have any questions or stories that you wish to share, please send me a message anytime. See you around!

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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