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Turkey And Your Pets

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Is Turkey A Healthy Food Option For Your Pets?

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the smell of turkey is in the air! And your dog or cat can smell it too. Turkey is an iconic and traditional food served during Thanksgiving dinner and throughout the fall season, but it is also a common ingredient found in dog and cat foods. However, the way we eat, prepare, and digest turkey is far different than the way our pets do. This article will discuss everything you need to know about turkey for your pets including nutritional values, whether it’s good for pets with allergies, and how to cook/prepare your own turkey for your pets. Keep reading to learn more!  

Is Turkey Healthy For Dogs

The simple answer is yes, turkey is healthy for your dog in small amounts. However, not all turkey is created equally. In order for dogs to properly digest turkey, the meat must be fully cooked, skinless, unseasoned, and white meat only. Ground turkey is also healthy for dogs in small amounts but must also be plain, unseasoned, and contain no additives. It is a common misconception that dogs are carnivorous (only meat eaters). However, studies have shown that dogs are readily capable of eating and digesting meat, plant material (such as vegetables), and even grains. Most dogs seem to have a natural bias towards eating meat, but the truth is that every dog needs a good balance of meat, vegetables, and grains in their diet in order to stay happy and healthy. To learn more about the various types of dog foods and which might be best for your dog, check out our previous article entitled How To Choose A Dog Food

Is Turkey Healthy For Cats

Similar to dogs, the answer is also yes, turkey is healthy for your cat in small amounts. From house cats to Lions in the Savannah, all cats are considered obligate carnivores. Obligate carnivores depend only on meat for survival as their bodies can’t properly digest plant matter for sustainable nutrition. This makes turkey an excellent protein option for your cat’s diet as turkey has less fat compared to other meats like beef or pork. Many brands of kitten and cat food contain chicken and/or turkey for this very reason. If you plan on giving your cat fresh turkey, make sure it is unseasoned, boneless, skinless, and fully cooked first. We also recommend cooking the turkey yourself as pre-cooked turkey may also contain additives and preservatives that are unhealthy for your cats. Always double check the ingredients list before giving your cat any pre-cooked turkey or turkey based cat foods to ensure they’re getting the best nutrition possible.

Pets With Allergies

Every pet is unique in its own way. Some pets are picky eaters, some are overeaters, and some can’t eat certain foods at all due to allergic reactions.  In most cases, we can’t tell what a pet is allergic to until they begin to show signs of an allergic reaction. Common symptoms of your pet having an allergic reaction include itchiness/excessive scratching, inflamed/irritated skin, hives, sneezing, swelling of face, ears, and/or lips, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pets can have seasonal allergies from their environment (such as pollen and dust), but they can also have food allergies just like people. The most common food allergies in dogs and cats come from proteins such as beef, chicken, dairy, soy, chicken eggs, and wheat gluten. Studies have shown that practically any food ingredient can produce an allergy, but these proteins are the most common among dogs and cats. This is why turkey is an excellent protein alternative for pets with allergies. Turkey is a lean meat, high in protein, and typically doesn’t cause allergic reactions in dogs and cats the way other proteins do. If your pet is showing signs of allergic reactions from their food, then turkey may be the solution. We always recommend consulting with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet as every pet is unique and their needs may vary. To learn more about food allergies in pets, check out VCA animal hospitals website for more information. 

Gobble, Gobble

At ParaMount Pet Care, we love turkey! It’s delicious, it is a lean meat compared to other meats like beef and pork, it’s high in protein, and it can be used in a wide variety of dishes/meals. Did we mention it’s delicious? But we’re not the only ones who think so! There’s a good chance your cat and/or dog agrees that turkey is good and good for you. In small amounts and if properly prepared, turkey is an amazing food for your furry friends anytime of year. We hope this article helped shed some light on all of the benefits that turkey meat can have on your pets diet and nutritional needs.

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