Do you usually discard the giblets, including the turkey necks, when preparing your festive thanksgiving turkey?
Well, think twice before throwing them away because turkey necks can be delicious treats for your dog.
Read on for the answer to the question – can dogs eat turkey necks, and how to prepare them to be safe and healthy for pups?
Preparing The Turkey Neck For Your Dog
This part of the turkey comprises many lightweight and small bones, which are safe for most dogs, and can easily be chewed and digested by them.
The turkey neck is an excellent source of cartilage and calcium and is also loaded with protein, phosphorus, glucosamine, and chondroitin. They can help relieve arthritic pain and improve mobility issues, especially in older dogs. This part of the bird’s body is also beneficial for young, growing, and active pups for stronger bones, joints, and ligaments. Plus, the small bones can act as toothbrushes for your furbaby.
But remember that these bones are safe for large dogs that can chew and swallow them without choking or suffering an obstruction.
Also, they are not safe to give to canines as treats if the turkey neck has been cooked. All cooked bones are potentially unsafe and harmful for dogs. The reason is that they can splinter easily and cause mild to severe injuries to your pup’s mouth, throat, and digestive system.
Instead, it would be best to serve it to your four-legged companion raw, preferably frozen. This way, the pup will chew it slowly instead of gulp it up. So, next time, remember to pop the turkey neck in the freezer before cooking the thanksgiving turkey.
If you are not a fan of giving your furry friend raw bones or meat, you can give it dehydrated or freeze-dried turkey neck instead. The texture of the neck will remain soft and will not break into sharp splinters.
So, when appropriately prepared (raw, freeze-dried, or dehydrated), turkey necks can actually be beneficial, nutritious, and easy-to-digest dog treats.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?
What Makes Cooked Bones So Dangerous For Dogs?
Bones are an excellent source of different essential nutrients for canines, but when cooked can be downright dangerous for them. The reason is that the heat causes the bone to become hard and easy to break down into sharp bits that can hurt and even kill your four-legged companion.
Instead, offer raw turkey neck if you have gotten it from a reliable source and have stored it correctly. Or you can reward Fido with some frozen, dehydrated, or freeze-dried turkey neck as well.
Freezing the neck before giving it to your pup is recommended, especially for wild and fast eaters who tend to gulp up everything without chewing.
Keep in mind that if your furbaby is not used to eating raw meat and bones, it can experience digestive problems from eating a raw turkey neck.
If you are still unsure about giving your four-legged companion turkey neck as it is, you can use it to make nutritious and delicious broth instead. Add some broth to your pup’s regular food as a well-deserved treat.
The Safe Way To Prepare Turkey Giblets For Your Pup
Apart from the neck, you will also usually find the bird’s heart, gizzard, and liver in the little pouch stuffed in the store-bought turkey. All of these parts are also safe to give to your dog, along with the neck.
To make organ meat such as giblet more palatable for fussy dogs, you can give the parts a quick sear or use them to make a hearty broth.
Be warned that because organ meat can be pretty rich, it can cause diarrhea in some more sensitive pups and those not used to eating raw organ meat.
The average giblets you get with the turkey are enough for a couple of meals or treats and can be too much to feed a smaller dog at once.
Smaller dogs should be given smaller chunks of the organ meat to make it easier to chew and safer to swallow.
Why Do The Giblets Often Go To Waste?
Many people do not feel comfortable working with and eating organ meats. But the truth is that they are loaded with healthy nutrients, such as minerals, vitamins, and other components.
When cooked properly, different organ meats and the turkey neck can become highly prized and delicious dishes for humans and canines.
Next Thanksgiving, remember to ask your friends and neighbors for leftover giblets if you want to prepare a delicious treat for your pup or for yourself.
You can also purchase fresh or frozen turkey necks at some butcher shops, farmer’s markets, and even some grocery stores.
When buying dehydrated or quick frozen giblets, choose locally sourced ones that are preferably organic and contain no hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, or other artificial ingredients.