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Turkey Time! 5 Reasons Why Turkey is an Excellent Protein for Dogs

Gobble gobble! You may have noticed that turkey is a common flavour of dog food on pet store shelves, but why is this? Here are 5 reasons why turkey is so popular for dogs:

1. Turkey is an excellent source of protein

Dogs are obligate carnivores and they love their protein. Luckily, turkey is packed with it! A study by the University of Illinois found that turkey breast contains approximately 30 grams per 100 grams of protein. Protein plays a major role in growth and metabolism for dogs.

2. Turkey is low in fat

A very lean protein, turkey is low in fat. Specifically, turkey is low in LDL cholesterol, the lipid that is responsible for inflammation and artery blockages. 100 grams of turkey breast contains only 56 milligrams of LDL cholesterol and 0.29 grams of total saturated fat.

3. Turkey is high in niacin

Turkey contains a whopping 7.3 milligrams per 100 grams of niacin. Niacin is a vitamin that plays a major role in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Some studies have even shown that niacin can help reduce LDL cholesterol!

4. Turkey is high in pyridoxine (vitamin B6)

Like niacin, pyridoxine is important for enzyme function involved with protein, glucose and fatty acid metabolism. Turkey contains a healthy dose of this vitamin, with about 0.5 milligrams per 100 grams. Once absorbed, pyridoxine helps your dog produce energy!

5. Turkey is high in selenium

Lastly, turkey is a great source of selenium. Turkey contains about 36 micrograms per 100 grams of selenium. The dose of selenium in turkey can be really beneficial as it acts as both an antioxidant and carrier for vitamin E absorption.

Now you know that turkey isn’t just for holidays! Turkey is a healthy protein that can be enjoyed by dogs year round.

Pharaoh Hound sitting in front of a whole turkey licking its lips
Pharaoh Hound sitting in front of a whole turkey licking its lips

View Sources

USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory – Turkey (Young Hen)

Klose, A. A., E. P. Mecchi, G. A. Behman, Hans Lineweaver, F. H. Kratzer, and Delbert Williams. "Chemical characteristics of turkey carcass fat as a function of dietary fat." Poultry Science 31, no. 2 (1952): 354-359.

Daun, Charlotte, and Björn Åkesson. "Comparison of glutathione peroxidase activity, and of total and soluble selenium content in two muscles from chicken, turkey, duck, ostrich and lamb." Food Chemistry 85, no. 2 (2004): 295-303.

Jukes, T. H., E. L. R. Stokstad, and Margaret Belt. "Deficiencies of Certain Vitamins as Studied with Turkey Poults on a Purified Diet: I. Pteroylglutamic Acid, Riboflavin, Niacin and Inositol: Six Figures." The Journal of nutrition 33, no. 1 (1947): 1-12.

Robel, E. J. "Assessment of dietary and egg injected d-biotin, pyridoxine and folic acid on turkey hatchability: folic acid and poult weight." World's Poultry Science Journal 58, no. 3 (2002): 305-315.

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February 20, 2024
5 minutes
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