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Does Turkey Meat Make Dogs Tired?

Beagle sleeping on white sheets anc covered with a white blanket

Turkey meat can be a great source of protein for your dog, but it may leave them feeling tired. The high-fat content in turkey meat is something to consider, as this can affect the energy levels of your dog.

Since turkey is a key ingredient in many dog food varieties, it is safe to feed your pet some turkey when mealtime rolls around. There are just some precautions you have to take before you put this meat in your dog’s food dish.

In addition, the spices and flavorings used in many types of turkey meat can also be a cause for concern. Try to make sure that your dog is getting enough protein from other sources to keep them feeling energetic.

Keep on reading the article to know more about what turkey meat does to dogs.

Check out our post “Can I feed my dog cooked ground turkey?” to learn if your dog can eat cooked ground turkey.

What Does Turkey Meat Do to Dogs?

Turkey is a very healthy meat to feed your dog. It is full of nutrients that almost make this meat equal to ground beef and chicken. In fact, it may have slightly more nutrients than the chicken has.

This meat should help build muscle strength, improve the health of their skin and fur, and have many more benefits. But there are some conditions that have to be met prior to giving this meat to your dog.

The first is that all the skin has to be removed. The second is it needs to be unseasoned, and the third condition is that there are no additives like onions, garlic, and other food items toxic to your pet.

The next condition is that the amount you serve is not that large and watch out if your pet has allergies or other health issues before giving them turkey to eat.

Finally, don’t give your dog the turkey bones. These bones may help their teeth, but they also can harm your pet:

  1. Injuries to the mouth and tongue
  2. Choking is the result of a blockage in the esophagus or stomach.
  3. It’s possible for bone fragments to penetrate stomach and intestinal walls.
  4. Constipation
  5. Internal bleeding from bone fragments that have punctured the skin
  6. Blockages that necessitate immediate surgical intervention

Does Turkey Dog Food Make Dogs Sleepy?

Whole raw turkey on a cutting board

There is an amino acid inside the turkey called tryptophan and this amino acid does contribute to sleepiness in humans. Whether it causes your pet to get drowsy after eating some turkey, scientific studies have not proven this to be true or the results were inconclusive.

This lack of tiredness in your pet may be due to the small amount of turkey they are given. But no matter the amount, turkey does seem to have a calming effect on dogs and cats after those two animals have eaten it.

This amino acid seems to help dogs cope better when it comes to stressful events like visiting the vet’s office. If your dog has behavioral problems, the turkey might be the meat you want to feed it when they start to act up.

Tryptophan does seem to have a very calming effect on animals even if they do not fall asleep after a turkey meal. But this does not mean you can feed too much to your pet at every meal or even one meal.

And you still have to meet all the conditions above to make sure your pet stays healthy and does not get overweight when fed turkey for an extended period of time.

The pros and cons of feeding turkey to your dog:


  1. Turkey Improves Your Dog’s Energy Levels- 100 grams of turkey meat has 189 grams of calories
  2. Builds healthy muscles- a great source of protein
  3. Soothes upset stomachs for dogs- bland taste, easy to digest making it good for dogs with diarrhea
  4. Promotes kidney health- this meat contains phosphorus to help kidneys to function well
  5. Suitable for the heart- low in fat and contains minerals needed for heart health
  6. Improves skin and coat health- has zinc and magnesium which are essential minerals for this area of their body
  7. Great for allergies- a good food alternative when your dog is allergic to beef or chicken


  1. Obesity- Too Much Can Make Your Dog Fat
  2. Pancreatitis- If You Feed Your Dog The Skin
  3. Choking- If You Feed Your Dog The Bones
  4. Digestive Upset- When You Add In Onions, Garlic, And Other Harmful Vegetables

Is Turkey Better Than Chicken for Dogs? Click here to find out.

When Should Your Dog Eat Turkey?

Jack Russell Terrier licking its lips, laying on hardwood floors with a stainless steel food bowl between its paws

Your dog can have turkey at any time of the day or night. It is a very healthy food to use as a snack. When your dog has trouble sleeping, a little turkey at bedtime should help them get their rest

Also, if your dog is suffering from diarrhea, you can feed turkey to them to help calm their stomachs.

Some Final Words

Close up of the face of a sleeping chocolate labrador

Turkey meat is a slice of healthy meat for both humans and dogs. The key is not to overindulge yourself or over-feed your dog. Everything in moderation so that your pet does not get fat, sick, or tired of this healthy meat.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.