Can dogs eat eggs? The short answer is yes, dogs can eat eggs. However, there is some debate about whether they should be cooked or raw, and there are some things you should know before you serve eggs to your dog.
In general, eggs are good for dogs, and they are even part of canines’ diets in the wild. Every part of the egg, from the shell to the yolk, contains beneficial nutrients for dogs. Although, like all good things, they should be given in moderation. Some veterinarians warn of health concerns when feeding raw eggs to dogs and recommend cooking them, while other veterinarians say that cooking eggs destroys many of the valuable nutrients that make eggs a healthy food choice. Ultimately, you and your veterinarian should discuss how to properly serve eggs to your dog and make the decision for yourselves. Here is what you should know about feeding eggs to dogs.
How Are Eggs Good For Dogs?
Eggs are high in protein, fatty acids, and amino acids that are beneficial for dogs’ bodies. They are a healthy snack that can even help treat an upset stomach. The shells can be a good source of calcium. Though they aren’t meant to substitute a dog’s primary protein source, eggs are a great supplemental food and sometimes-treat. Other beneficial nutrients in eggs include vitamins A and B12, riboflavin, folate, iron, and selenium.
How Are Eggs Bad For Dogs?
Any good food is only good in moderation. Eggs can be high in cholesterol and may cause an upset stomach in the short term if consumed in a high enough quantity and obesity in the long term. Most dogs should not be given more than one full egg per day, and a healthy serving size for your individual dog should be determined by your veterinarian or a professional nutritionist.
Some veterinarians may be concerned about salmonella, which can be found in uncooked eggs. Generally, dogs do not get ill from salmonella infection if their immune systems are healthy, though dogs with compromised immune systems may be more at risk. Cooking eggs reduces the risk of salmonella infection, though some veterinarians say that cooking the eggs destroys their nutritional value. You should discuss these topics with your veterinarian.
Egg whites contain avidin, which inhibits biotin, a vitamin that is essential for cell growth, metabolism, healthy skin, and more in dogs. Long term exposure to avidin can cause a biotin deficiency; however, egg yolks are very high in biotin, which can make up for any deficiency caused by egg whites. Your dog would have to eat a large amount of egg whites for a long time to suffer from biotin deficiency, but cooking the eggs will reduce this risk. Again, some vets caution that cooking the eggs eliminates some of their health benefits.
As with all foods, there is a risk that eggs will cause some minor gastrointestinal upset or an allergic reaction. Rarely, food allergies can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction, including sneezing, coughing, swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing, stop giving your dog eggs and contact your veterinarian.
How Should You Feed Eggs To Your Dog?
You should first ask your veterinarian if eggs are safe for your dog. Some dogs have medical conditions that may be worsened when they consume eggs, so it’s best to check and be safe. You should also discuss with your veterinarian whether you should feed your dog raw or cooked eggs. No matter which you choose, it’s best to use organic eggs that are free of chemicals or additives. Your vet can also advise you on appropriate serving sizes. Generally, dogs should not eat more than one full egg per day.
If you decide to feed your dog raw eggs, you can break them over your dog’s normal food and stir them in. The shell can be crushed up and sprinkled over food for a calcium boost, as well. Some owners choose not to crack the egg at all and serve it to their dog, shell and all, intact. This can get messy and may be difficult for some dogs to bite into, especially smaller dogs. Some dogs may also not chew the shells fully before swallowing. Take your individual dog’s needs into consideration.
If you decide to cook your dog’s eggs, the simplest way to do it is by boiling them, as this creates the least mess and doesn’t require you to use any sprays or oils to prevent sticking to the pan. Really, any method of cooking eggs works, but if you are cooking eggs for your dog, it is best to not use any oils, spices, or additives, as these can be harmful to canines. You can grind up the shells and sprinkle them on your dog’s food for a calcium supplement, too.
Do you ever serve eggs to your dog? How do you prepare them? Let us know in the comments below!