Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
Eggs are a versatile staple in our diets, often found within our breakfasts, lunches and dinners. As a great source of essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins and protein, it is only natural for pet owners to wonder whether they can share this superfood with their pups.
But can dogs eat eggs? And does it matter whether they’re boiled, scrambled, or even raw?
As dogs are largely omnivores, they are capable of eating a variety of different foods, including eggs. They are a delicious and nutritious option for essential nutrients that can benefit your furry friend’s balanced diet.
There are, however, some things to consider before you decide to feed eggs to your dog.
In this article, we’ll explore whether eggs are good for dogs, focusing on the different elements within the egg, as well as the best preparation methods.
Are Eggs Good for Dogs?
The answer is a resounding yes; dogs can have eggs in a steady diet. It is always best to avoid them eating raw eggs and instead serve a cooked option, whether scrambled, boiled or prepared some other way.
With this inclusion in their meals, or even as a tasty snack, eggs will provide significant nutritional value, including:
- Protein: Crucial for building and repairing tissues, as well as maintaining a healthy immune system.
- Fatty acids: Essential for maintaining healthy skin and coat, as well as supporting brain and eye health.
- Vitamin A: Important for strong vision, a healthy immune system, and proper growth and development.
- Vitamins B12 & B2: Vitamin B12 helps with red blood cell formation and nervous system function, while B2 (riboflavin) helps with energy production and cell metabolism.
- Iron: Necessary for the transport of oxygen and helps with energy production.
- Choline: Needed for proper liver function, brain development, and maintaining healthy cell membranes.
Pet owners should keep in mind that some dogs may have protein allergies, which can be triggered when feeding eggs to your pup. An allergic reaction could show itself as itchy paws, gastrointestinal issues, and a variety of skin problems.
If you suspect your dog may have an allergy, you must speak with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Can Dogs Eat Egg Yolks?
Egg yolks contain essential fatty acids and vitamins that can bolster your dog’s overall health.
For example, the entire supply of fatty acids is located in the yolk, and when consumed by your pup, they will break it down and absorb the goodness through their GI tract. In addition to the benefits they offer to their skin and coat, fatty acids also create a delivery system for the fat-soluble vitamins.
The full list of water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins found in egg yolks include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B7
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Folic Acid
Can Dogs Eat Egg Whites?
Egg whites are an excellent choice when introducing more protein and amino acids into your dog’s diet. They do, however, contain a protein called avidin, which can interfere with the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin essential for metabolic processes and skin and coat health, also known as vitamin B7).
Fortunately, there is an ample supply of biotin in the egg yolk, so when consumed with egg white, there should be no risk of deficiency. Ensuring your dog eats cooked egg whites will also decrease the risk of deficiency and other complications.
Can Dogs Eat Egg Shells?
If you’re wondering whether dogs can eat a hard-boiled egg, the answer isn’t just yes — you should also include the shells!
Egg shells are an excellent source of calcium for dogs and a terrific substitute for those who don’t or can’t eat bones. They also hold magnesium, sodium, iron, manganese, selenium, iodine and more!
Be sure to first break up the egg a little to avoid your dog attempting to swallow it whole and potentially choking. This can be a great way to provide extra calcium to support your dog’s bone health, especially for older dogs or those with joint issues. If you want to feed your dogs eggs alongside their other meals, you can also grind them into a fine powder and sprinkle them as a topping.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs?
We’ve all seen footage of athletes and health fanatics gulping down glasses of raw eggs, but this isn’t a good idea, both for us and our pups.
There is a selection of health risks when you feed raw eggs to your dog. For example, there is a Salmonella risk, which is a bacterial infection that causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Feeding your dog raw eggs also exacerbates the strength of avidin and can lead to biotin deficiency.
As such, it is always best to avoid feeding raw eggs to your dog and serve them cooked eggs instead.
How to Prepare Eggs for Your Dog
Now that we have answered the question, ‘can dogs eat eggs?’, we should look at how they can enjoy them.
It is imperative that your dogs eat cooked eggs, and the best method is to boil them and chop them up. Although you might want to enhance the experience for your pup, avoid introducing any artificial flavours or additives, as well as any salt, oil, butter or spices, as these can be harmful to their digestive system.
As mentioned above, your dog eating an entire egg in one attempt can pose a choking risk, so it’s best to chop them into smaller pieces. You can also serve scrambled eggs to help their consumption.
Eggs should be served immediately after cooking, but after they’ve cooled, and stored in the refrigerator if not consumed right away to avoid any chance of contamination or spoiling, potentially leading to food poisoning.
When you first decide to offer your dog eggs on the menu, be sure to start small and monitor their digestion. Look for any signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as bloating, discomfort, vomiting or diarrhoea.
How Many Eggs Can Dogs Eat in a Week? In a Day?
Now, how much egg can you include in your pup’s diet?
The number of eggs your dog can eat will depend on various factors like size, weight, breed, activity level and overall health.
As a general guideline, feeding dogs no more than one full egg per day is recommended, perhaps even split up into smaller portions throughout the week. Overfeeding on too many eggs can lead to an upset stomach and other digestive issues, so it’s essential to feed them in moderation.
Eggs should never be your dog’s sole source of protein, however. If you are going to give your dog eggs, be sure to serve alongside a balanced dog food to ensure optimal nutrition.
Can Puppies Eat Eggs?
Yes, it is safe to introduce eggs into your puppy’s diet. Just like adult dogs, young pups require a consistent supply of protein and essential nutrients to support their ongoing growth and development.
Again, remember that they must only eat cooked eggs, whether that be boiled or scrambled eggs, with each broken or mashed up enough to avoid choking.
As they are much smaller than adult dogs, the quantity of eggs they eat should reflect that, perhaps just one egg or two at most a week.
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