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Yes, dogs can eat eggs, and many dogs love getting an egg mixed in with their dinner! Eggs are natural, healthy, packed with vitamins and minerals, and your dog’s immune system and digestive tract will thank you for every egg you choose to offer to your fur friend.
There are no known downsides to the egg itself, provided it has been prepared properly and with the assumption that you are not overfeeding it, so you can safely start making eggs a regular part of your dog’s diet. As with most dog-friendly foods – there are a few things worth considering before turning your pooch into an egg lover, and you always need to consider the individual nutritional needs of your dog.
Are Eggs Safe for Dog Consumption?
The Health Benefits of an Egg
Eggs are packed with protein; great for dogs that are fed a low-protein diet and that needs a protein boost that won’t cost you half your salary, and each egg is packed with a surprisingly high amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants to aid with digestion, essential amino acids and fatty acids your canine’s body will love you for providing.
It is an oval-shaped superfood that – when used correctly and in moderation – can give your dog the nutrients needed to thrive. Many premium dog foods use egg as part of their recipe, which you might notice if reading through the list of contents on the pack of your dog food product, and research shows that it can have countless health benefits that the dog food industry is just becoming aware of.
The key to successfully adding eggs to your dog’s daily meals is by regulating how much egg you give to each dog, and to potentially adjust the portion of kibble or wet food to better suit added egg.
How you choose to serve an egg to your dog changes how good and/or bad it is for them, and there are a few issues with raw eggs that you should be aware of. You might be tempted to just crack an egg open and let it soak your dog’s food, but it might not be the best nor the safest option.
The risk of encountering the Salmonella bacteria is a lot higher in a raw egg than in an egg that is cooked, and you could end up with a contaminated dog if you are unlucky. Due to this, it is considered safer to cook eggs before adding them to a dog’s diet and before using them as treats, just to lessen the risk of falling ill with Salmonella.
Another issue with raw eggs is that it could lead to a Biotin deficiency. Biotin is a vitamin B complex, known to give great support to the canine metabolism. It promotes healthy digestion and boosts skin and cell growth; and a deficiency could result in a weaker immune system, frequent stomach problems and diarrhea, dull coat and more.
This would be a cause of long-term feeding of raw eggs, and one raw egg here and there would not have negative health effects (except for the increased risk of Salmonella).
It is preferable that you cook eggs before serving them to your dog, but you need to be aware of the different ways to cook an egg, and which ones that are good and bad when preparing eggs for a dog.
The easiest way to do it is by boiling the egg and pass it on to your pup once it is properly boiled and after it has cooled down. Remove the shell before offering one to your pooch (see below what to do with the shell and how to make use of it) and mush it up a little to lessen the risk of choking.
If you are considering a fried egg, go for it, but just make sure you fry it without any oil, butter or another additive. This could be a little difficult as you will most likely end up with an egg stuck to the pan, but it is essential not to add any of the greases you would normally use when cooking for yourself. This is probably why most dog owners prefer to boil eggs for their dogs instead of frying them.
The shell of the egg is packed with calcium and protein and can be very beneficial for our furry companions! Calcium is great for strong bones and teeth, and it can help rescue dogs and dogs from unfortunate backgrounds to bounce back from a nutritional deficiency. Back when dogs were living in the wild, they would steal and eat whole eggs, meaning that it is not too far-fetched to include the shell when feeding eggs to your dog.
The eggshells can also be beneficial for dogs that are not allowed to chew on bones, as it balances and adds the nutrients they might have otherwise gotten from chewing on real bones.
One thing to think about, though, is that dogs are not able to process eggshells unless you grind the shells carefully. You can use a coffee grinder or do it manually, but make sure you grind the shells into a fine powder so that your canine can make use of all its nutrients. You can minimize the risk of contamination by roasting the shells before grinding them, and the best way to feed the finished powder is by spreading it over your dog’s regular portion of food.
Cholesterol in Eggs
For humans, the cholesterol in eggs can be a bit of an issue, and some doctors advise that you should not eat more than two eggs a day, and others say you should eat a lot less throughout the week; to avoid ending up with high cholesterol. This is not an issue for dogs the same way it is for humans, as the canine body does not suffer the same negative effects as we do.
The health issues and diseases connected to high cholesterol that humans can experience are not found in the same way in dogs, and the cholesterol in eggs, therefore, won’t present a health risk for our four-legged friends.
This may come as a surprise to some, as it is easy to forget how different dogs and humans are in these aspects! Chocolate is a great example of where we can eat it, while it might kill our dogs, and it is the same with cholesterol – just the other way around. Cholesterol could cause serious health concerns in humans, while it is completely harmless and irrelevant to our dogs.
How Many Eggs Should a Dog Eat?
A large egg can contain anything from 75 to 100 calories, and that should be an indicator of there needing to be some restrictions for how much egg you feed your dog. It is just like with most things – it is best in moderation, and you should make it a habit to add an egg to your dog’s diet by offering an adequate amount in relation to your pup’s size and weight.
The 10% treat rule is a great one to follow when giving your dog eggs because it helps you see how much of something extra you can feed without it causing weight gain or other health concerns. The idea is that you should feed 90% high-quality dog food, and a total of 10% treats during a day, and you can count eggs as part of that 10 %.
If you have a large dog, one egg per day might be perfectly fine, but if your dog is a 3lb Chihuahua – a whole egg could be way too much. It all comes down to common sense; knowing your dog and estimating how much egg you could add to their diet without it raising the total amount of calories more than what would be considered healthy.
Dogs with food allergies and/or sensitivities will often show some level of intolerance to chicken, and when a dog is allergic to chicken it is also likely that he or she might benefit from a diet without eggs.
If you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior or in their physical experience; such as scratching, bald spots, flaky skin, and dull coat, it could be time to consider that something in your dog’s daily food might not be sitting too well with him or her. If you suspect an egg allergy – bring it up with your veterinarian before starting or continuing to add eggs to the dog’s kibble or wet food.
The short and very positive answer is that yes, eggs are great for dogs and that yes you need to learn how to best feed eggs to your dog for maximal nutrition uptake. You will also have to regulate the quantity depending on the size of your dog and on the dog’s individual needs, so do your research and use common sense when considering slipping your pooch a freshly boiled egg. There are many human foods dogs should not eat – foods that could even cause them harm – but in this case, you have the green light and you are good to go!