Eggs are conveniently packaged nutritional powerhouses, high in protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. They're versatile, easy to prepare, affordable, and easily accessible.
Before, we looked at what meats work well for our canine companions. As for eggs, their consumption among humans has been increasing steadily in recent years due to the numerous health benefits they provide. So it's not surprising that dog owners are wanting to know if their doggos can benefit from eggs too.
Taking your pup along to brunch and want to know if you can give him some of your scrambled eggs? Did your dog make off with a whole egg off the kitchen counter? You'll find what you need to know about dogs and eggs in this article.
Are eggs good for dogs?
So, can dogs have eggs? When dogs were wild and hunted and gathered their own food, they would frequently sneak an egg or two from a vulnerable bird's nest, so it safe to say that eggs are not harmful for dogs. But are eggs good for dogs?
Dogs don't need to hunt for their food anymore. So instead of asking whether dogs can have eggs, the more pertinent question is: should dogs have eggs?
Eggs are a great source of nutrition for your dog. They're high in protein, fats, and vitamins that will benefit your dog immensely.
That doesn't mean you can dispense with your usual dog food and only feed your dog eggs, though. While eggs make a delicious and nutritious snack for dogs, they should never be used as the main ingredient of your dog's diet. The amount of egg you can safely feed your dog will depend on your dog's size, age, and activity level.
In rare instances, eggs can be bad for dogs if signs of an allergy to eggs develop. More precisely, a research specifies that egg white is among the common food allergens in dogs. If you're giving your pooch egg for the first time, keep a close watch for symptoms of an allergy. Look out for signs which include vomiting and diarrhea, and sometimes itchy skin that dogs will scratch raw, particularly around the ears and paws.
Can dogs eat raw eggs?
Raw eggs are not advised for dogs as they pose a number of potential health risks. According to the CDC, raw eggs may contain E. coli and Salmonella, bacteria that can make your pup very sick. What makes this worse is that these bacteria can cause infections in dogs which can be extremely difficult to treat, not to mention that there's potential for these nasties to spread from your dog throughout your entire household. Household members who are very young, very old, or have a weakened immune system are worse affected.
Raw eggs also contain a protein called avidin, which binds with a B-vitamin called biotin, making it unavailable for your dog's body to use. Biotin is an essential nutrient for your dog that boosts fur and skin health. But your pooch doesn't need to get it from their diet because their bodies can produce it themselves. When avidin is consumed, it binds with biotin in your dog's system, making it unusable, and can lead to a deficiency in your dog that can cause serious illness.
Are raw eggs good for dogs? Feeding your dog raw eggs doesn't have any nutritional benefits over cooked eggs at all and, so we don't advise raw eggs for dogs.
Can dogs eat scrambled eggs?
Because of the dangers associated with raw eggs for dogs, cooked eggs are always preferable. Cooking eggs doesn't affect their nutritional value at all, but it does kill off any of those harmful bacteria that can so easily cause illness in not just your dog but the entire household.
Scrambled eggs are quick and easy to prepare, so of course, most dog owners are keen to know if scrambled eggs are good for dogs. Scrambled eggs can be a very nutritious and enjoyable snack for your dog. However, there are some factors to consider.
When preparing them, make sure not to include salt, pepper, and other spices, any fat (butter or oil) or milk. Many dogs are lactose intolerant and adding milk to their scrambled eggs can lead to some unpleasant gastric symptoms like gas, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Adding oil or butter to scrambled eggs for dogs increases the fat content of a food that is already relatively high in fat. Not only does this add extra calories, but a diet that is too high in fat can cause pancreatitis in dogs over the long run.
Are you feeling creative and want to fancy up the scrambled eggs for your pup? You're better off resisting this urge. Always aim to give your dog eggs that have been prepared without any extra ingredients, as some common household foods are known to be toxic to dogs. Things like onions and garlic and chives, as well as avocado, are all toxic to dogs.
Always consider the portion size of scrambled eggs for dogs – the average egg contains around 60-75 calories. The general rule of thumb is that dogs should only consume a maximum of 10% of their daily caloric requirements from incomplete food sources such as eggs. So, if your dog weighs less than around 50 pounds, a whole egg would be far too much.
Can dogs eat hard-boiled eggs?
Hard-boiled eggs remove the temptation to add additional fats like oil or butter during preparation. They are safe for dogs to consume, as boiling will rid the eggs of any harmful bacteria. But are hard-boiled eggs good for dogs?
A plain boiled egg makes a healthy and tasty treat for your pooch as long as you pay attention to portion sizes. A boiled egg can also be helpful in settling your dog's tummy after an upset.
Other variations of boiled eggs, like deviled eggs, should be avoided as the mayonnaise significantly increases the fat content and can lead to gastric upset. If your dog manages to sneak off with one, it should be ok, but keep an eye out for any signs of tummy troubles. If you're really concerned, give your vet a call.
Can dogs eat eggshells?
Many dog parents believe that feeding eggshells to dogs will boost calcium. They're absolutely correct.
Eggshells are extremely rich in calcium carbonate, which is also easily digestible. But your dog's system is highly balanced, and if they don't need more calcium, then giving them extra could lead to an imbalance or put a strain on their kidneys.
The shells of raw eggs carry the same risk of bacteria as raw eggs and must be boiled before being given to dogs. Another risk with eggshells is their sharp edges which can hurt your dog's gums and throat if not prepared properly. Make sure to grind it well before offering it to your pup. Alternatively, you can purchase the eggshell calcium with no additives.
Always check with your vet before adding or removing foods from your dog's diet. Especially if your dog has a pre-existing condition, in this case, kidney problems. You can chat with a professional veterinarian specialist using an online Vet Chat service.
Final thoughts on eggs for dogs
When it comes to human foods that you can share with your dog, eggs are one of the better options. Most dogs will benefit nutritionally from snacking on the occasional cooked egg. A tiny number of dogs may experience allergy symptoms and should avoid consuming eggs altogether.
It's crucial when including a new item of food in your dog's diet that you keep a close eye on how your pooch reacts to the new snack. Start off with a tiny amount before progressing to slightly larger quantities to rule out the presence of allergies or adverse effects.
While eggs are nutritious, there are some things to be aware of. Raw eggs are never encouraged and can lead to some nasty bacteria gaining access not just to your pet but to your home and your loved ones too. Cooking eggs will not alter the nutritional value but will make the eggs safer for your dog.
The best way to prepare eggs for your pooch is to boil them. This requires no additional ingredients and makes for easier portion control. Scrambled eggs for dogs are good too. However, there's always the temptation to add fats, dairy, and other ingredients that are not appropriate for dogs. If you're making scrambled eggs for dogs, keep it simple without adding any additional ingredients. Don't be tempted to share your scramble, which might contain harmful ingredients like garlic.
Keeping these few things in mind, you can very safely include eggs in your dog's diet as a tasty, protein-packed snack.