There are many human foods out there that your pooch can enjoy sharing with you, just as there are plenty of foods that are potentially poisonous to your canine companion. That’s why it’s important to check any food is safe before you feed a tidbit to your pet. For example, can dogs eat eggs? Many owners have heard feeding their dogs eggs is good for them, but do you know why?
In short, yes, your dog can eat eggs. In fact, they’re one of the most common human foods used as treats for our furry friends.
Your dog can eat both cooked and raw eggs, but not all cooked eggs are as good as each other as a snack for your dog.
There have been occasional comments that because of the level of cholesterol in eggs, owners should avoid feeding them to their dogs to avoid raising their cholesterol levels. Although high cholesterol can be a problem for canines it can be avoided provided you feed all treats, including eggs, in moderation and ensure that your dog is eating high-quality dog food and has plenty of daily exercise.
Although most canines can safely eat eggs, there are exceptions. Depending on your pooch’s individual sensitivities and health conditions, you should discuss with your vet if feeding them eggs is safe. Additionally, some dogs can have an allergic reaction to eggs, in which case, discontinue feeding and contact your vet.
Dogs can eat raw eggs. However, it is advised to limit how often they eat them because of the small risk of food poisoning. To minimise this risk, you can feed your dog cooked eggs or at least limit the number of raw eggs they eat to an occasional treat.
Raw eggs are more likely to cause an upset stomach, so if you do let your dog eat an uncooked egg, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t vomit or suffer from diarrhoea afterwards as it may be a sign of gastrointestinal upset, like gastritis or colitis.
Additionally, eating raw egg has an increased risk of causing biotin deficiency. Biotin deficiency is very rare, and your dog will need to be eating a lot of raw eggs to be at risk.
Cooking eggs reduces the risk even further. Biotin is hugely important for your dog’s body, from maintaining healthy fur, skin and claws to bodily functions such as muscle growth and digestion.
It is advised that if you feed your dog an egg, it should be cooked first. However not all cooked eggs are equal in their nutritional value.
While cooking the egg will reduce some of the nutritional value, this shouldn’t be a concern provided your dog is eating a complete, balanced diet. Giving your pup a cooked egg is the safest way of feeding them eggs while giving them a boost of extra nutrients.
When cooking eggs for your dog to eat, it is best to avoid any seasoning, oils, or additional additives. This is because certain ingredients can be harmful to dogs, such as garlic. Whereas certain seasonings like salt can trigger unwanted reactions ranging from dehydration to salt poisoning.
The best eggs to serve your pup are cooked simply and kept plain. A boiled egg is perfect as a tasty treat for your pooch. Boiled eggs are the easiest and cleanest method of cooking eggs, and it also means you can store the eggs for several days in the fridge. Boiled eggs are convenient since you can cook several at once and store them in the fridge for you and your pup to enjoy for a few days.
Fried eggs are safe to feed your dog. However, due to the oil used in cooking, fried eggs have additional calories and fat making them the less healthy option as a snack. The same goes for scrambled eggs, as the additional butter and milk used to cook them will increase the amount of fat in the food. Additionally, if your dog suffers from pancreatitis, it’s best to avoid feeding them any high-fat food including fried eggs.
Yes, dogs can eat eggshells. Some dogs will happily munch an egg whole, shell and all. However, this can be a choking hazard if your dog isn’t in the habit of chewing their food, and small dogs might struggle to bite a whole egg in its shell. Plus, if the shell is not powdered, it can cause some discomfort for your dog as the hard, sharp shell fragments can irritate their throat or gut, but it is unlikely to cause them any significant harm.
Eggshells have their own health benefits for your dog, especially as they contain high levels of calcium.
If you’d like to try feeding your dog the eggshell as well as the eggs, grind it into a powder and add it to their food. Remember it should only be a small amount given to complement their usual food, and should never be given as a meal. You shouldn’t give your dog more than a spoonful of eggshell powder per day.
To make your own eggshell powder, simply break up the shell onto a baking tray and put it in the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees (gas mark 6.) This makes sure any potential pathogens are destroyed. You could then use a blender, or a mortar and pestle, a coffee grinder, or nut grinder to break the shells down into a fine powder.
After making this powder simply store it in an airtight container in your fridge and sprinkle a little on your dog’s food as desired.
Yes, eggs are very good for dogs. In fact, some consider them a “superfood” for our canine companions thanks to the high levels of protein. We use eggs in many of our healthy dog food recipes.
Eggs are high in digestible protein, which is always great for your dog’s health. They are also packed with essential amino acids which are vital in your dog’s diet to allow their body to make proteins, which are used in many important bodily functions including muscle repair and growth. In fact, eggs are one of the very few foods regarded as a “complete” source of protein, as they contain all the essential amino acids.
In addition to protein, eggs contain numerous vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin A and Riboflavin which are important for maintaining healthy skin. An egg also provides vitamin D and E, calcium, and phosphorus which are all important for healthy teeth and bones.
These aren’t the only good things your dog will be absorbing while enjoying a tasty treat, as eggs also contain numerous B vitamins, vitamin A, zinc, copper, and more.
As with any treat, moderation is key. If a dog is eating too many eggs, especially as a supplement, they can become prone to weight gain which can make them more susceptible to secondary conditions such as pancreatitis or diabetes.
It is especially important to exercise moderation if you are feeding your dog raw eggs, as this style of feeding carries greater risks than feeding them cooked eggs. Feeding your dog raw eggs over a prolonged period can also lead to biotin deficiency, but this can be avoided if you feed your dog cooked eggs as an occasional complementary food alongside a complete, high-quality diet.
As a rule of thumb, never exceed giving your dog any treats that make up more than 10% of their daily diet. This goes for all snacks they eat within a day, from healthy tidbits like eggs and cucumber to their own dog treats.
In terms of eggs, don’t feed your dog more than one egg a day for a large dog. (And even this can be too much!) If you have a small breed, you certainly shouldn’t give them so much. This is why boiled eggs are the favoured method of cooking eggs for dogs, as you can change the portion size by feeding them a few pieces and store the leftovers in the fridge for a few days.
An egg can be a tasty treat for your dog, just make sure to feed these high-value snacks alongside healthy, complete dog food such as Pure. Pure is nutritious and delicious, containing tons of nutritional benefits in each bite.
Written by: Dr Andrew Miller MRCVS
Andy graduated from Bristol University in 2010 and sees nutrition as a foundation for our pet's wellbeing and takes a common-sense approach. We are what we eat, and it shouldn't be any different for our pets.