Many pet parents wonder which “human foods” are good for their pets.
Yes, cooked eggs are good for dogs! Dogs can eat hard-boiled or scrambled eggs. The main objective is that the eggs need to be cooked. Eggs are good for dogs as they provide an excellent source of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Essentially the entire egg, including the eggshell, can be nutritious for dogs. In an article for Vet Help Direct, Sian Tranter MA VetMB CertAVP MRCVS writes that it is important for pet parents to be aware of canine calorie intake as dogs need fewer calories than humans; so adding treats to a balanced, complete diet can lead to obesity.
Cooked eggs are safer for dogs as any contaminating bacteria are killed. However, the risk of feeding a raw egg to a healthy dog infrequently is very small. Careful food hygiene and storage reduces the chance of contamination. Consider this more carefully if your dog is unwell, very young or old. Also, consider your health status and that of other family members and pets.
Are Raw Eggs Good for Dogs?
There is no evidence of nutritional benefit in feeding raw eggs to dogs. There is, however, the risk of your dog contracting Salmonella infection from a raw egg. This bacterial infection can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Tranter points out that it is possible that the egg protein is more digestible when cooked, this was found in one small human study that measured digestibility (1). The danger of bacterial contamination is also sparsely corroborated. Although individual dogs have suffered disease from contaminated eggs, there have been no major outbreaks in dogs. Dogs have eaten raw eggs for centuries and the majority have not succumbed to severe disease.
As bacterial infection is possible, it may be safer to feed cooked egg. Perhaps chop up a fresh hard boiled egg or scrambled egg with no fat or spices added. If you want to feed raw eggs, then feeding one or two carefully sourced and handled eggs a week is unlikely to harm a healthy dog, suggests Tranter.
Allergies to Eggs
Dogs tend to be allergic to proteins in food. Since eggs have protein, dogs can become allergic to eggs.
Feeding a lot of eggs can result in a particularly unpleasant side effect, flatulence. Introduce eggs carefully and slowly into a dog’s diet to reduce this eye-watering effect. Egg allergy is possible in the dog but rare.
Signs that your dog is having an allergic reaction include gastrointestinal (GI) issues like vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes they can have skin issues like itchiness around the ears, paws, and other areas.
If you see any of these signs, seek help from your local veterinarian.
Nutrients in Eggs
Each part of a cooked egg offers health benefits for dogs: the egg yolk, eggshell, and egg white.
Egg white contains avidin which inhibits the availability of a useful vitamin, biotin (B7). Egg yolks contain high levels of biotin so feeding a whole egg probably negates this effect. A single egg fed infrequently will not cause biotin deficiency (which results in poor skin and coat quality). However, you may need to monitor your dog if eggs make up a large part of their diet.
Some people advocate feeding eggshell as a source of calcium for your dog.
Tranter writes that it is important for your dog’s health that they receive a balanced complete food so they should not require extra calcium in their diet.
Supplementing calcium during pregnancy can lead to eclampsia post-whelping which is a severe disease resulting from calcium deficiency. If a pregnant bitch is given supplementary calcium her body will not manage her own calcium levels and when the pups are born she will not be able to maintain her blood calcium levels and develop tremors, seizures and a slow heart rate, this is rapidly fatal if untreated. If you do want to feed eggshell to your dog it is best to grind it in a coffee grinder or blender so that the shards do not cause oral injury.
How Much Egg Can a Dog Eat?
Eggs can be great as special treats for your dog.
The average egg contains 60 calories and has roughly 6 grams of protein and 4 milligrams of fat.
To figure out how much to feed your dog, you should talk with your veterinarian. The appropriate serving size of eggs as treats for your dog will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- Activity level
- Existing health issues
How to Feed Eggs to Your Dog
The safest way to feed eggs to your dog is to hard boil them and chop them up. It’s safest to feed eggs to your dog immediately after cooking.
Store eggs at 40°F when raw and boil eggs at 160°F to properly cook them. If you’re not serving them right away, it is recommended to refrigerate them at 40°F until ready to serve.
1 | Evenepoel P, Geypens B, Luypaerts A, Hiele M, Ghoos Y and Rutgeerts P. Digestibility of cooked and raw egg protein in humans as assessed by stable isotope techniques. (1998) The Journal of Nutrition 128 (10):1716-1722
VET HELP DIRECT: “Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs.”