Eggs are a staple of many people’s diet. They are inexpensive, nutritious, and can be prepared in many tasty ways. Many dogs seem to love the smell of eggs, and it’s tempting to want to share them with our canine friends. But can dogs eat eggs and eggshells?
Every single part of an egg is suitable for a dog to eat: the egg yolk, the egg white, and even the egg shell. There are also some incredible health benefits that come from feeding your dog eggs and eggshells.
Let’s look at dogs eating eggs and eggshells in more detail.
Feeding Your Dog An Egg
Easily bought from the grocery store, eggs can become a vital part of a dog’s diet, including the egg shell.
Giving your dog eggs to eat is absolutely fine, as long as they are cooked. Hard boiled, fried poached or scrambled are all fine (though be sure not to add any seasonings to the eggs for the dog). They contain many nutritious elements that are valuable to your dog, and can be fed as part of a meal or as a treat.
They provide a great source of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and protein, but they must be cooked in order for a dog to eat them without any problems.
The Health Benefits of a Dog Eating An Eggshell
Eggs are full of vitamins, and just like humans, dogs need vitamins in their diet. The vitamins are both fat-soluble and water-soluble, meaning they are quickly absorbed into the dog’s tissue ready to be used right away by their body. Because of this, they are also not stored by the body so they need to be replenished on a regular basis.
The Vitamins Inside An Egg
Most of the vitamins are in the egg yolk itself, so it is very important for your dog to eat this part of the egg, although all of the egg is beneficial. The nutrients found in an egg yolk are:
- Vitamin A helps keep their eyes healthy, which includes their night vision. It is also vital for healthy skin, and the development of organs in growing animals.
- Vitamin D to help regulate levels of calcium in the dog’s body by controlling absorption.
- Vitamin K helps the dog’s blood to clot, which is vital if they have an accident.
- Vitamin E is to help defend against oxidative damage and is very important for function of the cells and fat metabolism.
- Vitamin B6 has many properties when it comes to dog health. It helps with red blood cells, the function of the nervous system and regulating hormones, amongst so much more.
- Vitamin B1 is sometimes also referred to as thiamine, so make sure to look out for this word when researching food. It helps the body to convert carbohydrates (food) into glucose (fuel) which gives your pooch his energy.
- Vitamin B12 is fundamental in a dog’s diet because it plays a vital role in the nervous system. It is critical for formation of red blood cells, cell growth, and protein synthesis – when cells make protein.
The Other Good Stuff Inside the Egg
- Folic Acid is probably something you think of with pregnancy, which makes sense because it helps the formation of red blood cells, meaning it is good for a stable metabolic function.
- Choline is beneficial for every stage of your dog’s life. It not only helps to stop them losing hydration via the skin, but it also helps their brain to develop and make sure their liver health is protected from diseases.
- Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is there to support the metabolism of amino acids along with the carbohydrates that live in the body.
In short, vitamins are needed to help with many functions of the dog’s body, such as growth, their immune system, metabolism and development. All important things to consider when feeding your dog human-grade food.
What Are Fatty Acids?
Egg yolks also contain a lot of fatty acids. They are consumed, just like humans, as unsaturated and saturated fats within our diet. Once absorbed by the body, they help to build and maintain body cells.
Fatty acids are needed to help with bringing fat-soluble vitamins into the body, so they are very important to a dog’s diet.
Unlike humans, we do not need to worry about a dog’s cholesterol because they are not prone to heart disease in the way we are.
Why Are Egg Whites Beneficial to a Dog’s Diet?
The egg whites provide essential amino acids for a dog which are broken down by protein and absorbed through the GI tract (gastrointestinal tract). They are then used to build muscle and maintain them with help from the protein.
The Nutrients Inside of An Egg
- Arginine which is good for older dogs who may be losing body mass and have alterations to their metabolism.
- Histidine is an essential amino acid which is important to help make necessary proteins.
- Isoleucine is another amino acid that helps with the function of immunity and growth, but particularly great for the immune organs and cells.
- Leucine helps a dog to both build and maintain their muscles, blood, organs, bones, skin and coat.
- Lysine helps to boost the immune system. Always necessary when warding off infections.
- Methionine helps a dog to reduce their urinary stones and treat bladder infections. It also means less destruction to the grass!
- Phenylalanine is for the maintenance of the dog’s coat, keeping it healthy, strong and shiny.
- Tryptophan is a natural amino acid that helps to reduce aggression and stress in animals, especially during highly stressful moments.
Just like with the vitamins, amino acids play a big role in a dog’s day-to-day healthy lifestyle. Eating them naturally through food is a fantastic way of easily consuming them without the need of supplements.
Why Are Minerals Important to Dogs?
Minerals are an important part of a dog’s diet and provide many benefits to their daily needs. They are consumed as salts within the dog’s diet, and again, just like vitamins and minerals, they are vital for their development.
The Minerals Inside of An Egg
Minerals are found in abundance within eggshells, but are also found in egg yolks and egg whites:
- Calcium is very important for strong bones, teeth, nails and their coat. It is also great for their nervous system.
- Phosphorus is important for healthy kidney function, meaning they can flush out toxins through their urine.
- Magnesium affects a dog’s energy production at a cellular level. Energy is used whether they move a muscle, have a heartbeat or have a stop to think.
- Sodium stops cells from dehydrating or swelling, and can be found within the blood and fluid that surrounds the cells. It is also needed to help maintain nerve and muscle cell function.
- Potassium is an electrolyte that is essential to your dog’s health because it helps with the function of electrical charges in the nerves, heart and muscles.
- Chloride, or sodium chloride, helps to produce the stomach’s hydrochloric acid which is a part of the digestive system. Basically, it is what helps to digest food.
- Iron is very important because it carries oxygen via the hemoglobin of red blood cells through the body so cells can produce energy.
- Copper is what helps the formation of the dog’s bones, collagen, connective tissue and the protective covering of the nerves (myelin). It is also vital in helping the body absorb iron.
- Zinc is both important for the immune system and how it functions, as well as the thyroid function.
- Manganese is important because it helps to make fatty acids, produce energy, and to metabolize carbohydrates. It is also vital for keeping cartilage joints in a healthy condition.
- Selenium is needed for the correct function of the dog’s metabolism.
- Iodine is a great way to help prevent infection.
Minerals are vital when it comes to the inner workings of a dog, and will keep your precious pooch in tip-top condition. They also help to fight off infections and keep the dog’s muscles, including the heart, healthy and strong.
How To Cook Eggs Suitable For A Dog (and You!)
When feeding eggs to a dog, it is always best to make sure they are cooked. Once cooked, feed the eggs to a dog right away. If they are not going to be consumed, put them in the fridge and they will last for a few days, but no more than a week.
- Put the eggs in a pan and cover with just enough cold water
- Over high heat, bring the water to a rapid boil.
- Remove it from the heat straight away and cover the pan with a lid
- Leave them for around 17 to 20 minutes before removing the lid
- Drain water from eggs
Is It Safe For A Puppy To Eat An Egg?
You will be pleased to know that puppies can eat a cooked egg because it has the same nutritional benefit for them as it does with older dogs. In fact, there are plenty of nutritional benefits to growing dogs that may be useful to a growing puppy.
It also may be fun to introduce them to something new, exciting and tasty to try while they are a puppy.
Before you alter or amend your puppy’s diet, however, you should check with your vet to make sure they are in agreement with the changes you intend to make.
Can A Dog Eat A Raw Egg?
Raw eggs are an absolute no-no when it comes to dogs, and even humans. It is always best to cook eggs for consumption. For one, there is no nutritional benefit to a dog eating a raw egg.
There is also a high risk of your dog becoming ill due to bacterial infections such as salmonella, a bacteria that will infect the intestinal tract making the dog ill.
So, can a dog eat a raw egg? We would not recommend it.
Can Dogs Be Allergic To Eggs?
Dogs, just like humans, can have food intolerances, with some having an allergy towards protein found within food. This means a dog could potentially be allergic to eggs, so do keep this in mind when introducing eggs to your dog for the first time.
If you do notice your dog is having an allergic reaction, call for help from the vet immediately. Signs can be, but probably not limited to:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Itchiness – especially around the ears and paws, but it can be anywhere on your dog’s body.
The Amount of Egg A Dog Can Eat
The amount of egg a dog should eat all depends on many factors which include age, size, health issues and what their activity level is.
Also, because eggs come in varying sizes, it can sometimes be difficult to know how much weight of an egg to give them compared to the weight of the dog.
Speaking to your vet on any dietary concern can help, and they should be able to advise you as to how much egg you can give your pooch.
Even though at first it might seem a little odd to feed a dog eggs, they are, in fact, very nutritious. Eggs and egg shells can provide a dog with many of their basic nutritional needs of minerals, vitamins and amino acids.
Together, they will help the dog to maintain a healthy body, and together with a healthy lifestyle, the eggs can contribute to a balanced diet.
So long as you cook the eggs thoroughly, they will make a tasty treat for your pet, or maybe even be given to them as part of their main meal. Whichever way you choose to feed them eggs, just know that it is safe to do so (unless they have a protein allergy).
Human-grade food can be a good way of getting the right nutrients to your dog, but always remember to do your research because not everything will be suitable for your pet.