Can dogs eat eggs? The short answer is yes, but keep reading, and we'll tell you why.
Are eggs good for dogs?
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, and protein is vital for dogs. Eggs are the gold standard for protein because they're almost 100% complete protein. They also provide linoleic acid and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A. These are great for your dog's skin and coat. Additionally, eggs contain riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, iron, selenium, and fatty acids.
While many foods lose their nutritional value when cooked, this isn't the case with eggs. Eggs just become more digestible with cooking. So your pampered pooch can enjoy boiled, scrambled, or even poached eggs.
Can cooked eggs harm dogs?
As long as your dog doesn’t have an egg allergy, no harm can come from feeding your dog a cooked egg once a day. If your dog is allergic to eggs, you’ll see GI issues like diarrhea and vomiting, along with possible skin problems like itchy paws and ears. If you see any of these symptoms in your dog after feeding them a cooked egg, stop feeding them eggs and consult with your veterinarian.
Allergies aside, cooked eggs are generally very safe to feed your dog. Cooking the eggs kills most bacteria and greatly reduces the risk of your dog getting salmonella. However, cooking the eggs with milk, oil, or butter increases the risks of your dog having an adverse reaction after eating them.
If you want to feed cooked eggs to your canine pal, the best way to prepare them is by boiling or scrambling them without using additives. It’s also important to consider that an average egg has about 75 calories, and only about 10% of the calories your dog eats should come from incomplete food sources, like eggs. Typically, that means that a dog over about 50 pounds can safely eat a whole egg each day as part of their diet.
Related: Why Gut Health is Important for Dogs
What about raw eggs?
Raw eggs are indeed safe for dogs to eat! This is still a controversial topic but, we prefer to eliminate the risk. Dogs also shouldn't eat undercooked eggs. This is a salmonella risk, and even clean eggs can contain it. As eggs begin to go bad, they develop other bacteria as well, says Purina.
Most veterinarians recommend that you cook eggs before giving them to your dog, but many dog owners do feed raw eggs to their pups. However, there are some concerns that you should be aware of if you’re thinking about giving them raw eggs, including:
- Salmonella: Like people, dogs can contract salmonella from eating raw foods. You could also get exposed to salmonella when preparing raw eggs for your dogs to eat. If your dog eats a contaminated egg and contracts salmonellosis, it could show symptoms like fever, lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting.
- Biotin deficiency: Feeding raw eggs to your dog can lead to them getting a biotin deficiency because egg whites contain the enzyme avidin, which prevents their body from absorbing biotin. Biotin is a vitamin that’s important for your dog’s metabolism, skin health, and digestion. While these deficiencies are rare in dogs, they can occur, especially when feeding them raw eggs.
Bacteria: Cooking eggs gets rid of most of the bacteria that might be growing on them, giving a lower chance of your dog becoming ill after eating them. Also, as eggs age, more bacteria grow on them; the fresher the eggs are, the lower the risk of your dog getting sick from the bacteria.
What about the shell?
While many dog lovers insist on grinding the eggshells for the added calcium and phosphorus, there are easier ways to get those minerals.
Is cholesterol bad for dogs?
While the cholesterol in eggs may be harmful to us, it doesn't have the same effect on your dog. They don't suffer from those cholesterol-related diseases that we do. So your dog can enjoy the whole egg, and if you're giving him too much, you'll notice the weight gain long before any other health issues arise.
Related: The Benefits of Raw-Type Feeding
Can they have eggs daily?
Yes, while we enjoy an apple a day, your canine friend can have an egg a day. But remember, eggs are a treat and should be carefully considered as such. They have about 70 calories each, and if you keep the 10% treat rule - the egg should only make up 10% of your dog's total daily calories.
Can you give your dog scrambled eggs?
Yes! For most dogs, scrambled eggs are perfectly safe, but it’s important to be mindful of how you cook them. The best way to serve scrambled eggs to your dog is plain: omit the butter, oils, and seasoning that you might get tempted to add to them. Scrambled eggs are a great source of protein for your dog, and they can be a healthy snack for them since eggs contain essential fatty acids and amino acids.
By themselves, scrambled eggs won’t hurt your dog, but you should be wary of recipes that call for ingredients that might be harmful. Many of us add things like onion and garlic to our eggs, but those are both toxic for your canine companion. Cooking them with added oil or butter and feeding them to your dog can make it so that they ingest too much fat, which can result in stomach issues for them over time.
You can feed your dog scrambled eggs by:
- Adding them to their regular food as an enticing food topper.
- Serving them a single scrambled egg for a fun snack.
- Giving them pieces of a scrambled egg for an effective training treat.
- Sharing a bit of your breakfast to make them feel happier (as long as they’re not seasoned).
Health benefits of eggs for dogs
The different parts of a cooked egg offer various health benefits for your dog: the yolk, egg white, and eggshell.
Benefits of egg yolks for dogs
Egg yolks contain vitamins and fatty acids that dogs need as part of their diet.
Your dog consumes fatty acids, which are concentrated in egg yolk, as unsaturated and saturated fats. Their body breaks it down to get absorbed through their GI tract. Once this happens, those fatty acids get used to maintain and create body cells.
Another benefit of fatty acids is that they make for a delivery system for vitamins. And, because dogs are not predisposed to heart disease like humans, the high cholesterol found in fatty acids isn’t harmful to them.
Vitamins help your dog’s metabolism and immune function work correctly and aid in its overall development and growth. Vitamins found in egg yolks include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Folic acid
Benefits of egg whites for dogs
Egg whites provide your dog with the essential amino acids that they need to thrive. Your dog’s body breaks down proteins to absorb amino acids, which get used to maintain and build muscle. The important amino acids found in egg whites include:
Benefits of eggshells for dogs
Eggshells contain the necessary minerals for your dog to help build their immune function and metabolism. Eggshells contain the same nutrients found in the whites and yolk, which include:
The best way to feed your dog eggs
We prefer to play it safe and feed our pups cooked eggs rather than raw ones. Scramble, fry, or boil them without seasonings, oils, butter, or other additives. There are various ways that you can add eggs to your dog’s diet, including a whole-boiled egg or bits of scrambled eggs used as a food topper.
When you first start feeding them eggs, you should start with just one and watch them closely to see if they show any signs of distress like vomiting or diarrhea. If all goes well, they should be able to start including eggs in their diet!
Can Dog's Eat Eggs: Final Thoughts
Eggs are an inexpensive and nutritious treat for dogs. The benefits far outweigh the potential drawbacks. So next time you're making an egg for yourself, don't forget your canine friend.
Are you looking for the best in pet nutrition? We’ve developed all-natural, scientifically-proven supplements and vitamins for your dogs’ health, nutrition, and performance. Contact Rogue Pet Science today.