Eggs are an excellent source of protein, healthy fatty acids, and many nutrients. You may enjoy eating eggs, but is it safe to give eggs to your dog?
Dogs can eat eggs raw (with some safety measures) or cooked. Plain free-range eggs are best, without any spices, fats, or oils. Keep eggs as a treat for your dog and not the main food source, feeding no more than one egg a day.
Some dogs love eggs and others won’t touch them. Supplementing the diet with eggs can be a great nutritional boost for any dog. But before giving eggs to dogs, it’s good to know what safety measures to take and if there are any risks involved with how you serve those eggs.
Giving eggs to dogs
Eggs are low in calories and high in quality protein. They’re also not expensive. This makes eggs a wonderful and affordable treat for dogs.
If your dog enjoys eggs, use eggs as a treat or daily supplement to a healthy diet. Eggs can even be used in training if your dog is food driven.
Get the healthiest eggs you can afford – look for organic, free range or pasture-raised eggs, from hens who have access to the outdoors. These eggs have the most goodness in them and should be available at stores, farmers’ markets, or directly from farmers.
Eggs should never be the only source of food or protein for dogs. High-quality kibble, soaked or not, or a balanced diet with homemade dog food should be a dog’s main diet.
A good rule of thumb is to feed your dog a high-quality dog food 90% of the time and treats only 10% of the time.
If you’re feeding your dog high-quality dog food, then your dog should be getting all the nutrients he/she needs from this food. Eggs are just part of the 10% treat for the yummy taste and nutrient boost.
I wrote all about my dogs’ favorite high-quality dog food in this post.
Some dogs can become allergic to things, including eggs. If your dog starts showing any of the following symptoms, your dog might have a food allergy (not necessarily an egg allergy) and may need to see a vet:
‘In the dog, the signs of food allergy are usually itchy skin or digestive disturbances such as vomiting or diarrhea.’Dog allergy symptoms courtesy of VCA Hospitals
If you have any worries about feeding your dog eggs or if your dog has a very sensitive stomach, skip the eggs altogether or speak to your veterinarian first for advice.
Every dog is different, and there’s no way to predict what will happen to every dog that eats an egg. But many dogs eat many eggs every day, and it usually turns out well.
Giving dogs some or all of the egg
You might be wondering what parts of the egg dogs can eat.
Well, in the wild, dogs can’t break open an egg and choose just the egg yolk or just the egg white. Their natural instinct is to raid nests and eat whatever they find in there, as mother nature serves her meals.
Dogs can eat every part of an egg – the egg yolk, the egg white, and the eggshell. Each part of the egg gives the dog different minerals and nutrients.
Eating egg yolk gives your dog healthy fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and many other nutrients. Egg yolks are actually one of the few foods that naturally have vitamin D in them, and dogs need to get most of their vitamin D from the food they eat.
By eating egg whites, your dog is getting other vitamins and nutrients, such as riboflavin, selenium, and potassium.
And eating the eggshell?
Well, eggshells are 40% calcium and 60% protein and minerals. They are a great source of calcium for your dog.
Giving eggshells to dogs
Eggshells can be used as a calcium supplement for your dog. Just don’t overdo it, and speak to your vet if you have any worries or concerns.
If your dog is eating high-quality, balanced dog food, then he/she is probably getting all the calcium needed and doesn’t require supplements to stay healthy. If your vet recommends using a calcium supplement, then speak to your vet about using eggshells as a natural alternative to traditional supplements.
Dogs can eat the raw eggshell on an egg, but it’s better to crush the shell into small pieces first so your dog doesn’t get hurt chewing and swallowing the shell.
You can also try making powdered eggshell to sprinkle on your dog’s food. This is one way to use the eggshells after making eggs for yourself.
To feed a dog eggshell, turn it into powder: Boil raw eggshells for 5 minutes or rinse cooked eggshells. Lay the eggshells on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Grind the cooled, crispy shells in a blender or coffee grinder. Sprinkle a teaspoon or less of this powder on your dog’s daily food for a calcium boost.
To keep your calcium-packed eggshell powder fresh, store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Giving raw eggs to dogs
The easiest way to feed a dog raw egg is to break the egg over your dog’s food. Crush the eggshell in your hands and throw that in too. Then give the food a good stir before letting your dog enjoy the meal.
Not everyone agrees that dogs can eat raw eggs. Some say dogs eat raw eggs in the wild, so they’re a natural part of a dog’s diet. Others say that dogs are at risk of salmonella poisoning and biotin deficiency from eating raw eggs.
Let’s look at both sides:
The pros of eating raw eggs
- Raw eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients
Heat from cooking can destroy many nutrients in eggs.
Raw eggs are packed with nutrients, which is one of the reasons why dog owners want to feed eggs to their dogs.
The risks of eating raw eggs
- Salmonella Poisoning
If dogs eat raw eggs contaminated with salmonella, they can get salmonella poisoning. A dog’s digestive system is designed to kill harmful bacteria like salmonella, but sometimes dogs do get ill. The symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, fever, and/or vomiting.
2. Biotin deficiency
There’s an enzyme in raw egg white that can reduce a dog’s ability to absorb biotin. Biotin is a vitamin that does a few good things, like helping dogs convert food into energy.
In rare cases, if a dog eats many raw egg whites for a long time, he/she can get a biotin deficiency. Some of the symptoms of biotin deficiency are hair loss, scaly skin, and diarrhea.
If you choose to give your dog raw eggs, there are a few things you can do to avoid the risks that come with this choice:
- Buy organic eggs laid by free range or pasture-raised hens
- Keep your eggs in the container you buy them
- Store your eggs in the main part of the fridge, where the temperature is cold and steady
- Throw away eggs after 3-5 weeks (check the expiry date)
- Feed your dog the egg white with the egg yolk: even though egg whites can affect biotin absorption, egg yolks give your dog a boost in biotin because the yolks have a lot of biotin in them
It’s important to feed your dog quality dog food that will give him/her all the nutrients he/she needs – an egg a day makes a great treat and nutritional boost, but eggs are not a balanced diet for a dog and can’t replace the kibble.
Giving cooked eggs to dogs
Cooking eggs is the safest way to feed eggs to your dog. Dogs can eat eggs that have been boiled, fried, scrambled, or poached. The heat from cooking does destroy nutrients in the eggs, so cook the eggs for the shortest time possible.
When cooking eggs for your dog to eat, don’t add any spices, salt, pepper, fats, oils, or butter. Keep things as simple as possible.
Give your dog eggs as a treat or when training your dog.
Giving eggs to dogs with an upset stomach
Dogs with diarrhea can benefit from eating eggs. Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse and will provide many vitamins and minerals, which means a dog can eat a little egg and get a lot of goodness in them quickly. Cooked eggs are best for dogs with an upset stomach, either boiled or scrambled.
Can dogs eat eggs every day?
Most dogs can safely eat up to one egg a day. 90% of a dog’s calories should come from a high-quality, balanced dog food and 10% can come from tasty treats, like eggs.
Can dogs eat eggs with…
It’s best to give dogs plain eggs, without any seasoning, butter, salt, etc. But sometimes we need to know if dogs can eat eggs with other things, like cheese or milk. Let’s take a look:
– Can dogs eat eggs with cheese?
Dogs can eat cooked eggs with cheese. Cheese has a lot of fat in it and can make your dog pick up weight, so if your dog is overweight leave out the cheese. If you do feed your dog eggs with cheese, choose low-fat cheese like mozzarella or cottage cheese.
Of course, if your dog is lactose intolerance, he/she should never be given any cheese, with or without the eggs.
– Can dogs eat eggs with chicken
Dogs can eat eggs with chicken as chicken and eggs are healthy sources of protein. Don’t give your dog the chicken neck, back, wings, or bones. And don’t add any spices to the chicken or eggs. This can be given to dogs as a treat but is not nutritionally balanced enough to be the only thing a dog eats.
– Can dogs eat eggs with pepper
Dogs can eat eggs with a little black pepper inside. Don’t sprinkle pepper over the eggs or your dog could get an upset stomach. Most dogs don’t like the taste of pepper, so don’t add pepper just for the flavor.
– Can dogs eat eggs with milk
Dogs can eat eggs made with a few spoons of cow or goat milk every now and then. Too much milk can result in weight gain and pancreatitis, which makes for a very sore tummy and vomiting.
– Can dogs eat egg salad
Dogs can eat a little egg salad, depending on what’s in it. Mayonnaise, mustard, seasoning, and other ingredients may upset a dog’s stomach. Egg salad is not a healthy food for dogs and should not be purposefully given to dogs to eat.
– Can dogs eat pickled eggs?
Dogs can eat pickled eggs and shouldn’t have any side effects, though pickled eggs aren’t the healthiest food for dogs to eat. Rather feed your dog cooked or raw eggs as a treat and leave out the pickles.