Before we domesticated them, wild dogs often had to get creative to get food. One of the ways they did it was to steal and eat raw eggs from birds’ nests, along with the shell. In fact, wild and stray dogs today still scavenge for eggs.
But many dog owners are still unsure if they should let their dogs eat eggs. You might also wonder how to prepare and serve eggs to your dog. In this article, we will answer those questions and provide a few helpful tips to ensure your dog’s safety.
Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
While there are a few minor concerns about eggs, they are often overblown without a good reason. The simple truth is that dogs can absolutely eat eggs, with a few exceptions. And if your dog likes eggs, he might like this egg-shaped feeder toy as well.
Benefits of Eggs for Dogs
Eggs are one of the most complete food sources and they come with various health benefits, such as being a good source of essential amino acids. These acids are the building blocks of protein. That means that eggs are, just like meat, a high-quality source of protein. Because of this, eggs can also help your dog when he has an upset stomach.
Eggs are also rich in other important nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Eggs contain iron, folate, selenium, riboflavin, zinc, fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E, K and B12, etc. While most minerals are concentrated in eggshells, some of them are also found in yolk and egg whites.
There are a few potential downsides when it comes to eggs and feeding them to your dog, although most of those concerns are exaggerated.
For example, some dog owners worry about cholesterol in eggs but cholesterol doesn’t affect dogs as it does humans. In fact, the more problematic is the number of calories in eggs, which can cause weight gain. That’s why it is important to feed your dog eggs in moderation, as an occasional treat.
Another example is the fear of biotin deficiency. Biotin is a type of vitamin B that maintains healthy skin, metabolism and digestion. Raw egg whites contain an enzyme that can prevent your dog’s body from absorbing biotin and lead to biotin deficiency but this is a rare side effect and it can only happen if you feed your dog a lot of raw eggs, according to Dogs Naturally Magazine. To prevent this, feed your dog eggs only from time to time. You can also use a slow-feeder to prevent stomach upset.
Perhaps the most legitimate concern is related to the risk of salmonella. Although dogs are naturally equipped to handle raw food bacteria, raw eggs can be toxic to dogs if they contain salmonella. If you want to give your dog raw eggs, it is best to choose eggs from free-range chickens since they are less likely to contain bacteria. Additionally, it is important to store the eggs properly at around 40°F (4°C).
Also, some dogs have food allergies and eggs are among the most common foods that dogs are allergic to. If your dog is having digestive problems after eating eggs, take him to the vet to determine whether he is allergic to them. The same goes for any other type of food you feed your dog with.
How to Prepare and Serve Eggs for Dogs?
The safest way to prepare eggs for your dog is to hard boil them. Once you boil them, chop them up and feed them to your dog. It’s best to give the eggs to your pooch right after you cook them.
While cooked eggs are safer than raw eggs, raw eggs will provide your pooch with more vitamins and minerals, especially if you give him the eggshell as well. Still, if your dog has a healthy diet and eats high-quality dog food, he won’t need all those nutrients and you should stay on the safe side and feed him cooked eggs.
You can also prepare scrambled eggs for your pooch or even fry them, although that is the least healthy way to prepare them. However you decide to cook the eggs, make sure to prepare them plain and avoid butter, oil, salt and other additives that can be harmful to your pooch.
Some dogs may not like the taste of eggs. In this case, you can mix the eggs with his regular dog food in the food bowl.
How Many Eggs Can a Dog Eat?
Your dog should only give your dog eggs occasionally, as a healthy treat. In general, treats should only make 10% of your dog’s diet. Since one egg contains 54-78 calories, simple math suggests that you shouldn’t give your dog more than a few eggs per week, depending on your dog’s size and caloric needs.
In general, small dogs should only be fed one or two eggs per week, while large dogs can have two or three eggs per week.
You can calculate precisely how many calories your dog needs per day and determine how many eggs to feed him. For example, dogs need around 30 calories for each pound of body weight per day. If your dog is active, this number can go up.
That’s why it is best to consult with your vet before you determine to include eggs in your dog’s diet since he can help you determine your dog’s daily calorie intake and how many eggs would be too much for him.
Eggs are a perfectly safe food for dogs, as long as you give them in moderation. Most of the common concerns are overblown and you don’t have to worry about them.
Additionally, eggs have many nutritional benefits for dogs, especially the high number of amino acids that make up proteins.
If you find this information useful, you might also be interested in our in-depth article about feeding raw chicken to you dog. Can dogs eat raw chicken?