Public opinion on eggs has varied for decades, but today most nutritionists agree: Eggs are a healthy source of natural protein. But does the same apply to dogs? If you’ve ever wondered if dogs can eat eggs, good news! Although eggs are a nonstandard part of a canine diet, they’re one of the foods that are safe for dogs to eat.
Just because something is dog-safe doesn’t always mean it’s good for your pup. Fortunately, eggs have the best of both worlds. They’re high in protein, which is a key component of your dog’s diet.3 Protein helps build muscle and, along with vitamins and fatty acids, can give your dog a clean, shiny coat. Plus, if your dog is suffering from diarrhea, giving them eggs once in a while could bring some relief.
Eggs for your dog should be sourced from an organic, free-range farm. These are less likely to use hormones and other chemicals, which could harm your dog.
Also, be sure to talk to your veterinarian before adding eggs to your dog’s diet. Your vet might be aware of risks, like an egg allergy, that could put your dog in danger.
Some dogs enjoy a raw egg over a cooked one. Although most dogs are capable of digesting raw eggs, you still run the risk of exposing them to salmonella. This bacterium, common in raw foods, can induce diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress. Plus, if your dog gets salmonella, that puts you at risk as well.
Salmonella isn’t the only risk that comes with raw eggs. Uncooked egg whites contain an enzyme called avidin. If too much avidin is ingested, it can prevent the absorption of a vitamin called biotin. Dogs deficient in biotin could experience issues with their skin, metabolism, and digestion.
The upshot is: Cook your eggs!
Egg shells are high in calcium, which supports good bone health. However, most dog food already comes enriched with calcium, so your pooch probably won’t need the extra help unless your vet recommends it. Crushing and mixing the shells with their regular food is the best way to give your dog egg shells. Just make sure to wash the egg shell first. Painted Easter egg shells, while pretty, do not make for good eating!
If your vet thinks giving your dog eggs is a good idea, then you’re probably going to wonder how best to do it. As established, you should always cook the eggs to eliminate risk of infection. What form the eggs take depends on your dog’s preferences! Scrambled eggs are perfectly fine, as long as there aren’t any added salts, spices, oils, or other ingredients. You can also go with a hard boiled egg or fry it (sunny-side up, over-easy — chef’s choice).
Start out by giving your dog a small bit of egg, then watch for any negative reactions. An upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea could be signs of an allergic reaction. If this happens, contact your vet. They’ll likely recommend you bring your dog in for tests and observation.
If your dog doesn’t have a reaction, great! You can continue to add it to their diet. Most dogs should have no more than one egg a day. Because they’re high in protein, too many eggs could cause your dog to gain weight. On the other hand, this also makes them a useful ingredient if you’re trying to help your dog gain weight.
If you’ve spoken to your vet and taken all the necessary precautions, then your dog should be ready to enjoy some delicious eggy goodness! Of course, life can be unpredictable. An unknown allergy could wind up with an emergency visit to the vet. You can’t prepare for every eventuality, but there are steps you can take to mitigate emergencies. Investing in a MetLife1 dog insurance policy is one of them. With gastrointestinal treatments costing as much as $7,500,4 that’s one bill you don’t want to foot alone. MetLife pet insurance could help cover some of the cost.2 Check out our guide to pet insurance to see if it’s worth it for you and your furry family.