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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.
Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.
1Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.
2Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.
3”Can Dogs Eat Eggs?,” American Kennel Club
4”Pet Emergency Statistics and Veterinary Costs,” Preventive Vet