Eggs are a staple breakfast food in many countries across the globe. Given their health benefits, you may be wondering whether dogs or puppies can eat eggs. That depends on whether eggs are served raw, boiled, scrambled, fried, seasoned, or include yolk. Many human foods are perfectly safe for dogs to eat, including eggs. In fact, they are considered to be one of the most complete foods anyone, both human and animal, can eat. Eggs are packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein in a relatively low-calorie format and have been shown to raise good cholesterol (HDL) in your body.
In addition to being healthy and nutritious for dogs, eggs can also be used to help settle an upset stomach. Surprisingly, dogs can also eat eggshells which are high in calcium, vitamins, and other nutrients.
To help you learn more, we’ve compiled a guide on eggs for dogs. From health benefits to concerns around salmonella, explore below to learn why eggs can be good for dogs to eat.
Are Eggs Good For Dogs?
There are several health benefits of adding eggs to your dogs’ diets. For starters, eating eggs can help keep their coats shiny. Most popular brands of dog food tend to include eggs in their ingredients because they make great fillers and are loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, there is a reason that many health fanatics include a ton of eggs in their own diets.
Eggs are inexpensive and a safe source of many of the nutrients your dog needs to be healthy and happy. These include:
- Vitamins A, B2, B5, and B12
- Fatty Acids
Eggs are also great for raising HDL, which are good cholesterols. A medium-sized egg contains 6g of protein with only 77 calories and 5g of fat. They make a great snack for obese dogs because they are very low in carbohydrates and are extremely filling. They also contain loads of essential fatty acids and amino acids.
To top it all off, dogs love eggs. It doesn’t matter how you cook them. As long as eggs are properly stored and cooked, it is OK to serve your dogs scrambled, boiled, or even fried eggs in moderation. Just make sure to avoid any seasonings since common items like butter, salt, onions, ketchup, and garlic are harmful or even toxic for dogs.
Dogs Can Eat Egg Yolks in Moderation
Generally, it’s a better idea to give your dogs egg whites if you plan to add eggs to their diets. Although they are high in protein, egg yolks contain a lot of fat, which can lead to weight gain if your dogs eat too much. However, egg yolks in moderation are very good for dogs because a lot of the essential minerals and vitamins are actually found in the yolk.
In fact, a single egg yolk contains 2.7g protein, 4.5g fat, 184mg cholesterol, 0.46mg iron, 1mg magnesium, 22mg calcium, 19mg potassium, 0.39mg zinc, and 66mg phosphorus. The yolks are also rich in vitamins A, B-complex, D, E, and K.
Egg yolks contain two antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, which can help improve eye health in dogs. They also contain choline. When given to pregnant dogs, choline can help promote brain development in puppies.
Can Dogs Get Salmonella?
Many dog owners are concerned about adding eggs to their dog’s diet because they are worried about salmonella. For those that are unfamiliar, salmonella is a bacteria that can lead to food poisoning in both humans and dogs. There are over 2,000 types of salmonella with most host animals carrying two or more different types of the bacteria.
The bacteria are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted to humans, and usually leads to issues if the food is undercooked or there are sanitation issues. Symptoms of salmonellosis include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, dehydration, lethargy, shock, mucus in stool, swollen lymph nodes, and an abnormally fast heartbeat.
The severity in which salmonella can affect your dogs depends heavily on how old they are. Older and younger dogs tend to have more issues with salmonella because they have less developed immune systems.
Although there is the risk of getting salmonella from eggs, dogs are generally safe as long as they consume properly stored and cooked eggs.
Dogs Can’t Eat Raw Eggs
As a general rule, you should never give your dogs raw eggs because it can be bad for them. As mentioned above, dogs can contract salmonella as easily as humans. In fact, if you give your dogs raw eggs, you are also putting yourself at risk just by handling them. Some people believe that it is okay for dogs to eat raw egg whites. However, we believe that the risks outweigh the benefits.
In addition to potential concerns around salmonella, feeding raw eggs to your dogs can also lead to biotin deficiency, which is a vitamin that helps promote metabolism, digestion, and skin health. Eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that prevents the proper absorption of biotin.
Eggs can also develop other types of bacteria outside of salmonella as they age. These bacteria can be harmful to your puppy if served raw since the cooking process typically kills them. To be on the safe side, we recommend getting into the habit of only giving your dogs cooked eggs.
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?
Often discarded as trash, eggshells surprisingly have quite a bit of nutrients to offer. They contain protein, calcium, magnesium, strontium, fluoride, and selenium. They have also been shown to help with arthritis in dogs by improving joint function and reducing pain.
However, eggshells aren’t tasty for your dogs and you may have trouble getting them to actually eat any of it. In addition, eggshells are brittle and can lead to choking hazards or damage to your dogs’ digestive tracts due to their sharp edges when they break. If improperly cleaned, eggshells may expose your dogs to risks related to salmonella.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Eggs in Moderation
It is perfectly safe to give your dogs eggs daily; however, eggs should not be the main part of their diets. Generally speaking, it’s always a great idea to speak with your veterinarian who can recommend the appropriate amount of eggs, if any, to give them. This will depend on their activity, size, breed, and sensitivity towards certain kinds of foods including allergies. If given too many eggs, your dogs can be at risk of developing obesity or other health issues. In moderation, eggs provide a healthy and inexpensive source for many essential nutrients that your dogs need.