Eggs are one of the most popular and healthiest breakfast foods. We love to enjoy them in various ways and dishes. But are they a healthy option for our dogs?
We know that it’s a rich source of protein but what other health benefits are associated with eggs? And an even bigger question is what are the safest ways to feed eggs to a dog? We’ll explore answers to all these questions in this article.
Health Benefits of Eggs for Your Dog
Let’s first discuss the various nutritional benefits of feeding eggs to dogs:
1. Provides Amino Acids
Amino acids are molecules that are known as the building blocks of proteins. It’s an essential component in your dog’s diet as protein is responsible for some major bodily functions.
Egg whites are considered a rich source of protein as it contains all the essential amino acids. They support the growth and repair of cells and other tissues including muscle, skin, bone, and hair in your dog’s body. These also help support the formation of hormones, antibodies, and enzymes that help boost the immune system.
2. Provides Vitamins
Eggs, more precisely, the yolk contain 12 vitamins. Each of these has a unique function that helps promote the overall growth and development of your dog.
For example, vitamin A is responsible for maintaining healthy skin, vision, and immune system. Vitamin D helps the dog’s body in absorbing calcium and phosphorus and also supports healthy bones, strong teeth, and muscle function.
3. Provides Minerals
Eggs are a rich source of various minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron, and zinc. It also contains a moderate amount of sodium.
By adding an egg as a supplement to your dog’s diet, you can ensure they are getting a well-balanced diet.
Healthiest Ways to Feed Eggs to Your Dog
The nutritional profile of an egg makes it a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. But there are certain aspects that you need to understand in order to reap the maximum benefit without any potential risks.
Let’s go through each of these topics individually.
How Many Eggs Can a Dog Eat?
Eggs should be considered as a treat for your dog and they should never substitute for a healthy well-balanced meal. Moreover, it shouldn’t be the only source of protein for your dogs.
The right amount of eggs you can safely feed your dog depends on various factors like their age, breed, activity level, and existing health condition. On average, one large boiled egg contains 70-80 calories. You’ll have to make sure this number doesn’t exceed the 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
Furthermore, you should get in touch with your veterinarian to determine how many eggs you can feed your dog.
What Kind of Bird Eggs Are Safe For Dogs?
Chicken eggs are the most commonly used egg in our daily diets. But there are many other kinds of bird eggs available in the market and it would be helpful to understand which one of these are safe and healthy for your dog.
A) Can a dog eat quail eggs?
Yes, quail eggs can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. They’re a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that can support your dog’s health.
B) Can a dog eat duck eggs?
Duck eggs are also safe and healthy for a dog. And, they contain higher amounts of certain nutrients when compared to chicken eggs.
C) Can a dog eat turkey eggs?
The nutritional content of a turkey egg is similar to that of a chicken egg but contains twice the amount of calories and fat. The amount of cholesterol is also 4 times more than a chicken egg. This can cause digestive issues and other health problems for your dog.
So even though a turkey egg is safe to consume for a dog, it may not be a healthy option to include in their diet.
How to Feed Eggs to a Dog?
Now that you know what kind of eggs are healthy for your dog, you should know how to feed them to your dog in a healthy manner.
Can dogs eat raw eggs?
Many pet owners like to crack a raw egg over the dog’s kibble before feeding them. But if you talk to a veterinarian, they’ll most likely advise against feeding raw eggs to a dog.
The biggest reason is that raw eggs can carry bacteria like salmonella and e. Coli. Even though your dog’s immune system can fight mild symptoms of salmonella infection, the constant exposure can be life-threatening.
Another reason to avoid raw eggs is that raw egg whites contain an enzyme called avidin. If your dog consumes this enzyme regularly for an extended period of time it’ll start binding with biotin in the intestines making it unavailable for proper absorption. This can cause a biotin deficiency that can affect a dog’s skin, hair, and overall growth rate.
Can dogs eat boiled eggs?
A hard-boiled egg is a good option for your dog. Plus, it’s really simple to make as all you have to do is boil an egg for 10-12 minutes.
Once cooked, remember to let them cool down and cut them into smaller pieces before serving.
Can dogs eat scrambled eggs?
Scrambled eggs are also safe for a dog. But make sure to keep the recipe plain and simple. Adding other ingredients like salt, butter, milk, cheese, herbs, or other seasonings can be harmful to a dog and can lead to several health issues.
Can dogs eat fried eggs?
Just like scrambled eggs, fried eggs are also safe for your dog. Just avoid adding any salt or seasoning that can affect your dog’s health.
Can dogs eat eggshells?
It's safe to feed eggshells to your dog but in moderation as they contain high amounts of calcium. You have to take your dog’s health into account before feeding them eggshells.
The substantial amount of calcium can disrupt their daily nutritional requirements causing hypercalcemia, a health condition in which the calcium level in your dog’s blood goes abnormally high. It can lead to various problems including kidney stones and improper bone growth.
Another potential risk of feeding eggshells to your dog is that they can be a choking hazard. To avoid this, simply crush the shells by hand and mix them with the eggs. If you have a puppy or a small breed dog, consider grinding eggshells to make a powder and add that to their meal.
Can a Dog be Allergic to Eggs?
Dogs with allergies tend to be allergic to a specific type of protein in the food. Protein in eggs can be different than the protein from chicken, so if your dog is allergic to chicken they may not be allergic to eggs and vice versa.
To avoid any confusion, consult your veterinarian before adding eggs to your dog’s diet. And always start small by feeding your dog a quarter slice of an egg and monitoring their reaction and behavior for 24-48 hours.
If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction like restlessness, itching, coughing, sneezing, obsessive licking, etc, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Eggs can be a perfect supplement to your dog’s diet. You can easily cook, boil, or fry them before feeding them to your dog. But make sure you don’t feed raw eggs and avoid adding any seasoning while cooking.
If you have any further doubts, you can contact your veterinarian before adding eggs to your dog’s diet.
Let’s answer some of the frequently asked questions about feeding eggs to a dog:
1. Can a dog with pancreatitis eat eggs?
Egg yolks contain fat that can be hard to digest for a dog with pancreatitis. You should consult with a veterinarian before adding eggs to your dog’s diet if they have any existing health conditions.
2. Can a dog eat hard-boiled eggs with shells?
Although eggshells are safe for a dog, you shouldn’t feed them while they are still on the egg. Remove the shells and crush them into small pieces or grind them to make a powder before feeding. It’ll make sure your dog is able to chew and digest the shells and it won’t cause a choking hazard.
3. Can a dog eat eggs when they have diarrhea?
Scrambled eggs are often recommended by veterinarians when a dog suffers from diarrhea as it’s easy to digest and packed with protein. But if your dog is suffering from a severe case of diarrhea, you should consult a veterinarian to provide them with proper care and the right diet.
4. What kind of eggs can a dog eat?
Dogs can eat cooked eggs be it hard-boiled, scrambled, or fried. But the recipes need to be plain without any additional ingredients like salt, butter, spices, or other seasonings.
Most vets don’t recommend you to feed raw eggs to a dog since there is a risk that they might carry bacteria like salmonella and e. Coli.
5. How often can a dog eat eggs?
The right amount and frequency of feeding eggs to your dog will depend on their age, weight, breed, existing health conditions, and nutritional requirements. You can consult your veterinarian to decide how often you can feed eggs to your dog.