Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
You're cooking up breakfast for your family on a chilly weekend morning when you notice your pooch eyeing the eggs. If you're considering cracking another one for the dog, you may stop and wonder if your furry friend can even eat eggs. And if they can, are eggs good for him?
"Chicken eggs are good for dogs primarily because of their high protein content," says Dr. Shadi Ireifej, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of VetTriage, a company that provides tele-vet health sessions with a veterinarian. "Eggs contain essential amino acids, which are amino acids the body cannot synthesize on its own and must acquire exclusively from the diet."
What's more, eggs are often an ingredient in some commercial dog foods.
Just as they are for people, eggs can be a powerhouse of nutrition for your dog. They contain:
- Essential fatty acids
- Minerals like selenium
- Vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, and vitamin D
The nutrients in eggs are excellent for memory support, vision, the heart, muscles, and bone, as well as fur, skin, and nails.
How to Prepare Eggs for Your Dog
Dr. Ireifej says you can add cooked eggs to your dog's regular maintenance food to make it more palatable. Both brown and white eggs are acceptable.
Cooked eggs are preferred, but the occasional raw egg is also okay. If your dog experiences any gastrointestinal upset after eating raw eggs, switch to cooked eggs. Dogs' carnivorous digestive system usually enables them to eat raw eggs just fine but "not all dogs can tolerate the ingestion of raw eggs," says Dr. Ireifej.
If you're whipping up eggs for breakfast, you can serve your pup omelet-style eggs, hard-boiled, scrambled, or fried--just avoid using oil and any seasonings.
How About Raw Eggs?
Some owners like to feed their dogs raw eggs with the shell finely grounded or crushed since cooked eggs, like cooked meat, reduce some of the egg's vitamin and mineral content. Plus, the shell contains calcium and other mineral-rich nutrients good for bones, muscles and healthy teeth and gums.
When feeding raw eggs to dogs, store them at a temperature between 44-56 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the egg thoroughly before breaking and avoid purchasing loose, broken, cracked, or dirty eggs. "As a precaution, shell them in another container. This will aid in minimizing bacterial contamination that may be naturally found on eggs and also maximize nutrient availability," says Dr. Ireifej.
How Many Eggs Can a Dog Eat?
So, the next time you're whipping up breakfast or brunch, go ahead and crack another egg for your canine family member. Eggs are nutritious, affordable, and easy to prepare—plus they're yummy for everyone in the family.
*As always, consult with your veterinarian about your dog's diet and nutrition plan*