This Article is About
eggs
egg shell
raw eggs
diet to lose weight
raw diet
quality protein
strict diet
fatty acids
digestion problems
lean muscle
Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
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Can Dogs Eat Eggs?

I keep chickens. Not many, but they are all excellent layers even in the middle of winter. Every morning at an early hour I collect eggs from the previous day and, occasionally on my return to the house, I drop some. Now people would say, get a basket or something, but generally we are talking small numbers of eggs here, it’s me being clumsy that’s the problem.

My point to all this rambling – the dog usually eats the eggs I drop. He is on a strict diet to lose weight, and it was only when a friend shrieked in horror about the egg situation that I realised I have never checked if dogs can eat raw eggs! I had a vague suspicion that it was Ok for canines to eat both cooked and raw eggs because I have been looking into feeding him a raw diet, but I was not 100% sure. Anyway, here are some of the facts I found about including eggs as part of a dogs diet.

The good news is, eggs are an excellent source of cheap, high quality protein, and in general there is nothing wrong in adding eggs to a dog’s diet as a healthy treat. But as usual, opinion in the dog world is very much divided. People who feed their dogs raw food or use home cooked recipes see no problem in adding eggs to the diet 1 to 3 times a week. Opponents say eggs are high in cholesterol and can result in salmonella and E-coli poisoning.

It’s probably important to consider first of all the nutritional value of an egg. Eggs are a good source of:

• Vitamin A

• Vitamin B12

• Iron

• Selenium

• Riboflavin

• Fatty Acids

So now let’s look at the pros and cons of feeding eggs to dogs:

Benefits

• Eggs are an excellent source of digestible cheap protein. Scrambled eggs is usually prescribed for dogs with delicate stomachs or digestion problems.

• They add some nutritious variety to a dog’s diet.

• Eggs have a high biological value because they help the dog’s body to absorb and retain more nitrogen. This helps promote lean muscle development.

• The egg shell is almost pure calcium which can be fed to the dog raw, or it can be dried and then grinded to be sprinkled onto dog food. The shell is a great source of calcium for dogs that have difficulty eating bones.

• Eggs are rich in vitamins and minerals, for example vitamin B12, calcium, iron and selenium. Vitamins and minerals perform many different jobs in the body, but are mainly responsible for building strong bones.

Calcium in the shell helps keep a dogs coat shiny.

• Feeding eggs is recommended by owners feeding a BARF diet or home-cooked food.

Problems

• Eggs are rich in cholesterol which can increase the amount of fat (lipids) in the blood. Hyperlipidaemia causes heart disease in human and certain breeds of canines. In dogs the condition has been more commonly linked to obesity, pancreatitis, vision and neurologic problems.

• Raw egg white contains an enzyme called avidin which decreases the absorption of biotin (vitamin B). Biotin is essential to a dog’s growth and general health of the coat. The symptoms of vitamin B deficiency include hair loss and weakness.

• Risk of Salmonella and E-coli infection. Really only a danger when feeding raw egg. Good hygiene, storing eggs at the correct temperature, and cooking can eliminate the risk of infection.

If you are still unsure about feeding eggs to dogs then consider the fact that there are 3 separate parts to an egg which can be isolated and used as individual components in a meal.

1. The whole egg whether raw or scrambled – is recommended for working dogs because they are high in energy.

2. The yolk – has a high fat content and can safely be fed to fit healthy dogs, particularly those which are very active. The yolk also contains biotin which helps counter the enzyme in the egg white which hinders its absorption.

3. The egg white – is of benefit to obese or less active dogs. The white has vitamins and minerals, not much cholesterol and is low in fat.

My research has put my mind at rest. I do not need to worry about the dog scavenging eggs that I carelessly drop. Having said that, I also think it’s not a good idea for him to eat too many. Eggs in small quantities whether cooked or raw is Ok as long as the dog is healthy and eating a balanced diet. In fact it seems that eating a few per week can actually add variety to a dog’s diet with the bonus of providing high quality protein rich in vitamins and minerals. Hence the reason so many owners use them as part of a raw diet and others use them as an occasional treat.

The only worry I have is that my pet is overweight and is on a low calorie diet food. I therefore need to be cautious feeding too many raw whole eggs because of the high cholesterol in the yolk. But generally, 2 to 3 eggs a week will provide top nutrition. Perhaps I really do need to get an egg basket after all!


Street Talk

C. Hughes  

You did mention that these escaped eggs have come in from the henhouse with you. Most of the eggs that you need to worry about regarding Salmonella have come from factory farms where this sort of thing is much more prevalent. Farm raised and Free range eggs are pretty safe. Most dogs have sufficient flora in their systems to overcome the diseases that attack people. A bit of extra protein certainly won't hurt your dog and they get such nice shiny coats from eggs added to their diet. Eggs are a great addition to a dog's diet. If you are concerned about his weight, cut the amount of food that you are feeding by 1/4 cup at a time until you see the dog start to loose weight. Go slow and understand that the dog will not be overly pleased by this activity.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks for the advice. He certainly likes the eggs and I have never noticed any bad reaction after he's eaten them. Trying to get his weight down has not been easy - he's a Labrador and loves his food. Over the last 6 months we've reduced his weight by over 3 kg. So things are moving in the right direction. Thanks again.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Well said, very nice read.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks Frank.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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