As a dog owner, you share practically everything with your pooch, from your bed and blankets to long car rides. Sometimes, you may even give him a few scraps from your dinner plate. No harm in giving in to those puppy eyes now and again, right?
You already know your dog can eat carrots, peanuts, and popcorn and that you should undoubtedly avoid feeding him chocolate. But what if your pooch is begging for breakfast, eyeing those eggs on your plate? You only want the best for your furry friend, so do you give in and toss him a bit of egg white or stand your ground? Here's what you need to know before making the decision.
Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
In short, yes. Dogs can eat eggs, and they're even good for your dog's health. Rich in protein, essential fats, iron, vitamins, and carotenoids, eggs are exceptionally nutritious for both humans and their furry friends. Thus, giving your dog eggs can provide an array of health benefits, including improved skin, a shinier coat, and healthier teeth and bones. This treat may also settle a dog's stomach if they're sensitive to their kibble.
Raw vs. Cooked
While eggs can be a beneficial addition to your dog's diet, how you serve them matters. Just as humans shouldn't eat raw eggs, dogs shouldn't either. Feeding your pooch uncooked eggs puts them at risk for getting salmonella, a bacterial disease that upsets the intestinal tract. This infection can result in refusal to eat, vomiting, and diarrhea. Instead, hardboil, scramble or cook eggs without oils or seasonings before serving them to Rover to ensure he stays healthy.
While cooking the eggs, make sure the whites are firm, and the yolks are solid. These qualities ensure the eggs are fully prepared to kill off any salmonella.
What About Eggshells?
Regarding the eggshells, you probably shouldn't give them to your dog — at least not whole. Although they do contain calcium and phosphorus, some smaller dogs may not be able to chew the shells fully before swallowing. Therefore, if you do want to feed your dogs the shell, it's best to grind them into a powder and sprinkle them over their food. However, there are easier ways to supplement these nutrients through other meals and treats.
Eggs are one of the most common canine allergies, so there is a chance your dog may not be able to eat them. Often, a reaction occurs when your dog's immune system overreacts to the egg proteins. This phenomenon usually results in dry, itchy skin, redness, and sores in severe cases. However, these symptoms may also be due to numerous other things. Therefore, it's best to consult your veterinarian if you notice any differences in your furry friend.
Eggs as Treats
As with any other food, moderation is key to a healthy, balanced diet. You should treat eggs as treats for your pooch instead of a large portion of their usual fare. Depending on your dog's size, aim to include eggs as 10% of their food intake or less. Since eggs contain about 70 calories each, overfeeding can lead to weight gain. Depending on the dog, too many eggs can pack on the pounds fast.
Ask Your Vet
If you're still unsure if giving your dog eggs is appropriate for your particular pup, speak to your vet. They'll offer you the best advice regarding your pet's specific breed, age, health, and allergies. Plus, they can advise you on whether or not to feed them eggshells and just how often you should treat Fido to eggs.
Moreover, if you begin incorporating eggs into their diet, and they seem to be reacting poorly, bring it up to your vet as well. When it comes to your fluffy friend, it's better to be safe than sorry. Besides, you want to do what's best for them, whether that means giving them eggs or not.
Emily is a freelance wildlife conservation and pet blogger. To check out more of her work, see her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her Twitter account @emilysfolk.