Eggs are considered a superfood for us humans, so we often wonder if they provide similar nutrition and benefits to our four-legged friends. The short answer is, yes, eggs are perfectly safe for dogs. There are some things you need to pay attention to when feeding your pooch eggs, and we’ll talk about everything you need to know below.
Why Would I Feed My Dog Eggs?
Eggs are considered a superfood because they contain a healthy amount of fat, lots of protein, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. What more could you ask for in a single food?
Offering your dog eggs is a great way to pack some protein and dense nutrition into their diet. It also helps that your pup will more than likely love the taste!
Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs?
The general consensus is that cooked eggs are safe for dogs, but raw eggs are questionable. The American Kennel Club states that raw eggs can cause some issues for your pup including Salmonella and biotin deficiency.
Salmonella is a bacteria that thrives on uncooked food. It can lead to intestinal discomfort for your dog, diarrhea, vomiting, and in some rare cases, it can be fatal. Cooking eggs thoroughly will completely kill all Salmonella bacteria in an egg, making it safe for your pooch to eat.
Biotin is a vitamin — often referred to as B7 or B12 — that allows your dog’s body to process the food they eat and convert it into usable energy. Without biotin, your dog can be drained of energy and experience skin and other health problems. Consuming too much raw egg can cause a biotin deficiency in your dog, which is something you should avoid at all costs.
Generally, it’s best to stay away from feeding your dog raw eggs.
How Much Egg Is Too Much for My Dog?
Although this superfood can be a great addition to your pup’s diet, you do need to be careful not to feed them too much. Dogs need far fewer calories than humans do, so the impact of an egg will be much greater on your pup than it will on you.
Eggs have about 70 calories each with the fatty yolk included, and these calories can quickly add up, especially if you have a small or medium-sized dog that only needs a few hundred calories a day. To make sure that you aren’t overfeeding your dog, limit their egg consumption based on their size, and assume you can safely replace about a tenth of their normal diet with egg. To prevent weight gain, avoid simply adding egg into your dog’s existing diet.
How Can I Feed My Dog Eggs?
Safely feeding your pup eggs comes down to how they are prepared. We already know that raw eggs aren’t necessarily safe for dogs, but beyond cooking them completely, how should they be prepared?
First, no matter how you cook eggs for your dog, make sure that there are no pieces of shell included. Sharp pieces of shell can cause damage to your dog’s insides, not to mention major discomfort.
Second, make sure that you aren’t cooking them in butter or oil. According to experts at Pets WebMD, dairy products can cause digestive problems in your pooch. Additionally, the fat content can be an issue for weight gain.
Lastly, you may enjoy your eggs with salt, pepper, and ketchup, but leave these tasty additives off of any eggs you give to your dog. Commercial dog food experts at Purina note that salt and pepper aren’t good for your dog in excess, and pet industry leaders at Chewy warn that ketchup contains sugar or the toxic sugar substitute, xylitol, both of which are unhealthy for your dog to consume.
Is the Cholesterol in Eggs Bad for Dogs?
Many people worry about cholesterol in their own diet, and that concern naturally carries over to their canine friends. However, according to the commercial dog food manufacturer, Purina, cholesterol isn’t a concern for dogs, because it doesn’t interact with their bodies the same way it does with ours. While the fat content of eggs may be an issue, cholesterol won’t negatively affect your pooch and shouldn’t concern you at all.
The Bottom Line
Eggs are generally safe for dogs to consume. In fact, they offer a great amount of nutrition including protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. You should limit the amount of egg your pup eats each day to avoid overfeeding, as eggs are calorie-dense and can lead to weight gain. Always fully cook eggs before offering them to your pup and remember not to prepare them as you would for yourself. When cooking eggs for your dog, leave out additives like salt, pepper, ketchup, butter, and oil.
Related Read: Can Dogs Eat Egg Whites? Are Egg Whites Safe for Dogs?
Featured Image Credit: Jill WT, shutterstock