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Can Dogs Eat Raw Egg? Is Raw Egg Safe for Dogs?

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

If you have looked at any dog food recipes lately, you have probably noticed that many of them contain eggs. There are eggs in wet food, dry food, and all kinds of other formulas. What many dog owners don’t know, however, is whether raw eggs are okay for your pup to consume.  The short answer to this question is no. You should never feed your pet raw eggs.

In the article below, we will give you the answer to why it’s not good for your dog, plus more details on the ingredient.

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Should You Give Your Dog Raw Eggs?

No, You should never feed your pet raw eggs. They can cause several different issues that we will outline below.

  • Salmonella: Salmonella poisoning is one of the most common types of illnesses that is associated with eating raw eggs. It is caused by the bacteria that grows inside of the egg and can cause your dog to have an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, and fevers. Not only that, but you are also at risk for this illness by just feeding your dog raw eggs.
  • Biotin deficiency: Biotin is an important vitamin in your dog’s diet. It is part of the B-Complex family, and promotes healthy skin, coat, immune system, and digestive tract. Giving your dog too much raw egg whites can cause a biotin deficiency as it contains an enzyme that blocks the B-Complex from absorbing into your pet’s system.

Why Some Eggs Are Good for Your Dog?

chopped boiled eggs
Image Credit: Helena Zolotuhina, Shutterstock

Although raw eggs are not good for your dog, when they are cooked they can be quite beneficial. Eggs are high in protein. In fact, they are one of the purest types of protein that your dog can have. Many foods lose a lot of their nutrients after they are cooked, but again, this is where eggs differ as they do not lose their nutrition after being heated.

Besides protein, many other important vitamins and minerals in eggs are beneficial to your pup’s diet.

  • Linoleic Acid: This nutrient is an essential amino acid that helps promote healthy skin, fur, and coat.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is another important substance in eggs that is good for your pet’s overall health. It will not only help with their skin and fur, but it will also promote healthy immune systems.
  • Digestive System: Eggs are known to be good for dogs with sensitive stomachs. You can feed cooked eggs to your pal if they have any type of an upset tummy to keep them fed while not causing any further issues.

    Iron: Iron is essential for your dog as it carries oxygen to their bloodstream. Low iron deficiency can cause your pet to become anemic.

  • Folate: Also known as folic acid, this is essential for your dog for their immune health and their cell membranes.
  • Riboflavin: Riboflavin is one of those ingredients that sounds bad but is good. This is how your dog pulls the protein from the food they consume.
  • Selenium: This is an antioxidant that is also important for their overall health, as well as your pet’s immune system.

As mentioned, protein is the number one ingredient that is important for your pet. Dogs need this nutrient to remain energized and strong. A healthy canine will have very little fat on their body. They are made up of mostly muscle, and they need the protein to support their body.

What About Cholesterol?

When it comes to eggs, most of us automatically think of high cholesterol levels as that is what it causes in humans. When it comes to your canine, however, you do not need to worry about their cholesterol level.

Cholesterol does not work the same way in your pet’s body as it does in ours. They will not get any of the side effects that are common to humans. What you do want to worry about is the added fat and calories that your pet will consume if they eat too many eggs, although we will go over this more later.

…And Egg Shells?

Eggshells are perfectly safe for your dog to eat. That being said, you typically will not find shells in a lot of store-bought dog food. If you make your own at home, you can add the shells to your ingredient list. Shells contain vitamins and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Both of these nutrients will aid in your dog’s overall well-being, specifically with their bones, teeth, skin, and fur.

If you want to add eggshells to your pet’s diet, they must be ground up to a powder. Otherwise, the shells can cause scrapes and cuts in your pet’s mouth and throat. Most pet parents that make their dog’s chow from scratch don’t bother, though as the nutrients are typically found in other ingredients anyway.

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How to Feed Your Dog Eggs

Except for raw, you can feed your dog eggs in many different forms. They can be hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, sunny-side up, or whatever you and your pup prefer. They can also be added to their meals, snacks, treats, and any other type of food that your pet enjoys.

You can also feed your dog eggs that are not mixed with their regular food. You can literally fry up a couple and serve them on a plate if you like. That being said, you should be careful of what you are using to cook them. Butters, oils, and other cooking helpers can be high in fat and other undesirable pet food ingredients. Not only can this cause obesity in your canine, but it can also cause other stomach issues.

Why You Should Be Careful with Eggs

Golden retriever and egg
Image By: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Although there are a lot of positives to feeding your pooch eggs, there are some downsides that you should consider, as well. For example, eggs can be high in fat that can cause your pet to become overweight or obese.

Overfeeding your dog any type of food can cause them to become overweight and inactive. You must treat eggs like any other meal and use discretion. Most dogs will be fine with having an egg a day, but it can vary depending on your pet’s weight and size.

It’s your pup’s food does not already contain this ingredient, a good way to give them a little bit of healthy protein is by providing it as a treat. Just keep in mind, one egg contains about 70 calories. Your dog should get 30 calories per pound of body weight per day to maintain a healthy weight. If you decide to feed your pet an egg as a treat, just make sure it does not equal more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

Other Details to Consider

The above pros and cons gave you a pretty basic view of the positive benefits of feeding your dog eggs, and why you should avoid giving them this food in its raw form. That being said, there are some other miscellaneous details that you should be aware of which we will touch base on below.

Mixed Messages 

There are many opinions about whether or not raw eggs are appropriate for your pup to eat. Many people argue that because wild dogs eat raw eggs, they should be okay for your pet. Keep in mind, however, that domesticated animals have (over time) become less immune to bacteria and other issues that wild dogs can more easily fight off.

For example, raw eggs can contain salmonella which is a bacteria that grows inside of the egg. Although some dogs can fight this infection and will not show any signs of illness, it is still a risk that many pet owners are not willing to take. This is also true of biotin deficiency. The enzyme in the egg that causes this issue is in the egg white. Egg yolks contain a lot of biotins that typically make up the difference, yet it is still a risk.

It is also worth noting that both the AAFCO and the AKC do not recommend feeding your pet raw eggs.

Sourcing Eggs

If you are keen to feed your dog raw eggs, you should be careful about where you purchase the food. To reduce the risk of salmonella and other bacterial infections, you should go for organic and free-range eggs. Suppliers that use hormones and other chemicals in their chicken feeds, can create unhealthy substances in the eggs.

If possible, you should also try to purchase your eggs from a local organic farmer. Mass companies that produce free-range eggs are typically sprayed with a chemical that makes them appear shiny. If you live in an area where you can visit a local farm, or if there’s a farmer’s market near you, your best bet is to buy them there.

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We hope the above review on raw eggs has given you some food for thought- so to speak. We generally recommend that you do not feed your puppy raw eggs as they carry the risk of some health consequences. Those issues may be less likely to happen, but they are serious enough that the risk is simply not worth it. On the other hand, feeding your dog protein-rich cooked eggs is a great way to supplement your dog’s diet. Though we do not recommend eggs as their main source of protein, giving your pooch a scrambled egg from time to time is a great treat.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay; Angele J, Pexels

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