Can my dogs eat eggs

Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
The Essential Guide

Considering eggs are jam-packed full of protein, you might think they’re a good option for your dog’s diet. But is that so? Here’s what you should know about whether dogs can eat eggs.

Dogs dinner that includes a boiled egg

Can Dogs Eat Eggs - Yes or No?

Yes. Eggs are generally safe for most dogs. This common food is high in protein, vitamins, and fatty acids that help support all your dog’s nutritional needs. In general, moderate egg consumption is healthy for pups of all ages and will keep their skin and coat looking great.


Benefits of Eggs for Dogs

For every egg, your dog will get 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats. This is pretty great for a single food! The fats, vitamins and minerals in eggs support your dog’s health, particularly their skin.

  • Boost their eye health: chicken eggs are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two essential antioxidants that intervene in retinal health. According to researchers, eating enough of these two antioxidants will lower your dog’s risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. On the other hand, eggs are also high in vitamin A. This vitamin’s deficiency is the most common cause of dog blindness, so it’s key to include it in their diet.
  • Keep your dog’s bones strong: eggs have a relatively high calcium and phosphorus content, which in turn make your pup’s bones strong. This is great for growing puppies!
  • Eggs are rich in choline: choline, also called lecithin, is an essential lipid to your dog’s health. Generally speaking, choline is essential to brain function, but it also has key roles in other physiological processes, including lung health.

The Bad Side of Eggs for Your Dog

Despite their nutritional benefits, eggs can sometimes be a bad option for your pup. Here’s what you should watch out for:

Avoid eggs if your dog has high cholesterol

This recommendation also applies to obese or overweight pups. Eggs are high in cholesterol, packing around 1.6 grams of saturated fat and 20mg of cholesterol per egg. While these amounts by themselves aren’t bad, they can tip your pup into unhealthy territory if they already have high cholesterol levels. If your dog is packing a few extra kilos, hold off on the egg and talk to your vet about a healthier regimen.

Raw eggs can be dangerous

Although most vets advise only offering cooked eggs to your dog, some owners choose to feed them raw. We don’t recommend raw eggs for dogs, mainly because of sanitary concerns.

Raw eggs offer plenty of food to pathogens, which in turn can harm your pup. The main danger here is salmonella, a common cause of food poisoning. If untreated, salmonella can lead to hefty vet bills and life-threatening dehydration in small dogs and puppies. On the flip side, if your dog contracts salmonellosis they can give it to you as well!

Feeding raw eggs to your dog can also cause biotin deficiency. The avidin protein in raw eggs ‘captures’ biotin and prevents your dog from absorbing it. If your dog doesn’t get enough biotin -or can’t absorb it properly- they’ll have itchy, scaly skin, a dull coat, slower metabolism and poor digestion.

Because of these issues, avoid raw eggs in your dog’s diet.


How Much Egg Should Dogs Eat?

Most dogs can eat a small portion of eggs every day without issues. However, vets say eggs should be considered a treat and limit it to 10% of your dog’s daily calories at most. As such, eggs can complement an already balanced diet with high-quality protein, carbs and healthy fats.

In most cases, a small dog can eat up to two eggs a week, while larger breeds should get no more than 3.


How to Give Eggs to Your Dog

Step 1. Cook your eggs

The first thing to keep in mind before giving eggs to your dog is that they should always be well cooked. Never give raw eggs to your dog! On the other hand, it’s important to only give plain, unseasoned eggs. Avoid butter, oil, salt, pepper and other spices, it’s best to stick to boiled or cooked on a non-stick skillet.

Step 2. Portion it out

If your dog has never eaten eggs, cook a whole egg and just give your dog a small bite. It can be as a treat or a topper on their regular food.

PRO TIP: If your dog tends to be a picky eater, start by giving eggs as a treat. If you use it as a dry food topper, they might not like it and you’ll have to lure them into eating their normal food again.

Step 3. Keep an eye on your dog

After you’ve given them eggs for the firsts time, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t feel bad or vomit. Some dogs are very sensitive to new foods, and eggs might cause gastrointestinal distress. If your dog has diarrhoea or throws up more than once, call your vet so they can assess the situation.

In the beginning, feed your dog just one egg. Watch them for any signs of gastrointestinal distress like diarrhoea or vomiting. As long as they don’t show any digestive discomfort, you should have no trouble giving them eggs.


Final Thoughts

Eggs can be a great addition to your dog’s diet, particularly if you use them as a treat. However, keep in mind overweight pups, or those diagnosed with high cholesterol, shouldn’t be eating eggs. In general, you can try this yummy, nutrient-packed food safely.

Want to learn more about what types of food dogs can and can't eat? Check out our below guides:

References
  1. Remillard, R. L. (2008). Homemade diets: attributes, pitfalls, and a call for action. Topics in companion animal medicine, 23(3), 137-142. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1938973608000391?casa_token=h2NQRwUUxw8AAAAA:xGuuXg6jG_T95dFSSGFrLBbN2wkAQwkXVDlwAEFGY944u_CMppjOgqVbfH5iattNh0pZKjTIAA
  2. Polzin, D. J., et al (1988). The importance of egg protein in reduced protein diets designed for dogs with renal failure. Journal of veterinary internal medicine, 2(1), 15-21. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1939-1676.1988.tb01972.x
  3. VERLINDEN, A., et al G. (2006). Food Allergy in Dogs and Cats: A Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 46, 259-273. https://vegan-dogfood.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Food-Allergy-in-Dogs-and-Cats-A-ReviewDownloadRoss.pdf
  4. White SD. Food hypersensitivity in 30 dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 1986 Apr;188(7):695-698. https://europepmc.org/article/MED/3700223
Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better. Eloisa is able to use her expertise to write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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