Dog will a bowl full of chicken eggs in front of him.

Cracked Raw Egg Over Dog Food: Healthy or Not?

Written By Vedrana Nikolic | Canine Coach, B.A Ethnology & Anthropology, M.A Semiotics.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 17th November 2023

A cracked raw egg just looks like the perfect topper for dog food. It’s natural, it’s convenient, and almost every dog loves it. But is feeding raw eggs to your dog really safe? The truth is, it’s kind of a grey area. Today, we’ll go over the risks and the benefits of feeding raw eggs to dogs so you can make your own informed decision. Let’s get cracking! Are Raw Eggs Good for Dogs?

Eggs, whether cooked or raw, are a rich source of various essential nutrients. They are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, making them a valuable addition to the human diet. But what about our dogs? Are eggs equally beneficial for them?

“A protein's rating—called its Biological Value (BV)— is a measure of the amount and number of the essential amino acids present. The higher the BV, the more nutritionally valuable the protein is. Egg is generally considered the ‘perfect’ protein, and given a BV of 100.” - Dr. Laurie Coger, DVM, CVCP (1)

When it comes to dogs, eggs can offer a wide range of nutritional benefits:

  • Protein: Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for muscle growth and overall health. Protein is particularly important for active dogs and puppies.
  • Vitamins: Eggs contain various vitamins, including A, D, and B-complex vitamins like B12, riboflavin, and folate, which play vital roles in a dog's wellbeing.
  • Minerals: Eggs provide minerals like selenium and phosphorus, which are essential for maintaining healthy bones and immune function.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats are found in eggs, and they can contribute to a shiny coat and promote heart health in dogs.

In fact, you’ll often see eggs as an ingredient in high-quality dog food. So eggs are definitely good for dogs. Just like with any food, there might be dogs who don’t tolerate eggs very well due to allergies or sensitivities, but these cases are very rare.

But is it OK to feed the eggs raw?

Related: The Best Dog Food Australia.
Related: How To Choose The Right Dog Food?
Related: Understanding Guaranteed Analysis Levels in Dog Food.


The Elephant in the Room (Salmonella)

The main issue with feeding raw eggs to dogs is the risk of bacterial infection. This is the same problem that arises with any type of raw food of animal origin. With eggs, the main thing to be concerned about is salmonella.

Now, dogs are much more resistant to salmonella and similar bacterial infections than humans are. Severe infections are possible, but fairly rare. The symptoms to look out for include sudden onset diarrhoea, vomiting, lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite.

But, there is another reason to be cautious about dogs and potential salmonella risks: the fact that they can transmit the infection to humans.

“Even if a dog does not show signs of salmonellosis, he can still spread the disease through faeces or saliva, which can infect humans. The type of salmonella that affects dogs is more likely to affect humans as well, making it a zoonotic disease.” - Jamie Lovejoy, DVM, PetMD (2)

Again, the chances of this happening are not huge, but it's possible.

So what’s the takeaway from all of this? Can we feed our dogs raw eggs or not? Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I have often cracked a raw egg over my dog’s food, and she loves it. As far as I know, neither I nor my dog have gotten a salmonella infection in all these years. But is it 100% safe? No, it isn’t.

So it’s up to you to decide if you are willing to deal with potential rouge pathogens from eggs entering your home.

The good news is, cooked eggs are also great for dogs, and don’t come with any risks. So if you are looking for a safe alternative, just go ahead and cook the eggs!


The Alternatives to Raw Eggs

To mitigate the potential risks associated with feeding your dog raw eggs, it's advisable to cook them before offering them as a treat or supplement to your dog's regular diet.

Here's how you can prepare eggs for your dog:

  • Scrambled Eggs: Scrambled eggs are a simple and safe way to prepare eggs for your dog. Cook them without adding any seasonings or oils. You can offer scrambled eggs as an occasional treat or mix them with your dog's regular food for added nutrition.
  • Boiled Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs are another excellent option. Simply boil the eggs until they are fully cooked, and then remove the shells. You can chop them up and mix them with your dog's food. The great thing about boiled eggs is that they last quite a while in the fridge, so you can prepare them in advance and just add them to your pup’s bowl as needed.
  • Poached Eggs: Poached eggs can also be a nutritious option for your dog. Make sure they are fully cooked with no runny yolks.

Finally, there is actually another benefit of cooking the eggs you feed your dog, besides killing the harmful bacteria. Namely, cooking eggs actually makes the protein in them more bioavailable for your dog (3). So, in the end, feeding cooked eggs might even be the better option!


Incorporating Eggs In Your Dog’s Diet

Just like with any type of new food, introduce eggs slowly into your dog’s diet. Start with a small amount to see how they react. Monitor your dog for any signs of digestive upset or allergies, such as itching, hives, or diarrhoea. If your dog tolerates eggs well and enjoys them, you can gradually incorporate them into their meals as an occasional treat or supplement.

How much egg you can feed your dog on a regular basis will depend on the size of your dog and other factors. If unsure, you can always talk to your vet, but in our experience, one egg per day is a good measure.


Final Thoughts

Raw eggs, with their nutritional benefits, are a tempting addition to your dog's diet. They're packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, they carry a risk of bacterial infection, notably salmonella. While this risk is relatively low, it's not zero, and dogs can transmit it to humans. Cooked eggs offer a safer alternative without sacrificing nutrition, eliminating the bacterial risk and making the protein more accessible.

Ultimately, your choice between raw and cooked eggs depends on your risk tolerance. Both can be healthy options, though, and eggs are definitely a great addition to your canine companion’s diet!

Related: What Food Can't Dogs Eat?

References

  1. Semigran, A. April 25, 2016. “Best Proteins for Raw Food Diets for Dogs”. PetMD. Retrieved September 5, 2023.
    https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/best-proteins-raw-food-diets-dogs
  2. Lovejoy, J. June 9, 2023. “Salmonella in Dogs”. PetMD. Retrieved September 5, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/salmonella-dogs
  3. Taylor, M. December 5, 2021. “Can Dogs Eat Eggs?”. FETCH by WebMD. Retrieved September 5, 2023. https://www.webmd.com/pets/dogs/can-dogs-eat-eggs

Vedrana Nikolic


Vedrana Nikolić is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach, Professional Writer, Anthropologist & dog lover.

With a Masters Degree in Semiotics & Bachelors Degree in Anthropology, studying the communication between animals and humans, Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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