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Can my dog have eggs?

The essentials

  • Eggs are a great source of protein — Protein is an essential part of your dog’s diet, helping to build and repair tissue.
  • They’re a good source of calcium carbonate, too — This mineral supports the health of your pet’s bones and teeth. 
  • Eggs are a simple, tasty food that’s safe for your dog — They’re easy to find and prepare, and there are near-endless ways to prepare them. Your pet is sure to love this soft, delicious treat.

Dogs can enjoy eggs as part of a balanced diet. These protein-packed treats offer a bounty of vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals that can contribute positively to your dog’s health. 

Here’s what you need to know about eggs, their nutritional value for your pet, and how to prepare them safely.

Are eggs good for dogs?

Eggs aren’t just a great human snack — they’re also a nutritional powerhouse and can serve as a healthy supplement to your dog’s regular diet. 

Here are a few key health benefits of eggs for your dog: 

  • Protein. Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, which is vital for muscle development and energy levels. One large, cooked egg contains about 6-7 grams of protein.
  • Fatty acids. The fats present in eggs are beneficial for the health of your dog’s skin and coat. They contain around 5 grams of healthy fats per egg.
  • Vitamins. Eggs are a natural source of many essential vitamins like A and B12, which contribute to eye health and nervous system function.
  • Minerals. Eggs also contain trace minerals like selenium and riboflavin, which support immune health and metabolic function. Eggshells are also a great source of calcium and phosphorus, essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
  • Calories. There are about 70-80 calories in a large egg, they can provide a decent energy boost.

Can dogs eat raw eggs?

While some pet owners may consider a raw diet for their dog, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) cautions against feeding your pet raw food, including eggs. This is due to the possible presence of harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli in raw or undercooked eggs. These can cause illnesses in both pets and humans, especially those with young or compromised immune systems. 

🚨Raw eggs can also lead to a biotin deficiency in dogs, affecting their skin, digestion, and metabolism. The safest way to feed eggs to your dog is to cook them first. 

Consuming raw eggs can lead to symptoms of bacterial infection in your pet. Keep an eye out for the signs of infection below, and take your dog to the veterinarian if it starts acting sick: 

  • Bloating and gas. Consuming raw eggs can lead to bacterial infections in dogs, causing increased gas and a bloated belly. This is due to the body’s struggle to combat the harmful bacteria.
  • Fever. Dogs may develop a fever if they’ve consumed raw eggs that contain harmful bacteria. If your dog feels unusually warm or shows signs of lethargy, it could indicate an infection.
  • Muscle aches. Bacterial infections from raw eggs can cause muscle aches. You might notice your dog moving slower, exhibiting discomfort when standing, or showing less interest in play due to soreness.
  • Belly pain and cramping. A bacterial infection from consuming raw eggs can cause belly pain and cramping in dogs. Watch for signs such as whining, pacing, or hiding which may indicate that your pet is experiencing discomfort.
  • Diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common symptom of bacterial infections in dogs. If your dog has loose, watery stools after consuming raw eggs, it could be due to an infection.
  • Vomiting. Dogs often vomit when their body is fighting off an infection. If your dog throws up after eating raw eggs, it could indicate a bacterial infection.

🚨Symptoms of a bacterial infection may appear anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days after consuming contaminated food. If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to seek immediate veterinary care.

Can dogs eat eggshells?

Not only can dogs eat eggshells — they actually should from time to time. The calcium in eggshells is an essential mineral that supports healthy teeth and bones. 

Don’t scoop eggshells from the trash to the dog bowl, though. Instead, crush eggshells or turn them into powder before feeding them to your dog. That will help them to avoid getting cut up on the sharp edges of the eggshell.

The best way to turn an eggshell into powder starts with a five-star drying process. Bake your shells at 230 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes to dry them out. Then, you can use a coffee grinder or blender to grind them into a fine powder that’s safe to mix with your dog’s kibble.

👉  Too much of a good thing isn’t necessarily good. If you choose to boost your dog’s food with crushed eggshells, make sure the powder equals no more than 1 teaspoon (tsp) or less. This amount is about the equivalent of one large egg.

How often should you feed your dog eggs? 

Every pup is unique with their specific dietary needs, but, as a general guideline, you can consider feeding your dog an egg once every day. However, eggs should be considered a supplement or an occasional treat, not a staple of their diet. 

How much egg should you feed your dog?

A small dog might benefit from half an egg per day, while a larger dog could handle a whole one. Always ensure the egg is cooked as raw eggs carry a risk of salmonella and E. coli infection.

Remember, sudden changes in diet can upset a dog’s stomach. So, if you’re introducing eggs, start with small amounts and gradually increase. Monitor your dog for any adverse reactions and adjust the portion size accordingly.

🚨If your dog has a pre-existing health condition, such as acute pancreatitis or kidney disease, it’s best to consult your vet before adding eggs to their diet.

Can dogs be allergic to eggs?

Dogs can be allergic to eggs, but it’s important to understand that the reaction is different for a dog than for a person. 

Symptoms of an egg allergy in your furry friend can include chronic diarrhea, persistent itching, skin infections, and recurring ear infections. These symptoms can also occur if your pet has a sensitivity to other proteins

An egg allergy isn’t detrimental to your pet’s diet. There are plenty of nutritious alternatives out there. If you suspect your dog might be allergic to eggs, the safest course of action is to avoid them altogether and to ask your veterinarian for healthy alternatives.

👉 Looking for more treat inspiration? Check out our lists of safe foods for dogs and bad foods for dogs — giving you expert insight to keep your dog safe and well-fed.

Dogs with these medical conditions shouldn’t eat eggs

Our veterinary team recommends that dogs with certain conditions avoid eggs entirely. If your dog has any of the diagnoses below, check with the veterinarian before offering eggs:  

  • Pancreatitis. If your dog is prone to pancreatitis, whether acute or chronic, they shouldn’t have eggs. The high-fat content in eggs can trigger a painful flare-up, potentially causing harm and discomfort to your furry friend.
  • Kidney disease or irritable bowel disease (IBS). Eggs have a high protein content, and shouldn’t be fed to dogs that suffer from kidney disease or IBS. Eggs are packed with protein. While this is generally beneficial, it can be taxing on kidneys already under stress or may irritate a sensitive bowel.
  • Bladder stones. Dogs with a history of bladder stones shouldn’t have eggs because of their high calcium content, which can lead to stone formation. Instead, they should stick to a prescription diet and veterinarian-approved treats. 
  • Overweight. Dogs that are on a weight-loss diet can have egg whites, but generally shouldn’t have egg yolks.

Here’s how to cook eggs for your dog

Before you start cooking for your pet, it’s best to make sure the eggs you’re using are farm-fresh and chemical-free. This will leave you with a better-tasting, healthier result for your furry friend. 

👉 Don’t add anything extra to your eggs, including fats such as oil and butter, salt, spices, garlic, onions, and ketchup. Plain is best for your pup.

Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started. Eggs are incredibly versatile, so feel free to take some chances and find new favorites for your pet as you go. 

  • Hard-boiled. This method is simple. Boil your eggs for 9-10 minutes to cook the yolk all the way through. Then, let them cool and shell them before treating your dog. Harmful bacteria will be neutralized in the cooking process, and you can save the eggshells to grind up and top your pet’s food with later.
  • Scrambled. Before you scramble your eggs, add a small amount of water to the hot skillet to prevent sticking, since butter and oil aren’t great for your pet pal to eat. Then, scramble as normal. Let cool, and don’t salt. Your pet will love this take on a breakfast favorite! 
  • Omelet. Make your pet omelet as you would a normal omelet, just with less cheese . (Dairy can upset some dogs’ stomachs, and is best given in small amounts). As you go, add other dog-safe veggies for extra flair. Just be sure to ditch the salt and seasonings when you’re done, and let it cool before you treat your pet pal.
  • Poached. Unsalted, poached eggs are a great snack for your pet. Boil your water without salt, poach as normal, and cool. Then, let them chow down! 

🚨 No matter what method you choose, be sure to cook your eggs thoroughly to kill off any potential bacteria.

Some human foods can be shared between pet parents and dogs — and eggs make that list. Eggs are delicious and nutritious, giving your dog a tasty treat and a health boost, to boot. Many pawrents use them as a wonderful addition to a well-balanced diet. Look for plain, pet-safe recipes to experiment with (like ours) if you’re looking to give your furry friend a special surprise at their next meal

Remember that while eggs have excellent nutritional benefits for your canine friend, they should be cooked properly to avoid any potential bacterial infections. Always monitor your dog for any adverse reactions and consult with your vet if you notice any symptoms such as bloating, fever, or vomiting.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the healthiest way to prepare eggs for my dog?

Eggs need to be cooked all the way through and be free from oil and seasonings. For dogs that need a diet that calls for reduced fat and calories, plain egg whites are a great option as they’re a good source of protein but are low in fat.

Can my dog eat eggs every day?

Provided your dog doesn’t have any conditions that prevent them from consuming eggs, they can safely eat an egg every day. More than one egg may lead to weight gain due to the extra calories from protein.

Can I put eggs in my dog’s food?

You can mix eggs with your dog’s meals. Many pet parents use the whole egg to do this, combining both egg and ground eggshells with your dog’s kibble as a treat. You can also just use the eggshell powder as a topper, saving the delicious insides for another special occasion.

How healthy is it for dogs to eat scrambled eggs?

Scrambled eggs are a very healthy treat for your dog, as long as they aren’t cooked with butter, oils, or spices.

Is it OK to put raw eggs in dog food?

It’s easy to think raw eggs would be good for dogs because they have lots of essential nutrients. But, there’s a catch. Raw egg whites have something called avidin. This makes it harder for dogs to use a vitamin called biotin — which they need for healthy skin and fur .

Additionally, raw eggs might have germs like salmonella that can make both pets and people sick. Cooking eggs ensures that they will be safe and easy on your dog’s tummy.

Can dogs eat eggs with the shell intact?

Eggshells can give your dog extra calcium, which plays an important role for healthy bones. However, you have to prepare them the right way so they won’t hurt your dog. The shells should be cleaned well, dried, and ground into a powder. You can then sprinkle this powder over your dog’s main meal as a calcium-rich food topper.

Never give your dog whole eggshells, though. They could choke or hurt their stomach or mouth. Always check with your vet before giving your dog new foods or supplements, including eggs and eggshells.