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Can Dogs Eat Eggs? Raw, Shells, Hard Boiled & More

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Last Updated: November 14, 2023 | 7 min read | Leave a Comment

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Brown dog sniffing a carton of eggs

Dog owners commonly want to share their food with pets. Not all human foods are safe for canines to eat, though. One food pet owners often ask about is eggs. Can dogs eat eggs? While considered a superfood for humans, is egg nutritionally beneficial for dogs? As with many other human foods, eggs are only safe for dogs to eat in moderation and when prepared in certain ways. We get into the details owners need to know.

Can Dogs Eat Eggs?

Yes, dogs can eat eggs in moderation, as long as they are not cooked with added ingredients like butter, oil, garlic, onion, or other seasonings. Not all preparations are safe, and pups should not eat them in large quantities. We are discussing chicken eggs, which are the most prevalent kind eaten in homes, but these guidelines apply to all types.

When it comes to feeding a dog egg, cooked eggs are safe. Raw eggs are not, which we will provide a little more detail on later. While this food is safe for your pup in small servings, not every food is suitable for them to consume. Also hazardous are many inedible items and hazardous chemicals they come across every day. Simply eating a stick or other item outside could cause major problems. Your pup is sure to encounter unexpected dangers and health concerns as they age. Pet insurance can decrease financial stress so you can focus on your dog’s health and recovery if an emergency happens.

Are Eggs Good For Dogs?

Yes, eggs are good for dogs. They are packed with nutritional goodness for both canines and people. Eggs have healthy proteins and other essential nutrients that can contribute to a pup’s overall health and well-being. Beneficial elements can be found in the shells, yolks, and whites. Some of the helpful elements egg contains include:

  1. Protein
  2. Fatty acids in yolk
  3. Amino Acids
  4. Folate
  5. Choline
  6. Folic Acid
  7. Niacin
  8. Riboflavin
  9. Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B6, B12, D, E, K
  10. Minerals: Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Copper, Zinc. Manganese, Selenium, Sodium, Potassium Chloride. Iodine

Eggs can offer a lot of benefits to canines. Adding them occasionally to your pet’s diet can help promote skin and coat health, provide healthy protein, boost metabolism, growth, development, and immune function, and help build and maintain muscles. Additionally, they taste delicious, and pets often enjoy the added flavor and texture.

Owners should remember that treats should only make up 10% of a canine’s daily calories. Eggs should be a supplement, not a replacement for your pup’s regular diet.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs?

Raw eggs are never safe to give to your pup. Please do not mix them into food or give them individually as a snack. Eggs should be thoroughly cooked before being offered to your pup. There are several risks handling and eating raw eggs can have. A significant concern is the high risk of salmonella from eating raw food. If a canine consumes an egg with salmonella, they can develop an infection. Symptoms of salmonella infection include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, low energy, poor appetite, and physical distress.

Along with salmonella, another bacterial infection called E. coli can also develop from eating raw eggs, especially those that have started to go bad. E. coli can lead to intense discomfort and even severe illness. Symptoms of E. coli include stomach pain, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and low energy. Symptoms of bacterial infection can start to appear 6 to 48 hours after eating the bacteria. Sickness can last from a few days to over a week.

Never feed your pup raw eggs. Always keep your eggs fresh, and never feed your dog one that is past the use-by date or looks suspicious. This includes ones that have cracks in them or are contaminated with dirt or fecal matter. Another thing to keep in mind is that if an egg has been taken out of the refrigerator and stayed out for longer than two hours, it is no longer safe to eat.

Can Dogs Eat Egg Shells?

Dogs can eat egg shells as long as they are cooked. Ground shells are an ingredient found in several dog foods due to their nutritional benefit. The shells are very high in calcium, among other beneficial minerals. It’s important not to feed your pup raw egg shells. Uncooked shells pose the same risk for bacteria and infection as raw egg does.

It is best to boil shells, grind them up, and then mix them into your pet’s food.

Can Dogs Eat Scrambled Eggs?

Yes, dogs can eat scrambled eggs on the condition that they have not been prepared with any added seasonings or other ingredients. We recommend only feeding your pup plain ones that you have prepared yourself. They should be scrambled up and cooked thoroughly, then cooled and offered to your pup. Scrambled eggs can be offered alone or broken up and mixed into your pet’s meal. So, if you are cooking up a healthy brunch on a lovely Saturday and want to include your dog in the fun, scramble up an egg just for them, and you will make their day.

Our Personal Experience With Dogs Eating Scrambled Eggs

“Our dog wasn’t eating his food because he didn’t like the taste of it. He’s on a vegetarian diet and we just bought a new bag of prescription food and didn’t want it to go to waste, so our vet recommended that we add some scrambled eggs to his food to help entice him to eat. That helped a bit but then he only ate the egg (and not the kibble).”

Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mom

Can Dogs Eat Hard-Boiled Eggs

Yes, dogs can eat hard-boiled eggs, and they can even eat the shells too. Do not feed them to your pets whole. It is essential to break up the shell and the egg into smaller pieces that are easier for your dog to consume. If possible, peel the shells off, grind them up, and add them to your pup’s kibble rather than letting them crunch on the whole, shell-covered boiled egg.

How Many Eggs Can I Feed My Dog?

A general rule of thumb is that canines should only have about one whole egg per day. We do not recommend feeding your pups these every day, and the exact amount they can have will depend on their size, breed, age, activity level, and any underlying health conditions they may have. You do not want to feed your dog more than 10% of their daily calories in treats. If your dog gets treats and foods like this too often, they may start to prefer them over their regular kibble. Too many can cause your pup to gain weight, as well as have too many additional calories in their diet.

If you are concerned that your dog is not getting enough protein, fat, nutrients, vitamins, or minerals, it is best to speak to your veterinarian about this first rather than trying to substitute those nutrients by adding human foods to their diet. Eggs do have exceptional nutritional value, but alone, they will not balance out or fix a nutritional deficiency.

Can Dogs Be Allergic To Eggs?

It is possible for canines to develop an allergy to eggs. Allergies are often due to the kind and amount of proteins they contain. Most often, an allergy will present as canine digestive concerns. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, swelling, and painful gas. In some cases, the allergy symptoms can extend to their skin, causing itching, hives, and even patches of hair loss.

Though it is relatively rare, canines with a severe egg allergy may even experience anaphylactic shock. If your dog is experiencing allergy symptoms after eating, you must seek medical advice from your veterinarian. While there is no way to fully absolve or cure an egg allergy in canines, once owners know a pet has an allergy, they can avoid it. This is important to know, as some pet food brands do include eggs, dried egg products, and shells in their formulas.

Do Canines Need To Worry About Cholesterol From Eggs?

Owners do not need to worry about giving their pets too much cholesterol from eggs as long as they eat them in moderation. Cholesterol does not affect canines in the same way that it does humans. It is relatively rare for canines to develop the accumulation of cholesterol, called arteriosclerosis, inside the heart arteries that puts humans at risk for strokes and heart attacks.

Canines are not prone to heart, coronary, cardiovascular disease, or stroke in the same way as humans. In humans, high cholesterol can be linked to high blood pressure and diabetes. Canines are not at risk of developing this from eating an occasional egg. That said, they should not make up a large part of their diet, nor should they be a food choice eaten daily. They are high in fat, and too much fat of any kind is unhealthy.

Canine Hyperlipidemia

It is essential that we point out that canines are not immune to diseases caused by too much fat or cholesterol in their diet. Hyperlipidemia Is a condition that occurs when there is an elevated level of lipids, including cholesterol and triglycerides, in the blood. Pups who consume high-fat diets with lots of table scraps and unhealthy foods often develop hyperlipidemia. Overweight canines with high levels of body fat are at higher risk. This can also develop when animals suffer from an underlying disease like diabetes, Cushing syndrome, pancreatitis, diabetes, or kidney disease. Some breeds like Beagles, Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Mini Poodles, and Miniature Schnauzers have a genetic predisposition to this condition.

Dogs with hyperlipidemia can have two types. Hypertriglyceridemia is a condition where canines have elevated triglyceride levels in their blood. Hypercholesterolemia Is a condition when they have elevated cholesterol levels. Canines can suffer from one or both of these conditions.

Hyperlipidemia can present with symptoms that include abdominal pain and discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, behavioral changes, anemia, pancreatitis, cholesterol-filled lesions on the skin, yellowish fat deposits in the eye, anemia, and seizures. In some cases, it can even cause nerve paralysis. Treatment of the condition is often done through a controlled, low-fat diet, as well as the use of lipid-lowering medications.

Wondering What To Put In Your Pup’s Bowl?

While eggs can be a good supplement or occasional treat, they do not substitute high-quality, balanced dog food. There are plenty of high-quality, healthy options available for owners to pick from. Of course, the best food for your dog depends on their breed, age, size, and unique health circumstances.

One of our top overall picks for all breeds is The Farmer’s Dog, a subscription-based, human-grade dog food company. Other companies that we highly review in the fresh, human-grade dog food category include Ollie, Nom Nom, Spot & Tango, and We Feed Raw. Of course, fresh food is not suitable for every pup, and some like a combination of wet and dry food. We review hundreds of dog food brands and options in order to take the guessing game out of it for owners. Learn more about brands like BARK Food, Badlands Ranch, American Journey, BARF, and A Pup Above.

If you are concerned about your dog’s specific dietary needs or medical condition or are worried they are not getting enough nutrients, consult your veterinarian before making any significant changes, including adding vitamins and supplements.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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