I have always loved a good egg breakfast. Scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, sunny side up eggs, and even eggs benedict. Sometimes, if a dog bats his puppy eyes at me, I’d feed eggs to him too, straight from my plate. I don’t do this often, though. (Looks about guiltily.)
Anyway, we know cooked eggs are safe and that they are a great source of protein and essential nutrients that can benefit a dog's diet and overall health. But can dogs eat raw eggs too? Is it safe for dogs to consume raw eggs, and what are the potential benefits and drawbacks of including them in their diet?
In this article, we'll take a closer look at the answer to these questions and explore the topic of feeding raw eggs to dogs.
Should You Feed Raw Eggs To Your Pup?
Dogs are omnivores and known for their versatility when it comes to their eating habits. They can eat a wide range of foods, from meat to vegetables and fruits. And eggs are one of the most common foods that dogs consume. But raw eggs are quite different, so the question remains, “Can dogs eat raw eggs?”
The answer is, yes — technically. But I would not recommend that dogs eat raw eggs, nor would your dog’s vet, I am sure. When you feed raw eggs to your dog, it comes with a risk of food poisoning, as salmonella and E. coli may be present.
But if you really want to include a raw egg in your dog’s food, at least get the pasteurized type. Pasteurized eggs have been heated up to kill any salmonella possibly lurking inside.
Cooked vs. Raw
If raw eggs are so unsafe, then why do some people add it into their dog’s meals? Well, proponents of the raw egg diet say that this form is highly nutritious compared to eggs that have undergone the cooking process. But this has been debunked with a published study that says you can get more protein from cooked egg compared with raw.
Cooked eggs are also good for dogs as they’re easier to eat and digest because the cooking process has already broken the protein down.
The Best Eggs To Feed Dogs Are Cooked
Cooking eggs before serving them up to your dog is a safer option as the cooking process can kill harmful bacteria and make the eggs easier to digest.
It's a good idea to avoid adding any salt, pepper, or other seasonings that may not be safe for dogs. Additionally, feed cooked eggs only as part of a balanced diet, rather than as the main source of protein.
Risks of Feeding Raw Eggs to Dogs
While there are several benefits to feeding raw foods to dogs, eggs are different and come with potential risks.
- Bacterial Infection
One of the biggest concerns with providing raw eggs for dogs is the risk of a bacterial infection. Salmonella and E. coli are two of the most common types of bacteria found in raw eggs and can cause serious illness in both dogs and humans.
Cooking the eggs can kill these harmful bacteria, making them safer for dogs to eat.
- Allergic Reaction
Another potential risk is an allergic reaction. Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to eggs and consuming raw eggs can trigger allergies.
Symptoms of an food allergies in dogs include itching, redness, and swelling of the skin. If you notice any of these symptoms after feeding your dog raw eggs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
If your dog has a history of food allergies, it is best to avoid feeding them raw eggs or any type of egg altogether, just to be on the safe side.
The Nutritional Value of Eggs
While I will never recommend a raw egg diet, I, however, am a fan of eggs that have been heated and prepared. Like the ones in your dog’s kibble or wet food. These are so good for dogs. Just take a look at the nutrients these contain:
- essential fatty acids
- several essential vitamins, including vitamin A, and B-complex vitamins
- minerals like iron, calcium, and phosphorus.
These nutrients are essential for a dog's health and can help keep their fur and skin in good health, support their joints, and improve their immune system.
You don’t have to go the raw route for your dog to get the nutritional benefit that eggs bring.
Amino Acids in Eggs
Eggs are also a good source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. These amino acids are essential for a dog's health, as they help to maintain and repair tissues and muscles, and support overall growth and development.
Essential Fatty Acids in Egg Yolks
The egg yolks in eggs are a good source of essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are responsible for healthy skin and a lustrous coat — the kind you want your hands to pet and touch all the time.
Egg Whites For Weight Maintenance
While egg yolks are a good source of essential fatty acids, egg whites are low in fat and can be a good option for dogs who need to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Egg whites are also a good source of protein, making them a nutritious treat for dogs.
Eggshells For Extra Calcium
You can also feed eggshells to your dog. They’re great as calcium supplements. Just clean the shells, remove the eggshell membrane lining, and bake for several minutes. Once done, grind the eggshells into fine powder.
Choosing Your Eggs
The best eggs for dogs are those that are fresh, organic, and free from harmful chemicals and additives. Look for eggs that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can support healthy skin, coat, and overall health in dogs. The label will usually indicate this.
You can also opt for ones that are free-range or cage-free, as these are often of higher quality.
Store Eggs Safely
Whether feeding raw eggs to your dog or giving him cooked ones, it is important to store them safely. Fresh ones should be refrigerated right away and stored at 40 degrees F (or below) to minimize the risk of salmonella.
Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw eggs and to clean any surfaces that have come into contact with them to prevent the spread of bacteria.
One Egg is Enough
One egg per day. Experts recommend you feed your dog just one egg at a time as part of their regular meal. This is because while eggs are a nutritious food for dogs, they are also quite high in calories. Overfeeding your dog with eggs can lead to weight gain.
Healthy Chickens Lay Nutritious Eggs
When it comes to feeding eggs to your dog, the source is just as important as the eggs themselves. Look for organic eggs from healthy chickens that have been raised in a clean and healthy environment. These are more likely to be free from bacteria and contain a higher nutritional value.
Eggs Are Healthy Foods
Eggs can be a healthy and nutritious addition to a dog's diet when fed in moderation. Whether you choose to feed your dog raw eggs or boiled ones, make sure to buy only from trusted suppliers or farmers for the best nutritional benefits.
You can also use eggs as a healthy treat or meal topper for your dog.
Just remember to always consult with your veterinarian first before making any changes to your dog's diet, and to be aware of the potential risks. Eggs are good for dogs but only feed eggs as part of a balanced diet to avoid any adverse effects.
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