Can Dogs Eat Eggs? Here's Everything You Need to Know

by Richard Walther, DVM
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Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
In brief, yes, dogs can eat eggs. They are a great source of protein, but you need to be careful about the recommended weekly intake and the way they are served.

Pet parents want their best for their pups and often wonder which human foods are good and beneficial for their dogs. One of the questions that pop out frequently in dog parent discussions is: “Can dogs eat eggs?”

Back when dogs were hunters and scavengers, they snatched eggs out of nearby nests and consumed them raw. Nowadays, dogs don’t need to hunt their next meal, but eggs still provide a decent amount of protein. So, the answer is yes, as long as the eggs are consumed safely, they make excellent dietary supplements or treats for dogs.

Here's everything you need to know about dogs eating eggs.

Table of Contents:

Pro tip: You need to be careful when feeding your dog eggs. As eggs go bad, they can develop bacteria that can seriously harm your dog’s health. Your pup may also be allergic to eggs. If you notice any symptoms of allergic reactions, having a pet insurance policy can help you ease the financial burden of unexpected vet bills.

What are the health benefits of eggs for dogs?

Primarily, you should know that each part of a cooked egg provides specific health benefits for dogs. For instance, egg yolks contain both fatty acids and vitamins, while egg whites provide amino acids. Let's take a look at the health benefits:

  • Vitamins are fat-soluble and water-soluble nutrients in a dog’s diet. They serve as catalysts and building blocks for metabolism, growth, immune function, and development. Egg yolk contains concentrates of vitamin A, D, E, K, B1, B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, and choline.

  • Fatty acids are usually found in saturated and unsaturated fats, which dogs break down and absorb through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There, the acids help to build and maintain body cells. They also provide a delivery system for fat-soluble vitamins.

  • Minerals are also essential to optimal health. Although typically consumed through salts, there are highly concentrated minerals in egg whites, yolks, and shells. Some common examples include magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, copper, chloride, zinc, selenium, iodine, and manganese.

  • Amino acids are the structural components of protein, usually associated with red meat and plant-based sources but also found in egg whites. Dogs break down the protein and absorb the amino acids to build and maintain healthy muscles, among other functions.

Dog eating a plate of eggs

Are eggs safe for dogs?

Yes, cooked eggs are safe for dogs. They provide a fantastic source of nutrition for dogs because they’re high in vitamins, minerals, protein, and fatty acids that promote health in canines.

Before feeding your dog eggs, it’s best to talk to a vet. Some pups with certain medical conditions aren’t allowed to eat eggs, so make sure to check with your vet first. Bottom line, eggs are a perfectly safe food for your dog, but you shouldn’t use them as your dog’s main meal but as an occasional treat.

Can dogs be allergic to eggs?

Yes, some dogs have egg yolk allergies because they're full of protein. Indications that your four-legged friend may be having an allergic reaction to eggs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy

In some cases, they can have skin issues1, like itchiness around the paws, ears, and other areas. If you notice any of these signs and indications, immediately seek help from your local vet and act accordingly, as it co.

How to feed your dog eggs

Remember that eggs must be cooked before given to a dog, but you can serve them boiled, hard-boiled, or scrambled. It’s best to prepare them plainly, without salt, oil, butter, spices, or other additives to avoid an upset stomach.

There are numerous ways to add eggs to a pet’s diet, from the occasional hard-boiled bite to sprinkled scrambles. However, they can’t be the sole source of protein for your dog because they’re high in protein and calories. Each egg contains around 60 calories and has roughly 6g of protein and 4mg of fat, so make sure you’re not overstepping the boundaries set by your vet for eggs per week. If your dog consumes too many, they can quickly gain weight and experience adverse health effects.

As a general rule of thumb, dogs can have eggs as treats from time to time, but treats should not comprise more than 10% of their total diet.

The safest way to give dog eggs

The best way to give eggs to a dog is to hardboil them, then chop into little pieces and mix them with a bowl of their food. Store the eggs at 40°F when raw, and boil them at 160°F to cook thoroughly. Serve them fresh because it’s safest to feed eggs to your dog instantly after cooking before they can spoil. If you’re not serving them to your pup right away, refrigerate them at 40°F until ready to serve.

Dog paws and a plate of eggs

How many eggs can a dog eat?

As with regular dog food, egg portions correlate with the size and breed of the dog. In addition to their regular diet, you can serve them:

  • One egg per week (small-sized dog)
  • Two eggs per week (medium-sized dog)
  • Three eggs per week (large-sized dog)

The next time you’re prepping up breakfast for your family, go ahead and serve an egg to your four-legged family member. Eggs are tasty for everyone in the family, even for dogs. Nevertheless, we advise you to consult your vet before feeding your dog any human foods to prevent possible side effects.

Are eggshells nutritious?

Technically, the answer is yes. However, it’s best to consult with your vet and get their opinion on the matter before serving eggshells to your pet. Eggshells contain phosphorus and calcium, two essential minerals that dogs need in their diet plans.

According to a recent study2, eggshells can help older arthritic dogs. The study showcased that eggshell membranes considerably reduced joint pain and improved joint function in dogs experiencing a wide range of joint problems.

Pro tip: Consuming the unground shell of an egg, even a chemically processed one, will most likely not harm your dog. However, if your dog eats a jagged or sharp eggshell piece and it catches on their throat or esophagus, they may suffer some digestive discomfort. A comprehensive pet insurance plan can cover unexpected vet bills and spare you of sudden expenditures in case of an emergency.

Can dogs eat raw eggs?

Most professionals suggest cooking eggs before feeding them to your dog. There’s no nutritional benefit in feeding your dog raw eggs because the protein isn’t absorbed as well as hard-boiled or cooked eggs. Some dog owners give their dogs’ raw eggs, but there are a couple of concerns about feeding raw eggs to dogs that owners should know:

  • If a dog eats raw eggs, they risk exposure to salmonella, a bacteria that often leads to an infection called Salmonellosis3. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and lethargy, so be sure to visit the vet right away if you notice any clinical signs.

  • Eating raw eggs can lead to biotin deficiency in dogs because the whites contain avidin, an enzyme that prevents biotin absorption in the body. Biotin is a beneficial vitamin that supports metabolism, healthy skin, cells, and digestion.


Key Takeaways

  • Dogs can have eggs safely added to their diet because they are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
  • It’s best to serve a dog eggs cooked or boiled, with no other additives on them.
  • Eggs shouldn’t be considered regular pet food, but as special treats for dogs.
  • Raw eggs could be a source of bacteria that can seriously harm your pup’s health, so we advise you to skip feeding raw eggs to your dog.
  • A pet insurance plan policy can help you lessen the financial burden in case of an allergic reaction or bacterial infection.

References

  1. Wag! "Egg Yolk Allergies in Dogs" Accessed Mar. 11, 2021.
  2. Vet Med. "Effectiveness of NEM® brand eggshell membrane in the treatment of suboptimal joint function in dogs" Accessed Mar. 11, 2021.
  3. Wag! "Salmonella Infection" Accessed Mar. 11, 2021.
Ricky Walther, DVM

About the author

Richard Walther, DVM

Associate Veterinarian - Petco

Ricky Walther, DVM, is a small animal general practitioner in the greater Sacramento, California area. Realizing the positive financial and medical impact that pet insurance can provide for pet parents and the profession, he lends support and advice to companies like Pawlicy Advisor that simplify the process of connecting with veterinary financing resources.

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