Are eggs beneficial or hazardous for your dog’s health? Can dogs eat eggs at all? The answer is pretty simple: Yes… with some exceptions. In almost all cases eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins for dogs. However, when it comes to eggs for dogs, preparation is key as is portion control. Here’s how eggs can make a difference in your dog’s health and how to incorporate egg snacks into your dog’s balanced diet.
The Benefits of Eggs for Dogs
Eggs contain high-quality protein that’s digestible for dogs. In Dog: The Definitive Guide for Dog Owners, Bruce Fogle, DVM, MRCVS, explains, “High-quality protein contains a good balance of all ten essential amino acids needed for the body’s biologically vital compounds.” This is why it’s healthiest for your dog to eat animal protein like meat and eggs.
Eggs for dogs are also a great source of riboflavin, selenium, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. These nutrients are critical for maintaining a healthy immune system and warding off disease. Riboflavin also encourages the production of red blood cells, while helping to metabolize carbohydrates and fats. Selenium is important for thyroid function and contributes to a dog’s silky, shiny coat.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs?
While most forms of eggs are healthy for dogs, raw eggs for pups are up for debate. Some experts say raw eggs, especially the yolks, are safe, however, all raw eggs carry a risk of salmonella. The danger is roughly equal to eating raw cookie dough, but it’s helpful to keep in mind that, according to the CDC, there are 1.2 million cases of salmonella in the United States each year. There’s evidence to show that dogs who eat raw food have a higher risk for infection and that dogs can transfer the disease to their owners, according to this study from the FDA.
The second issue with feeding dogs uncooked eggs is that raw egg whites contain the protein avidin. In moderation, there’s very little danger, but if avidin is part of a dog’s daily diet, it can interfere with the function of biotin. If you want to feed your dog raw eggs, it’s you stick to yolks only.
Can Dogs Eat Scrambled Eggs?
In general, cooked eggs are healthy for dogs and don’t carry the same risks as raw eggs. However, scrambled eggs aren’t ideal for dogs as the oil or butter used in preparation can cause an upset stomach. (Note: In very low quantities (a teaspoon per day), olive oil and sunflower oil can be healthy.)
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Can Dogs Eat Fried Eggs?
Fried eggs are okay, but not optimal. The same issue with scrambling exists with fried eggs: the fat used to fry can backfire.
Can Dogs Eat Boiled Eggs?
Bingo! Boiled or poached eggs are the best way to serve eggs to your dogs. And we bet your pup will love them prepared this way! Ollie’s Chicken Goodness Recipe includes lightly cooked eggs for exactly this reason: Eggs encourage both good health and good eating.
One last caveat: Eggs are high in protein and healthy fats, which means they are best enjoyed by your dog in moderation.