Can Dogs Eat Eggs?

Katy Nelson, DVM
Jun 30, 2020
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Many pet parents wonder which “human foods” are good for their pets. A common question that I get from pet parents at my animal hospital is: “Can dogs eat eggs?” 

Here’s everything you need to know about the nutritional value of eggs for dogs.

Are Eggs Good for Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Cooked Eggs?

The answer is yes, cooked eggs are good for dogs! Dogs can eat hard-boiled or scrambled eggs. The main objective is that the eggs need to be cooked. Do not feed raw eggs to dogs. 

Eggs are good for dogs as they provide an excellent source of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and protein.  

Essentially the entire egg, including the eggshell, can be nutritious for dogs.

Can Puppies Eat Eggs?

Yes, puppies can eat eggs. Eggs offer the same nutritional value for puppies as they do for adult dogs.

Are Raw Eggs Good for Dogs?

There is no nutritional benefit in feeding raw eggs to dogs.

There is, however, the risk of your dog contracting Salmonella infection from a raw egg. This bacterial infection can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

For more information on egg safety, please refer to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; this information on Salmonella applies to people and animals.  

Can Some Dogs Be Allergic to Eggs? 

Dogs tend to be allergic to proteins in food. Since eggs have protein, dogs can become allergic to eggs. 

Signs that your dog is having an allergic reaction include gastrointestinal (GI) issues like vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes they can have skin issues like itchiness around the ears, paws, and other areas.

If you see any of these signs, seek help from your local veterinarian. For more information about food allergies in dogs, please refer to Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University.  

Why Are Eggs Good for Dogs? What Are the Health Benefits?

Each part of a cooked egg offers health benefits for dogs: the egg yolk, eggshell, and egg white.

Egg Yolks Contain Fatty Acids and Vitamins

Dogs need fatty acids and vitamins, and egg yolks provide both.

Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are concentrated in the egg yolk.

Fatty acids are consumed as saturated and unsaturated fats in a dog’s diet. A dog’s body breaks down the fat, and it is absorbed through the GI tract.

Once inside, fatty acids are used to build and maintain body cells.

Fatty acids also provide a delivery system for fat-soluble vitamins. Dogs are not predisposed to heart disease like people, so we don’t worry about their cholesterol.

Vitamins

Vitamins are consumed as water-soluble and fat-soluble nutrients in a dog’s diet.

Vitamins serve as catalysts and building blocks in metabolism, immune function, growth, and development.

These vitamins are concentrated in the egg yolk:

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin E

  • Vitamin K

  • Vitamin B1

  • Vitamin B6

  • Vitamin B12

  • Riboflavin

  • Niacin

  • Folic acid

  • Choline

Eggshells Contain Necessary Minerals

Minerals are also necessary for dogs, and they’re consumed as salts in a dog’s diet.

They serve as catalysts and building blocks in metabolism, immune function, growth, and development.

These nutrients are concentrated in eggshells but also found in egg whites and yolks:

  • Calcium

  • Phosphorus

  • Magnesium

  • Sodium

  • Potassium

  • Chloride

  • Iron

  • Copper

  • Zinc

  • Manganese

  • Selenium

  • Iodine

Egg Whites Provide Amino Acids

Dogs need amino acids. Amino acids are consumed as meat and plant-based protein in a dog’s diet.

A dog’s body breaks down the protein, and it is absorbed through the GI tract. Once inside, the protein is used to build and maintain muscles.

These nutrients are concentrated in the egg white:

  • Arginine

  • Histidine

  • Isoleucine

  • Leucine

  • Lysine

  • Methionine

  • Phenylalanine

  • Threonine

  • Tryptophan

  • Valine

How Much Egg Can a Dog Eat?

Eggs can be great as special treats for your dog.

The average egg contains 60 calories and has roughly 6 grams of protein and 4 milligrams of fat.

To figure out how much to feed your dog, you should talk with your veterinarian. The appropriate serving size of eggs as treats for your dog will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • Size

  • Age

  • Activity level

  • Existing health issues

How to Feed Eggs to Your Dog

The safest way to feed eggs to your dog is to hard boil them and chop them up. It’s safest to feed eggs to your dog immediately after cooking.

Store eggs at 40°F when raw and boil eggs at 160°F to properly cook them. If you’re not serving them right away, it is recommended to refrigerate them at 40°F until ready to serve.

Featured Image: iStock.com/MeePoohyaphoto

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