Have you ever seen someone add a cracked raw egg over dog food? Well, you’re seeing someone who knows just how eggcellent raw eggs (and eggshells) are for dogs!
Used as a topper and to add extra nutrients to your dog’s food, raw eggs, and eggshells can do wonders for your dog’s diet. In this simple guide, we’re covering everything you need to know about serving your dog raw eggs and eggshells, plus sharing tips from experienced dog owners who swear by adding eggs to their dogs’ food.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs?
Yes, raw eggs are safe for dogs! Many animals, the ancestors of dogs included, have raw eggs as part of their natural diet. Raw eggs are high in protein and healthy fats and have lots of benefits for dogs. Eggs are an easy protein source for dogs to digest. The protein in raw eggs is readily bioavailable, meaning that the nutrients in raw eggs are easily absorbed into your dog’s digestive system.
A Dog’s digestive systems is different from ours
Additionally, dogs’ digestive systems are different from ours. While we are susceptible to the bacteria that can be found in and on raw eggs, dogs are scavengers. They evolved to eat all kinds of things that we can’t, like raw meat and bones. Their digestive system is more acidic than humans, so it’s safe for them to eat raw eggs.
That said, if your dog is sick or has a compromised immune system, it might be better to stick to cooked eggs, just to be safe. Fortunately, the great nutrition found in eggs doesn’t go away when the eggs are cooked!
What About Avidin?
Another concern that some people have regarding feeding their dog raw eggs is avidin. Avidin is a vitamin B7 (biotin) inhibitor that can stop your dog’s ability to absorb B7. While egg whites do have avidin, it is only a tiny amount. The yolks of the eggs contain so much vitamin B7 that it cancels the effect of the avidin. If your dog eats a whole raw egg, there’s much more B7 in the yolk than avidin in the white.
You would have to feed your dog an impossible amount of eggs to actually see harmful effects on your dog’s vitamin B7 intake. You really don’t need to worry about the impact of avidin on your dog. If you have concerns, talk with your veterinarian– they will help you figure out how much raw egg you can safely feed your dog. You can also skip the egg whites and just feed your dog raw egg yolks as a treat or meal topper. Most of the nutrition is stored in the yolk, after all!
Are Eggshells Safe For Dogs?
Not only are egg shells for dogs safe, but they are actually good for them. Eggshells are a great way to provide your dog with an additional source of calcium, which is an important mineral for dogs.
Dog’s Need More Calcium
“If you’re planning to feed a home-cooked diet when your pup is an adult you must add additional calcium,” says Sylvia G., a member of the Facebook group Home Cooked Meals and Treats for Dogs (HCMTD) Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth, and it also plays a role in nerve function and muscle function.
However, it is important to note that most eggs commercially available have shells treated with chemicals that aren’t great for your dog to digest. Unless you have access to farm-fresh eggs, you might not want to give your dog eggshells. We’ll show you how to safely offer eggshells further down.
Benefits of Mixing Raw Egg with Dog Food
There are lots of benefits of raw egg for dogs. Eggs are extremely nutritious; here are just a few of their awesome benefits.
|Protein||Building and repairing muscles and tissues|
|Healthy fats, (e.g. omega-3 fatty acids)||Supports skin and coat health, brain health, and joint function|
|B Vitamins (B12 and B2)||Supports a healthy metabolism and red blood cell formation|
|Biotin||Supports skin and coat health and the metabolism|
|Phosphorus||Supports kidney health|
|Selenium||Supports healthy skin, teeth, and joints|
|Iron||Supports red blood cell production and oxygen transportation throughout the body|
In addition to the effects of these specific nutrients, raw eggs can also help improve your dog’s immune system, energy, and even brain function. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in eggs can improve brain function, including learning and memory.
It’s super easy to feed your dog raw eggs.
Just crack the egg and use it as a topper for your dog’s favorite food. If you feed raw, you can premix the raw egg into their diet— but most dogs are just fine with cracked raw egg over dog food. The benefits of this feeding method include low mess and added variation to your dog’s normal diet– variety is the spice of life, after all!
What Kind of Dog Food Should You Add Egg To?
You can add eggs to any type of dog food, including raw food, kibble, fresh-frozen food, and freeze-dried food; no matter what type of food your dog eats, you can mix in raw egg to your dogs food.
You should be aware that eggs are high in calories. Make sure that you’re not feeding your dog too many eggs– if you have a small dog, you probably don’t want to feed them a whole chicken egg every day, for example.
Where To Get Eggshells for Your Dog
Eggs sold at the grocery store are perfectly safe to serve your dog, but the eggshells they come in are not! “Grocery store eggs, even organic, are cleaned with a chemical,” says Paula G. of the HCMTD Facebook group. “They should not be used as a calcium source. Only farm fresh!”
Additionally, since chicken eggs and shells can be a salmonella risk, it’s always recommended to clean and cook the eggshells at high temperatures to kill any bacteria that may be present, before feeding.
If you don’t have your own egg layers, or a nearby farm selling farm-fresh eggs, you can also purchase crushed eggshell supplements. Not sure where to start? Try this one from Amazon with 4.5 stars and more than 500 reviews.
Should Dogs Eat Whole or Crushed Eggshells?
If you give your dog eggshells, it’s actually best if you crush them first. While dogs can digest whole egg shells, it’s easier for them to absorb the calcium if the shells are crushed. This is why many people who give their dogs eggshells prefer to offer it in powdered form.
How To Make Crushed Eggshells
To make your own crushed eggshells at home, you’ll need to start with farm-fresh eggs. “I put my yard eggs in the oven on low for a few minutes,” said another member of the HCMTD Facebook group. This helps to remove any remaining moisture from the eggshells before grinding them.
EXPERT TIP! According to HCMTD member Paula, the best method is to “use a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle. They should look like this:
Raw Eggs vs. Cooked Eggs: Which is More Nutritious for Dogs?
Both raw and cooked eggs are great for dogs. Whether you choose to offer raw eggs or cooked eggs depends on what you’re comfortable with and what your dog needs.
Raw eggs contain all of the nutrients in their natural state and can provide the full range of health benefits to dogs. However, raw eggs also carry the risk of bacterial contamination, such as salmonella or E. coli. While dogs have tough digestive systems that make it harder for them to get sick, these can cause illness in humans. If you feed your dog raw eggs, be sure to wash your hands after handling to minimize the risk of contamination.
Cooked eggs, on the other hand, are free from the risk of bacterial contamination and are easier for some dogs to digest. While cooking does denature some of the proteins in eggs, dogs with sensitive stomachs and dogs with health issues may benefit more from cooked eggs. If you’re not sure if you can safely offer your pup raw eggs, check with your veterinarian.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs From Chicken, Duck, or Quail?
Yes, dogs can have raw eggs from duck, quail, or chicken.. If you have a small dog, quail eggs might be a great option because the eggs themselves are much smaller. If your dog has a chicken allergy, duck eggs or quail eggs can be a good alternative.
Quail eggs also have softer shells. If you want to offer your dog a whole egg, and they are a small dog, young dog, or older dog, quail eggs will be easier for them to crack open.
How To Serve Raw Eggs & Eggshells To Your Dog
Raw eggs are very easy to serve to your dog. All you need to do is crack the egg on top of their regular food and let them enjoy it as part of their meal. Some dogs will happily eat raw egg on its own, simply cracked into a small bowl or ramekin.
Others may prefer it on top of their kibble or other dog food. If you have an older dog or a dog with tooth decay, raw egg cracked on top of kibble can soften it and make it easier for them to eat. Generally, dogs should not have more than one egg per day.
EXPERT TIP! As for how much crushed eggshell to give your dog, a little goes a long way. “The ratio is ½ a teaspoon of ground eggshells per pound of homemade food,” says Carla from HCMTD.
While this rule of thumb is generally safe to follow, we also recommend chatting with your vet about your dog’s calcium needs.
Raw Eggs & Eggshells for Dogs FAQ
We can already hear you rushing to Google with more questions! Let’s see if we can answer a few of those below.
Yes! Crushed eggshells are good for dogs. Check out the details above to learn more.
Popping your eggshells in a low oven for a few minutes can help to dry them out and make them easier to grind.
Yes, raw eggs are good for dogs! Check out the details above to learn more.
Some vets may recommend adding eggshells (which have the right calcium/phosphorus ratio) to your dog’s diet if it suffers from kidney failure, but this is not something you should do without direct instructions from your veterinarian.
We recommend checking out Eggshellent Calcium Fine Eggshell Powder available on Amazon.
Yes, but most people prefer to cook them briefly before grinding them into a powder.
Yes! As long as the egg has not been chemically treated, dogs can eat eggshells of any color.
Yes! Raw eggs are great for dogs!
Over time, the fatty acids in eggs may help to improve the condition of your dog’s skin and coat. However, if your dog is chronically itchy, they may be suffering from allergies, and you should consult a vet.
Yes, as long as it is part of a well-balanced diet, and your dog is the appropriate size to be eating an entire egg.
You can give your dog raw eggs with their shells, but they won’t be able to absorb the nutrients from the shell unless it is crushed. Remember, it’s also not a good idea to feed dogs eggshells from store-bought, chemically treated eggs.
Absolutely, raw eggs are great for dogs!
No, raw eggs won’t help a dog with an upset stomach. Cooked white rice and boiled chicken are typically the recommended ingredients to help a dog with an upset tummy.
There is some debate over when it is appropriate to start serving raw eggs to a puppy. Some say that it’s better to wait until their immune system is fully developed, while others say that raw eggs are safe for puppies from the very beginning. As a dog owner, you’ll need to use your best judgment, and consider the advice of your veterinarian.
Absolutely. Dogs love scrambled eggs and they are very good for them
Absolutely! Dogs can definitely eat egg whites.
The easiest way to cook eggs for a dog is to scramble. Don’t use any spices or extra salt though. But your dog might appreciate some cheese!
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