Be they the cornerstone of your Full English breakfast, the pure protein powering your fitness regime or the filling snack ticking you over between mealtimes, there’s a lot of praise to be offered the humble egg.
There are countless ways to eat them – boiled eggs, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, omelets and more.
But can dogs eat eggs? Absolutely – and as you’ll see here, they have plenty to power your pooch up with too.
Are eggs good for dogs?
Although the way an egg is prepared does plenty to make one kind of meal different to the next, by and large, dogs eating eggs generally get encouraged by vets and experts.
While you’re right to ask if it’s a safe thing for a dog to eat – after all, so very many things that we as humans enjoy can be upsetting or even dangerous to a dog’s digestion – eggs are always on the menu.
Naturally, the likes of dogs eating eggshells can be less encouraged, and dogs eating egg yolks are as neutral for it as people tend to be.
These are elements and more complex issues to touch on later, as is the question of can dogs eat raw egg. The short answer is technically yes, but it’s less encouraged – the same as for us humans.
You’ve likely noticed that your dog is always happy to sit by your side, smacking his or her chops with an optimistic glint in the eye, whenever you dish up a big breakfast to start your day.
It’s not just your bacon this canny canine has sniffed out – dogs are often very fond of eggs indeed.
The health benefits of eggs for dogs are as rich and fulfilling as the meals you make for them, and they’re certainly ticking the same boxes for your pet’s health as they are for ours.
Perhaps the most apparent and often discussed benefit of dogs eating eggs is the protein value.
The amount of protein in eggs is high enough not just to appeal to bodybuilders and athletes in the human world, but also energetic dogs too.
The majority of the nutritional value of eggs comes from the center, so feeding your dog egg yolks is often a highly encouraged way to boost their immunity, health, and energy levels.
And while the protein in eggs leads itself to healthy bones in your dog, he or she will also get a boost to their calcium levels with eggs too, which strengthens bones and teeth.
Eggs also help dogs enjoy more Vitamin A, so you can expect a glossy coat and bright eyes, as well as plenty of energy to burn on the morning walk.
Dogs like cooked eggs of all kinds, so it’s up to you how you want to prepare them for your pooch. However, keep in mind that they’ll be easier to deal with, especially for younger dogs or puppies, if they’re cut into pieces.
For that reason, peeled, hard-boiled eggs diced into chunks are often a convenient way for your dog to get to the good stuff.
Dangers of eggs for dogs
As much as there are lots of reasons why eggs are good for your dog – the same as with humans – your pooch shares some of the dangers of eggs with their masters too.
Luckily, none of these are excessively dangerous, especially if you catch on early.
Maybe one of the most well-known risks of feeding eggs to your dog comes from raw eggs. Human beings only consider raw egg in the direst of circumstances, and even then, are likely to raise a few eyebrows around us if we go for it.
Dogs don’t always have the same know-how as us though, and therefore might get a kick out of gulping down an egg raw. This has the risk of salmonella, just like with humans.
What’s more, raw eggs left in the open go bad even faster than cooked eggs or boiled eggs would, and the bacteria that develop could cause some nasty upset tummies in our furry friends.
If in doubt, definitely contact your vet – but here’s some advice from us that your vet would otherwise offer, too, and that’s to avoid letting dogs eat eggshells.
In the past, the calcium and other minerals in eggshells have caused some dog owners to wonder if they can offer these health benefits to their dog by grinding up eggshells very finely and adding them to meals.
While the idea is sound, it’s best to avoid feeding dogs eggshells.
The gains they’d get, nutritionally speaking, can be more easily and reliably found in other dietary supplements, and your vet will have some recommendations for you if you need them.
Of course, when feeding eggs to a dog, make sure to avoid giving them whole hard-boiled eggs unless you know they can manage it.
An overexcited and hungry dog, especially a puppy, might try to gulp it down without chewing it fully first, and that can create some nasty choking and retching.
How many eggs can a dog eat daily?
Eggs are so packed with the good stuff that it could be tempting to hand them over to your dog as much as possible, but in truth, they are also very rich in calories.
Some unsavory weight gain could result if you overdo it on the eggs here, so it’s recommended that you should only allow a whole egg to a very large breed of dog – and pieces or half an egg to smaller dogs at the most.
While it may not seem like much to us, the way dogs get their nutrition means that this amount of egg is going to be more than enough for their bodies to work with – and even then, it certainly doesn’t have to be daily for those benefits to be felt.
You’ll likely notice the perks of adding a bit of egg to your dog’s diet as an occasional snack, treat or supplement pretty fast.
Think brighter eyes, bigger grins and bouncy energy with good strong bones and muscles.
Yet if there’s one thing we as humans can be envious of, it’s that dogs don’t suffer from any cholesterol risks from eating eggs either.
As such, you don’t need to worry if dogs eating eggs raises their cholesterol – experts agree that unfortunately for us, it’s a quirk of the human nutritional system. Dogs get off scot free!
What to do if a dog eats an egg
A dog who decides to eat an egg through his or her own initiative has nothing to worry about – although if they took it from someone’s breakfast plate without permission, they might get a stern talking to!
As we’ve discussed, eggs are very good for dogs, and even if they’ve sneakily had one in some way without your say so, the worst they stand to suffer from it is maybe a bit of a tummy ache for overindulging, and a sudden uptick of naughty calories.
If you’re wondering what to do if a dog eats raw egg, or what to do if a dog eats eggshells, chances are your pet has taken advantage of a dropped raw egg that’s smashed on the floor and has begun to slurp it all up.
Luckily, there’s little to fear here, but you should keep an eye on your dog, as they’re eating eggs in a way that’s nowhere near as healthy.
For instance, egg shells recklessly swallowed might cut or wound a dog’s insides – and of course, the risk of salmonella in raw eggs has to be addressed too.
Get in touch with your vet if your dog begins to act lethargic or unwell, but for the most part, there’s little reason to panic.
There might be some upset tummies and funny smells from your pooch in the immediate future, but nothing threatening to their overall wellbeing.
Overall, it’s best to treat eggs as an addition to your dog’s diet, rather than a core component of it.
Having one every day will prove too much for your dog, making them sluggish and chubby in the long run as the dense calories overcome the protein and other perks.
The health benefits of eggs for dogs are superb, and if your pet can avoid the same risks in eating eggs as other people would, there’s nothing to worry about in letting them have some.
Extra protein and energy, especially in the rich egg yolk, will power up your pup and help them grow big and strong – as well as add some vitality to an older dog in the later years of his or her life.
Just remember that dogs don’t need the same portion sizes of eggs that people do, however much their big begging eyes might try and convince you otherwise.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.