Scrambled eggs are a comfort food many of us enjoy. Your mom may have even given it when you were sick. It’s not a stretch to think that your dog might like them, too. The question is, should you?
We’ll start with the red flags that can apply to scrambled eggs as well as other people foods that you might feel tempted to give to your dog.
Reactions to Foods
The two main concerns when feeding your pet anything new is intolerances and allergies. That’s why it’s essential to give your dog only a small bit if it’s the first time he’s eaten something.
Being intolerant or sensitive essentially means that it doesn’t agree with him. Your pet may experience GI distress symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Several things can trigger this reaction, such as a deficiency in a necessary enzyme. People and pets who are lactose-intolerant lack enough lactase in their bodies to digest dairy products completely.
It can happen with scrambled eggs, too.
Food allergies are another matter. They involve an immune system response to get rid of something that the body perceives as harmful.
Think of how your body responds to an infected cut. The surrounding area swells and gets red. It’ll feel hot. That’s the inflammatory reaction in action.
With your dog, he may experience itching, skin rashes, and sneezing. If the allergy is severe, it can trigger life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
Unfortunately, eggs are a common allergen for dogs.
Moving on From Bad Reactions
If your dog doesn’t have any adverse reactions to eggs, we can move on to determining whether it’s safe, considering other factors.
As is often the case, it’s not always a black-or-white issue, but it lives somewhere in that gray area.
The Positive Side of Scrambled Eggs for Your Dog
In many ways, eggs are a complete food. Let’s start with the macronutrients: protein, fats, and carbs.
Eggs—scrambled or otherwise—provide a lot of vital nutrients, including vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12. It’s worth noting that the latter comes primarily from animal-based proteins than plants.
The Downside of Scrambled Eggs
While it doesn’t have any carbs, an egg contains 6 percent or 5 grams of fat. That includes a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats. This content doesn’t put it in the deal breaker category, but it does mean that it may push the calorie limits.
Then, there’s the cholesterol of which one contains 185 milligrams. Dogs like people can suffer from hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol like people. A high-fat diet is one possible cause.
It’s All in the Preparation
The chances are that you’re not cooking or serving your scrambled eggs without some extra fixings.
You might have added more fat to the skillet to keep the eggs from sticking to the pan. The calorie count is the same, whether it’s an equal amount of olive oil or butter.
Unfortunately, pets struggle with this health issue the same as people, with over 50 percent overweight or obese.
And like humans, those extra pounds increase your pet’s risk for several health conditions, including diabetes.
We get it. Scrambled eggs scream for butter. However, when you combine it with the cholesterol and existing fat content, it definitely puts it in the unhealthy category.
Scrambled Eggs but Not an Omelet
Your run-of-the-mill scrambled eggs have a high caloric and fat content as the biggest strikes against them. But is that the end of the story?
Your omelet probably has some things that dogs can’t have. The list includes:
- Dairy products (lactose-intolerance)
We also have to go back to our first point about new foodstuffs. Anything new has the potential to reveal a food intolerance.
You also have to consider any condiments you add to your scrambled eggs or omelets. They may contain hidden sources of these toxic ingredients. The negative effects depend on the content and your pet’s sensitivity.
We believe it’s best to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to your pets. This caution involves some of the same things you need to consider because of the effect on people.
You’re probably aware of the fact that egg-based products have special handling requirements. The reason rests with foodborne illnesses like salmonella. You should cook your scrambled eggs to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, whether you’re sharing or not, especially with unpasteurized products.
The same caution applies to batches of scrambled eggs you prepare to feed your dog later.
Proper food storage is imperative. Everything else aside, it is the overriding guide to determining if scrambled eggs are safe for your dog.
You must take precautions, whether you’re giving your pet some off of your breakfast plate or serving leftovers.
Don’t leave food sitting out of the fridge for more than two hours. If your pet doesn’t eat the scrambled eggs within 30 minutes, pick up the bowl and discard what’s left. It’s also an excellent way to keep track of their food intake to prevent obesity.
The symptoms of food poisoning are similar to intolerances. Sometimes, they appear suddenly and may include fever.
The first question rests with tolerance and allergies. If your pet isn’t affected, it’s smart to keep it simple. That means:
- Minimize the fat
- Hold the problematic ingredients
- Practice safe food-handling procedures
Scrambled eggs aren’t the worst human food you can give your dog. However, play it smart. Don’t ramp up the fat and calories, which can push it to the limits.
We’ll leave you with one final thought. Commercial dog food contains the proper mix of nutrients for your pet. If you want to treat him, make the scrambled eggs an occasional treat to avoid the pitfalls that people food often brings to the table—or food bowl.
Featured image credit: Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis, Unsplash