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Can dogs eat eggs?

Black pug surrounded by eggs advice
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Dogs can eat some human foods like eggs, but only in moderation. A balanced dog diet contains all the vitamins and minerals she needs.

By Nick Whittle

Eggs are a good food. You don’t have to be human to accrue the natural goodness of the ‘yellow eye’. But even for us too much of a good thing can be bad, and what eggs have of the right stuff they more than make up of the wrong: cholesterol. A single egg contains just 186 mg of the stuff, which is 62% of the recommended daily amount of cholesterol for a human.

Here are some other things that a large 50 gram egg contains:

  • Energy: 78 calories
  • Protein (include 18 amino acids): 6 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams

Can dogs eat boiled eggs?

An egg is also packed with vitamins and minerals, and in being so it is a great food to boost a dog’s immunity. Eggs are also a way to deliver supplements to your dog such as vitamin A. Wolves (the ancestors of dogs) eat the whole egg raw but vets warn against following this method when it comes to domesticated dogs.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Eggs should be given in moderation. There is a temptation when we know something is good for our pets to feed it to them more regularly, but the cholesterol content and (as we shall see) some other ingredients make doing so inadvisable.

Are cooked eggs good for dogs?

Eggs have a lot of protein, fatty acids and amino acids in them; those are things that are good for a dog’s health. Eggs are also said to be good in the treatment of a dog’s upset stomach, and the shells are a good source of calcium. No-one denies that they are a great supplement and a healthy treat but eggs should not be fed as a substitute of the dog’s staple diet.

What about puppies?

Puppies can be given eggs as a special treat but only in small quantities. Eggs are a superb source of digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium but beware that some puppies and young dogs are more prone to digestive upset than others. Feed a puppy boiled rice and chicken with scrambled eggs as a special mealtime treat or if she is in recovery from an operation or illness.

For a dog or a puppy make sure to boil the egg because to eat raw egg whites causes biotin deficiency (more on this in a moment). Egg protein is also more quickly digested when it is cooked, which means all the goodness contained within will get into your dog’s bloodstream faster.

Are cooked eggs bad for dogs?

Eggs are high in cholesterol and come with a substantial amount of fat; dogs don't need any extra fat. They gain all the fat they need from a healthy and well-balanced dog food. Furthermore, too many eggs will cause your dog to have an upset tummy. Dogs should not be given any more than one egg a day; ideally an egg should only be fed to your dog as a special treat.

Biotin inhibitor

Egg whites contain a protein called avidin that binds a type of Vitamin B called biotin. If your dog eats too many eggs (including the white) then she may become deficient in biotin. Biotin is concerned with the metabolizing of fats and carbohydrates and influencing cell growth. It is often recommended as a dietary supplement for improving the health of our hair and nails. Some of the symptoms of biotin deficiency in a dog include:

  • Alopecia
  • Anorexia
  • Brittle hair
  • Dermatitis
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dull coat
  • Pruritus

Tummy upsets

As with any food that is not on the pantry list of the domesticated dog, an egg can cause a dog to have either an upset tummy or an allergic reaction. Food allergies are usually quite noticeable with symptoms ranging from excessive scratching to coughing, choking, vomiting, diarrhoea and seizures. If you suspect your dog is allergic to egg then avoid feeding one to her again.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Are raw eggs good for a dog?

Some owners may consider the raw egg to be more beneficial to a dog’s health because when an egg is cooked it loses some of its goodness. A raw egg can be fed to your dog but she is at risk of choking on some of the shell. Owners are also concerned about the added risk of their dog contracting salmonella. Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the Salmonella bacterium which is sometimes found in raw egg. It often leads to gastroenteritis and septicaemia. The disease can also be transmitted to humans.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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An egg is a great source of protein, riboflavin and selenium, and if nothing else it gives a dog some added nutrients; it can also be used as a healthy treat when training. Make sure you cook the egg before you feed it to your dog to avoid any nasty bugs attacking her digestive system.

Remember, although eggs are generally safe for most dogs, overfeeding your dog can result in her obesity and other health problems. She will have everything she needs from a well-balanced dog diet.

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