Whether you are just got your first puppy or you are a seasoned pet parent, it is crucial to understand what ingredients will give your dog optimal health. For instance, eggs have been a controversial ingredient over the years, but we're here to separate fact from fiction according to the latest scientific research.
So, should you give your dog cooked eggs? In their ancestral history, when dogs were considered hunters and gathers, it was a common phenomenon to see the predecessors of our furry friends snatching eggs from a chicken's nest. Nowadays, the domestication of dogs has caused many changes to the typical dog's diet, including the fact that you have to provide balanced diet for them.
So, are cooked eggs good for dogs? Read on to learn more about the benefits of feeding your dog food with cooked eggs.
Are Eggs Good for Dogs?
Yes, eggs are a great source of protein; one large egg contains at least 6g of protein[*]. That's a lot, considering dogs need to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of (ideal) body weight every day.
Moreover, eggs contain a variety of essential vitamins[*], including but not limited to:
- Vitamin B2 (15% of the RDA)
- Vitamin B12 (9% of the RDA)
- Vitamin B5 (7% of the RDA)
- Vitamin A (6% of the RDA)
Additionally, eggs contain omega series fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega 6[*].
The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA help in the dog's nutritional management, especially in skin sensitivities. The omega-6 series, such as gamma-linoleic acid, on the other hand, are used in the restoration of surface lipid layer composition thus, help reduce skin dehydration.
If you have a puppy, it's especially important to make sure your dog consumes the minimum required levels of DHA and EPA as defined by AAFCO.
The Science-Backed Benefits of Cooked Eggs
As discussed, coooked eggs contain a variety of nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, and fatty acids. But what are the actual benefits of feeding cooked eggs to your dog?
Here are just a few of the benefits you'll want to know:
Promotion of Muscle Development
In order to fully develop and maintain their muscles, dogs need the right amount of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. AAFCO defines the minimum amounts of each amino acid your dog needs in its Nutrient Profiles[*].
Eggs have a complete amino acid profile and are considered to be the highest standard of digestibility against which all other proteins are compared. You could say they have the "perfect" digestibility.
The high digestibility of amino acids contained in eggs mean your dog's muscles will grow more efficiently and help repair of damaged muscle tissue. So, whether your pet is young or old, feeding them eggs will enhance their muscles and keep their tissue healthy.
Helps Maintain Good Digestion
Eggs contain riboflavin, commonly known as vitamin B2, which helps maintain smooth digestion. This vitamin is critical in supporting body metabolism, especially the breakdown of carbohydrates and amino acids. So if you want your dog to have fewer stomach issues and maintain a healthy weight, cooked eggs may help.
Bottom line, feeding your dog eggs offers them sufficient riboflavin to maintain a strong digestive system.
Promotes Healthy Bones
Dogs like to remain active. However, to maintain this healthy lifestyle, they need to have strong bones. Eggs help with exactly that.
Eggs are a good source of calcium, with one 50g egg containing 25mg of calcium[*]. This nutrient is necessary for the growth and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. Additionally, calcium is useful in building proper muscles, developing a strong heart and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
Boosts Immune Function
Trace minerals such as selenium play a key role in sustaining your dog's overall health. Along with linoleic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E and zinc, selenium is a significant factor in cultivating a strong immune system in your dog.
And fortunately eggs contain it!
The right daily amount of selenium in your dog's diet will ensure their thyroid gland stays health and helps maintain proper immune system function[*]. Feeding your dog with the right amount of selenium, which AAFCO defines as 0.35 mg/kg of body weight, will keep their immune system functioning well, especially when they eat food off the floor.
Supports Hair and Skin
Your dog's health will often be judged by the appearance of his or her skin and coat, as these issues can be symptoms of deeper health issues. It is not a surprise that most vet examinations involve exploring the skin and coat of your pet.
When a dog has skin issues, chances are high that they lack essential nutrients such as omega-3.
Here's why skin issues aren't limited to the skin. Omega-3 fatty acids contain DHA, which are vital for cognitive function. If your dog is deficient in it, they may suffer from canine cognative dysfunction, which eating omega-3 has been shown to help[*].
Are Raw Eggs Good for Dogs?
Feeding your dog raw, uncooked eggs is not recommended by veterinary nutritionists. Here are a couple primary reasons why it is not advisable to feed your dog raw eggs:
Risk of salmonella: Feeding your dog raw eggs exposes them to the risk of contracting salmonella. Whenever your dog eats salmonella-contaminated eggs, they may get sick and could even die.
Biotin deficiency: Consuming raw eggs on a regular basis for an extended time causes biotin deficiency because avidin, which is present in egg whites, firmly binds to biotin making it unavailable for absorption in the intestine.
Cooking eggs denatures avidin, thus impairing its ability to bind to biotin. Biotin helps improve digestion, cell development, metabolism and skin, so you definitely want to make sure your dog absorbs it properly.
With the mainstream medical opinion on whether eggs are good for dogs (and humans for that matter) changing every 10 years it seems, many pet parents have been uncertain as to whether they should feed their dogs eggs. However, the evidence strongly supports the verdict that cooked eggs are good for dogs.
Your dog needs food rich in minerals, vitamins, and proteins to sustain a healthy life. Properly cooked eggs can provide your beloved canine with all these nutrients. Here's a link to a dog food with cooked eggs we recommend.