Dogs are our best friends. No matter how many times we've left them home alone without them, they always greet us at the end of the day with wagging tails and love. They're also known to eat a lot of things that aren't necessarily good for their health, like trash and feces. But can dogs eat eggs? The answer may surprise you!
The Short Answer: Yes Dogs Can Eat Eggs
Eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fats. They’re also rich in vitamins A, D, E, K and B-6, and minerals such as selenium, zinc, potassium, iron, and copper.
Essential Vitamins in Eggs
- Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is important for energy metabolism, body growth, red blood cell creation, vision and a healthy nervous system. It is also an antioxidant.
- Vitamin D plays a vital role in calcium and phosphorus absorption, making it essential for maintaining healthy bones and strong teeth. It also plays a role in muscle function and the immune system.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may be important for heart health, with studies linking it to lower rates of heart disease, immune function, preventing cancer and slowing cognitive decline with age.
- Pantothenic Acid, commonly known as vitamin B5, plays a role in converting the food your dog eats into energy and breaking down fat. It also helps your dog produce vitamin D.
- Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy skin, a healthy immune system and better vision. A deficiency can lead to hair loss, skin problems and eyes problems.
Essential Minerals in Eggs
- Iron is produces hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to tissues in your dog's body. It's essential in helping muscles store and utilize oxygen.
- Phosphorus helps keep bones and teeth healthy, and it supports cell membranes. It also contributes to energy metabolism and muscle growth.
- Folate contributes to healthy red blood cell formation and a working immune system.
- Iodine is needed by a dog's thyroid to produce hormones that regulate their metabolic rate, as well as assists with cognitive function and brain development.
- Selenium helps prevent free radical damage to cells in the body. It supports the immune system, thyroid gland function, and the maintenance of healthy hair and nails.
- Choline is a vital mineral used by your dog's body to support liver and nerve function.
Considerations to Take Into Account
Because of the risk of salmonella poisoning, the Food and Drug Administration does not recommend feeding raw eggs to dogs. The risk of salmonella is significantly reduced when eggs are cooked.
Studies have linked egg consumption to a lower risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Many claim eggs are a superfood, and they even contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for healthy brain function, as well as proper brain growth in puppies.
While extremely healthy, you should limit the number of eggs your dog can eat in one sitting and make sure your dog is eating a complete and balanced diet according to AAFCO nutrition guidelines. It’s important to make sure your dog is getting the entire range of nutrients they need while they’re eating their fill.
Never Feed Your Dog Raw Egg Whites
Even though the raw diet is popular among the pet parent community, raw egg whites are very dangerous for dogs. For this reason, don't give your dog raw egg whites; cook them first.
Egg whites contain an enzyme called avidin that can cause a dangerous reaction in dogs' stomachs and throats if consumed uncooked. Uncooked avidin interrupts the uptake of biotin, which leads to blocking of cell growth and fatty-acid metabolism. As a result, your dog may experience hair loss and reduced skin color This is why it's important that you cook egg whites if you're feeding them to your dog.
We previously touched on the risk of salmonella poisining from raw eggs. Raw eggs also often contain E. coli bacteria, which is dangerous too. When raw eggs enter your pet’s digestive tract, these bacteria can multiply, causing severe health issues.
What About Cholesterol
Dietary sources of cholesterol have a minimal effect on cholesterol levels in the blood. The liver actually produces cholesterol, every single day. The amount produced depends on how much a dog eats.
If your dog eats a lot of cholesterol from food, their liver produces less of it. If they don’t eat cholesterol, their liver produces more of it.
Many studies show that eggs actually improved their cholesterol profile.
Perfect Amino Acid Profile
Eggs are also a complete protein source and contain a lot of high quality amino acids. As carnivores, amino acids are at the very center of your dog's health.
Not only that, eggs are among the best sources of protein in a dog's diet. The biological value—a measure of protein quality—is often evaluated by comparing it to eggs, which are given the perfect score of 100.
The Bottom Line
Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals that helps support your dog's health, they're one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
Scientific studies have also shown that eggs may have a plethora of benefits when included in a dog’s diet.
Dogs can receive all of these benefits if cooked eggs are included in their daily diet by themselves or through a dog food that has a substantial quantity of eggs in it already. Here is a dog food with eggs that we recommend.