- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
For many people, tucking into a plate of eggs is a tasty, nutritious, and filling way to start the day. And unlike some human foods that aren’t suitable for dogs, eggs are both safe and nutritious for your pup.
“Eggs are an excellent protein source,” says Gerald Pepin, a qualified dog nutritionist and founder of The Canine Nutritionist. They’re rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, according to Pepin—but not only that, they provide energy, build muscle, strengthen teeth and bones, and aid with joint and tissue repair.
Both the yolk and white parts of the egg are safe, so you don’t need to worry about separating them. That said, some ways of cooking eggs are healthier for dogs than others. The amount of eggs a dog can eat, and how often they should eat them, also varies between breeds.
Crack on to learn more about feeding eggs to your pup.
How Many Eggs Should I Feed My Dog?
Dr. Emma Scales-Theobald, a canine nutritionist at Pooch & Mutt, shares how many eggs a dog can eat per day or week in the table below.
|Breed size||Max. eggs per day||Max. eggs per week|
|Toy (up to 6 kg)||¼||½-1|
|Small (6 kg-10 kg)||½||1|
|Medium (11 kg-25 kg)||1||1-2|
|Large (26 kg-45 kg)||1||2-3|
|Giant (over 45 kg)||2||3|
She also says, though, that these figures only offer a general guideline, and they may vary depending on your dog’s age, activity level, and overall health. “It’s always best to consult a veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount of eggs to feed your dog if you’re unsure,” Dr. Scales-Theobald says.
What Types Of Eggs Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs can chow down on various types of eggs, according to Pepin:
- Boiled: You can safely feed your dog eggs soft or hard-boiled eggs.
- Scrambled: These are also safe, but avoid adding salt, butter, or milk during cooking. Too much salt can put dogs at increased risk of dehydration, while dairy products can lead to an upset stomach since dogs can’t digest them easily.
- Poached: Dogs can safely eat poached eggs.
- Baked: Dogs can also eat baked eggs, but just be careful of added ingredients like dairy products and salt.
Pepin doesn’t recommend feeding a dog fried eggs. “Dogs need fat in their diet, but too much fat can be bad,” Pepin says.
Raw eggs are an egg-ception
Feeding dogs raw ingredients has become more popular recently, but you’ll want to avoid giving dogs raw eggs. While raw eggs themselves aren’t technically toxic to dogs, they can contain bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella. These bacteria can cause food poisoning—in you and your dog.
Not only that, raw eggs may contain an enzyme that prevents your dog from absorbing biotin, an important ingredient for their skin and coat.
As a pet parent, you can take a few important steps to avoid food poisoning:
- Always cook eggs thoroughly, Dr. Scales-Theobald says.
- Pepin recommends buying organic eggs if possible and keeping eggs cold to minimize the potential for bacteria.
- For extra peace of mind, you can buy specially-treated eggs or ones laid by chickens vaccinated against salmonella. Egg cartons in the United States should state whether the eggs inside have been treated. In the United Kingdom, eggs from vaccinated chickens come with The British Lion mark.
- Always wash your hands after handling eggs.
That said, if you drop an egg and your dog gobbles up the mess before you can clean it, don’t panic. Just pay attention for signs of digestive upset, like vomiting or diarrhea, and call your vet if you have any concerns.
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells, Too?
The crunchy coating may not appeal to you, but dogs are less fussy. Plus, the eggshell contains valuable nutrients!
“Eggshells are an excellent source of calcium carbonate,” explains Pepin. “A dog needs calcium to build and maintain healthy bones, nails, teeth, and coat. Calcium also supports nerve and muscle function, helps blood clot, and maintains a healthy heart.”
That said, too much calcium can harm dogs. It’s always best to ask your vet before giving your dog eggshells. They can offer more guidance on the right amount to feed your pup.
What’s more, large shell pieces can pose a potential choking hazard, and the sharp edges can hurt your dog’s insides. That’s why Pepin recommends preparing eggshells first by washing them, baking them in the oven, and grinding them into a powder.
The Top 7 Benefits Of Eggs For Dogs
Eggs—along with some other foods typically eaten by humans, like fruits and vegetables—can boost canine well-being as part of their regular diet.
Here are some nutrients in eggs that can benefit your dog.
|Nutrient||Benefit for dogs|
|Essential amino acids||The body uses these to make protein, which plays a vital role in growth, development, and strength. Egg whites are a good source of essential amino acids, Dr. Megan Shepherd, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and founder of Veterinary Clinical Nutrition.|
|Vitamin A||Vitamin A supports many important functions, including immunity, bone health, vision, and reproduction|
|B vitamins, including biotin, B12, and folate||B vitamins in various forms aid with nervous system function, red blood cell production, immunity, healthy fur and skin, and more.|
|Vitamin D||This “sunshine vitamin” supports bone and heart health. The yolk of the egg provides vitamin D, according to Dr. Shepherd.|
|Iron||Iron is essential for energy production, as well as transporting and storing oxygen in the body|
|Selenium||Selenium aids function of the thyroid, which is the part of the body that regulates hormones. It also supports metabolism and acts as an antioxidant.|
|Fatty acids||Some of the most well-known fatty acids are omegas 3 and 6. They can help maintain immunity and heart health, reduce inflammation (which is linked to multiple health concerns), and support skin health. The yolk of the egg provides these nutrients.|
Do Eggs Have Any Risks For Dogs?
Although eggs offer plenty of rewards, they can also pose risks. For instance, the yolk is high in fat, Dr. Shepherd says, so dogs who are sensitive to dietary fat—like those with a history of pancreatitis—shouldn’t eat egg yolks.
The yolk also has plenty of vitamin D, so you may want to avoid feeding yolks to dogs who have a history of calcium oxalate urinary stones or hypercalcemia (elevated calcium in the blood), Dr. Shepherd says. “This is because vitamin D positively influences dietary calcium absorption.”
It’s also important to consider how eggs factor into your dog’s recommended calorie intake. According to Dr. Shepherd, eggs shouldn’t exceed 10% of your dog’s daily calories. She adds that too many calories can lead to obesity and health issues like heart disease.
“If you’re thinking of incorporating eggs into your dog’s diet regularly, you might need to reduce the amount of treats or food they get to ensure they don’t have too many calories a day,” adds Dr. Scales-Theobald.
Aside from the extra calories and potential obesity risk, other health concerns related to eating eggs might include:
- Digestive upset: Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and gas, says Dr. Scales-Theobald. “Research has shown even two eggs at once can cause stomach upsets for a small dog and five can cause stomach upsets for a large breed dog.”
- Nutritional deficiencies: Eating too many eggs can contribute to an imbalanced diet. Dr. Scales-Theobald says this can lead to weight loss and nutritional deficiencies, which may have long-term health consequences.
Ultimately, moderation is key. “Eggs should be fed as part of a balanced diet that meets your dog’s specific nutritional needs,” Dr. Scales-Theobald says.
Can a dog be allergic to eggs?
Dogs can be allergic or sensitive to foods, including eggs. Certain breeds, such as West Highland White Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels, are more likely to experience food allergies.
According to Dr. Scales-Theobald, common signs of an allergic reaction to eggs include:
- Itchy skin
If your dog displays any signs of a reaction after eating eggs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Egg-ceptional Serving Suggestions and Recipes
When preparing eggs for your dog, avoid salt, along with garlic and onion, which are both toxic for canines.
According to Dr. Scales-Theobald, you can cook your dog’s eggs with:
- Vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, kale or sweet potato
- Meat, such as chicken, turkey, or beef
- A small amount of low-fat cheese
- A little coconut oil to provide healthy fats and boost your dog’s skin and coat health
As with eggs, you’ll want to give these ingredients in moderation, based on your dog’s dietary needs, she adds.
In need of recipe inspiration? Scroll no further! You can try a batch of these mini egg puffs or Dr. Scales-Theobald’s simple recipe for dog-friendly mini turkey and broccoli quiches below.
“Quiche made for people to eat shouldn’t be given to dogs as they often contain garlic and onion,” she says. “However, it can be fun to create your own quiche from ingredients safe for dogs to eat as a tasty treat. This recipe creates 12 mini quiches from a cupcake tray—the perfect size to freeze for later.”
- 100 grams turkey, cut into small pieces
- 100 grams chopped broccoli
- 43 grams grated low-fat cheese
- 120 milliliters milk
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
- Lightly grease the cupcake tray.
- Add some turkey, broccoli, and cheese into each cupcake hole.
- In a bowl, beat together the milk and eggs.
- Pour the eggs and milk mixture evenly into each cupcake hole.
- Put the cupcake tray into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Let the tray cool for a minute before removing the quiches from the cupcake trays and placing them on a wire rack to fully cool before serving.