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Can Dogs Eat Eggs?

Posted by Optimeal Team on

Finding the best dog food for your furry best friend is important, but it can also be challenging. Navigating the dog food aisle at your local store can be intimidating, confusing, and all around overwhelming. With different dog food diets, labels, and ingredients, there’s a lot to consider.

Here at Optimeal®, we know how important it is to find food that will support your pup’s immune system and health. That’s why we take a closer look at dog food ingredients so you can know what’s best for your pup. 

Can dogs eat eggs? The answer is yes, as long as you follow a few safety guidelines in their preparation. This guide breaks down what you need to know. 

Nutritional Benefits of Eggs

When you think of your pup, you likely don’t see a hunter or gatherer type of animal. However, our dog’s ancestors had to be resourceful in hunting and gathering to survive. One of the most common parts of their diet were eggs.

Eggs are easy to snatch from nests lower to the ground, so these made an easy, nutritious target for dogs of centuries past. While dog food today is much more accessible, eggs still bring a range of nutrition benefits for our furry friends, even if they don’t have to hunt them down. 

Eggs are rich in protein, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that can help support overall health and wellness for your pup. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of eggs for dogs.

Fatty Acids

Eggs are an excellent source of nutrients for our canine companions. They are packed with fatty acids that help fuel your pup. Our furry friends can’t produce essential fatty acids on their own, so including them in their diet is… essential! What do fatty acids do and why are they so beneficial for your pup? Take a look below.

To understand how fatty acids work, we have to take a quick trip through science. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats. This compound is made up of a carbon atom chain, with one methyl group at one end and an acid group at the other end. Depending on how many hydrogen atoms are attached to each carbon atom, a fatty acid may be saturated or unsaturated. 

Fatty acids play a critical role in your dog’s health and wellness. Fatty acids include both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which are important for humans and animals alike. 

Where can your dog get fatty acids? The key is in certain types of fish, egg yolks, some oils, walnuts, and avocados. Fatty acids are necessary for storing energy and giving your pup a source of fuel to keep your pup happy and healthy. 

Protein

Eggs are also a rich source of protein for your dog. As a pet parent, it’s important to know what nutrients your pet needs. One of the most important nutrients is protein. 

Proteins are help build cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, antibodies, hormones, and so much more. They are essential for development and growth, maintaining homeostasis, repairing injured tissues, and even for reproducing. 

In fact, eggs are a top source of protein with the highest biological value at around 93.7— in other words, it’s the easiest source of protein for our dogs’ bodies to actually absorb. If you’re looking for an easy, nutritious, and delicious way to give your pup protein, look no further than eggs. 

Iron

Another reason eggs make an excellent ingredient in dog food is their iron content. Iron is essential for dogs as it supports oxygen transport throughout the body, red blood cell production and repair, and the production of hemoglobin. A deficiency in iron, though rare, could lead to health issues like anemia, where there’s not enough red blood cells carrying oxygen through the body. 

Selenium

Eggs are also rich in selenium, a mineral that helps support metabolism, antioxidant function, DNA synthesis, and reproduction. Selenium can also support growth and development for your dog. 

B Vitamins 

Eggs contain vitamins B12, riboflavin, and folate, all of which are essential for your pup in many ways. These B vitamins help support nervous system and cognitive function, digestion, intestinal health, blood cell production, and turning food into energy.

Vitamin A

Lastly, eggs are a rich source of vitamin A. This vitamin is critical for development, growth, immune health, and cellular health. It interacts with calcium to support better absorption into the bone. Without this vitamin, your pup may lack healthy immune system support, so it’s important to make sure your dog’s diet includes this nutrient. 

A Few Precautions To Consider

While eggs can prove a powerful tool in your dog’s food, there are a few precautions to keep in mind. Here’s what you need to know. 

Your Dog May Be Allergic to Eggs

It’s important to note that some dogs are allergic to eggs and other meat products. Dog food allergies are fairly common, so it’s important to keep in mind that your dog may have an adverse reaction to eggs. 

In most cases, symptoms of an egg allergy can result in itching, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, vomiting, and discomfort. However, if a severe adverse reaction does occur, get medical help immediately for your dog. 

Rotten Eggs Are Really Rotten

If you’re feeding your dog eggs straight from your fridge (or the coop), it’s also important to note that eggs don’t last forever. Feeding your dog eggs that have gone bad can lead to tons of ingested bacteria that can wreak havoc on your canine’s digestion and body. If you suspect you’ve given your dog bad eggs, call your veterinarian right away. 

How To Feed Eggs to Your Pup

Raw Eggs vs. Cooked Eggs: Does It Matter?

Many dog parents swear by feeding their dogs raw eggs. Some even crack an egg open right on top of a bowl of dog food. While it’s technically okay to feed your dog raw eggs, it’s important to weigh the risks of salmonella exposure, bacteria, and biotin deficiency. 

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can lead to an infection called salmonellosis, a serious condition that can lead to upset stomach, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. 

On the other hand, cooked eggs lower the risks while still offering the rich nutritional benefits, whether you boil eggs or serve up some scrambled eggs. 

If you do choose to cook eggs for your dog, avoid seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, onions, or butter. This can do more harm than good for your pup and add unnecessary calories to their diet. 

Start Slow

When you first offer eggs to your pup or include them in their dog food, start slow and increase the servings gradually. This way you can monitor your dog for any allergy symptoms or discomfort. Feeding your dog too many eggs can lead to an imbalance in nutrition, so moderation is key. 

Moderation Is Key

While eggs are an excellent source of protein and nutrients for your furry friend, they shouldn’t be the only source of protein in their diet. Our dogs thrive on variety and balance, so don’t forget to include a range of other meats like organ meats, chicken, turkey, fish, pork, and beef. These real meats should always be the first ingredient in your dog’s food, with eggs listed after. 

Eggs in Dog Food: Finding the Best Choice For Your Pup

If you make homemade food for your pup, you can include eggs as a tasty treat in their diet. However, finding dog food with eggs already included is a great choice, too! 

We offer a range of dog food options that are made with and without eggs to cater to every type of pup. Consider our Adult Large Breed Chicken & Rice Meal for an excellent source of eggs, or our Puppy All Breed Turkey and Oatmeal Option for pups who prefer the poultry over the egg.


Sources:

The importance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids | Eufic 

Dog Nutrition Tips | ASPCA

Dog Food Myths and Facts | American Kennel Club 

Diets containing naturally occurring iron or naturally occurring iron plus supplemental ferrous sulfate both maintain normal hematological status in adult dogs | Journal of Food Nutrition and Metabolism | Science Repository | Open Access

Selenium and Dogs: A Systematic Review | NIH

7 Vitamins Your Dog Needs for a Healthy Life | American Kennel Club

Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment | American Kennel Club 

 

 

 

 




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