The shorter answer is YES – dogs can eat scrambled eggs. The debate is usually about whether the eggs should be served raw or cooked. There are many things that dog lovers or caregivers should know before they serve their dogs with eggs.
Generally speaking, eggs do not pose any harm to dogs. In fact, they are part of a canine’s diet out there in the wild. The egg’s yolk and shell all have some nutritional value to the dog. However, like all other beneficial things, eggs need to be served moderately.
The argument between serving raw and cooked eggs is weighty. Some animal nutrition experts and vets pose warnings about letting dogs eat raw eggs. They sight healthy concerns like the active bacteria that could wreak a lot of havoc in the dog’s GI tract. Thus, they recommend that the eggs get cooked before they are presented before the dog. Others say that cooking the eggs denatures and destroys the nutrients that make the yolk healthy and wholesome.
The ultimate thing is that you need to talk to your vet before you serve the eggs. Before you even do that, this read will give you extensive and intensive information about eggs. At the end of the read, you will have the knowledge and the confidence you need to talk to your vet about your dog and eating eggs. Let’s get yolky about this!
Dogs And Eggs, Minuses
As you may have learned from science class, eggs are the best source of proteins, especially for dogs. As compared to all the others, whole eggs have the greatest bioavailability value. Also, eggs are high in amino acids and fatty acids. It is agreeable that they are a healthy snack that helps to calm stomach issues down.
The eggshells also have nutritional benefits – they are an excellent calcium source. While it is not intended that eggs replace the primary protein source that a dog feeds on, they can be excellent supplements or even treats. Other nutrients present in eggs are selenium, riboflavin, iron, folate, and vitamins A and B12.
Eggs For Dogs: The Minuses
As mentioned in the kicker, every good food needs to be served moderately to realize maximal benefits. Because of their high cholesterol detail, eggs may cause a dog to experience stomach issues. If too many eggs are consumed, the dog could develop obesity in the long run.
Many dog breeds should have anything more than one egg a day. However, your vet or animal nutritionist should tell you the exact portion to give depending on your dog’s size and age.
The most common concern that vets raise with regard to uncooked eggs is salmonella. Salmonella infection will not be a problem for a dog whose immune system is okay. However, a fragile dog may get devastatingly affected by the effects that a salmonella infection can cause in its system.
When the eggs are cooked, the risk of the dog developing a salmonella infection reduces. But that cooking step is, in itself, a destroyer rather than a builder. Cooking any type of food indeed reduces its nutritional value.
The other minus that comes with eating raw eggs is something contained in egg whites called avidin. It is a protein that develops in the oviducts and makes its way into the whites. When consumed, avidin inhibits a vitamin called biotin, which is vital in skin health, cell growth, and metabolism in dogs. In the long-term, a dog that has been exposed to avidin is likely to develop a biotin deficiency. But that can’t be much of a problem if you feed your dog with egg yolks as they have high biotin levels that can take care of any deficiency. Also, the risk of biotin-related issues can be reduced by cooking the eggs.
Like many other protein-rich foods, eggs can bring about allergic reactions and minor gastrointestinal problems. Although rare, such allergies can lead to a condition known as anaphylaxis, which is potentially life-threatening. Once you see signs that your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction – like sneezing, swelling, difficulty breathing, coughing, and hives – stop feeding eggs to your dogs and get to the vet immediately.
Feeding Your Dogs Eggs – How To Do It
As suggested multiple times already in this read, you need to know if your vet recommends the eggs or not. The vet needs to check if your dog has an underlying condition that could easily be affected by the eggs. Checking with the expert gives you the confidence to serve the eggs in a safe environment or get enough caution to stay away from them.
I wouldn’t like to speculate, but if your vet advises you to give eggs to your dog, they may ask you to stick on the organic type, you know, those that don’t have any additives or chemicals. In terms of quantity, smaller dogs are likely to eat lower egg quantities and the giant breed higher amounts.
If your vet or nutritionist gives you the green light to feed your dog raw eggs, you should serve both the yolk and the shell. Break the egg over the dog’s regular food and then stir it up. Then, crush the shell into a fine powder and sprinkle it too. Your dog will get both protein and some calcium boost.
Other pet parents prefer giving the egg intact without crushing it. Although that method poses no harm, things are likely to get messy for the dog, especially the little ones. One wrong bite means that the yolk will be all over the place. Also, an impatient dog may not chew the shell properly before swallowing it, meaning that it could experience a significant load of discomfort while swallowing. So, ensure that you consider the individual needs of your dog.
If you are advised to cook the eggs, you need to do it most simply – boiling. Boiling does not involve adding anything like oils or spices to the egg, and you won’t have to clean up the mess that eggs make on pans.
Whichever method you go for, ensure that you don’t use any additives as they can harm your dog.
The Many Eggs, The Many Ways, The Many Questions
Let us now get some answers to specific questions:
1. What Is The Number Of Eggs That A Dog Can Eat?
Before any figures are mentioned, you should not forget that eggs are treats. With treats, you always have to operate with the 10-percent rule. The amount of egg you feed shouldn’t be anything more than 10% of the daily diet of your furry canine friend.
For a medium-to-large dog, you can stick to one egg a day and serve it in portions. Since eggs also come in different sizes, you can work on counting calories. So, feed the dog the right amount of calories to avoid it getting obese. Your dog should take in about 30 calories for every pound of its body weight, but that number may go high if your dog is an active hunter or racer.
So that things don’t get confusing for you, you can get a calorie calculator to help you know how best you can serve the eggs. But before you even get to the calculator, you should talk to your vet. They will be able to find out the many (or fewer) calories that your dog should eat. They will give that information against the backdrop of whether your dog should lose, gain, or maintain its weight.
2. What Are The Main Components Of Eggs?
An egg is made up of its shell and the inside items. The inside items are the egg white and yolk. Since the yolk is the site for embryo growth (if fertilization occurs), it is full of nutrients. The yolk is surrounded by a thick and thin substance known as the egg white or albumen. It is primarily made of dissolved proteins and water.
About half of the egg’s protein comes from the egg white. The egg’s shell is made of the compound calcium carbonate, which explains its particular rigidity.
With nutrition, many people do not see value in the shell, and so they discard it. Then, the yolk and the eggwhite are cooked in different ways. If you’re preparing the eggs for your dog, you need to have a couple of things in mind before you serve them.
3. How Beneficial Are Eggs Shells To The Dogs?
As you have already picked out in the previous section, there is no problem feeding your dog with eggshells as they are full of calcium carbonate. The compound is highly digestible, and it provides a lot of calcium for the dog. On top of the calcium gotten in the diet, eggshells also give a good injection of the same diet.
Your vet will tell you that calcium recommendations for dogs need to be controlled as they are quite strict, especially for the puppy you recently had or bought. By adding an extra source of calcium, you can create a significant diet imbalance. Items like eggshells that are calcium-rich are phosphorus-deficient. Too much calcium means less phosphorus, and lower phosphorus to calcium ratio can significantly impact the dog’s vitamin D status. Ultimately, skeletal metabolism becomes affected by the imbalance.
Also, you should know that the dog’s kidneys filter phosphorus and calcium present in the blood. If the kidneys are overwhelmed by too many minerals, the dog may develop chronic kidney diseases, which can be fatal. So, the eggshells should be fed moderately because of the impact they can cause.
4. Can My Dog Or Puppy Enjoy Egg Yolks?
As with any other part of an egg, the yolk should be eaten moderately since they have a lot of energy (in terms of calories) and lots of fat (cholesterol included). If you are nutritionally conscious, you know that dietary cholesterol is known to cause adverse health effects. However, that does not happen in dogs since they have better tolerance.
While cholesterol may not be a problem for canines, they may develop hypertriglyceridemia (high-fat levels in their blood), pancreatitis, and lipemia. If your dog already has those conditions, it is best not to serve them with egg yolk to exacerbate the situation.
If your pup is as fit as a fiddle, there is no harm in giving it a little dose of cholesterol and fat. As you do so, be aware that the dog can develop pancreatitis, leading to inflammation of the gut area. Examples of breeds that carry a greater risk of getting pancreatitis are Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers.
5. Can My Dog Or Puppy Enjoy Cooked Eggs Without Complications?
On paper, cooked eggs are better than raw eggs. When an egg is subjected to high temperatures, the pathogenic bacteria present die, leaving the dog free of any possible infections.
While cooking may tweak an egg’s nutritional composition, it will not change the high-fat content. If the egg gets fried, butter or oil adds fat to it, and the result is a little fat bomb – if you know what I mean. If you use added milk to scrambled the eggs, you risk opening up the dog to developing diarrhea because most canines are lactose intolerant.
As mentioned elsewhere, the best way to serve eggs to a dog is by boiling them. If you choose to scramble them, ensure that you don’t add anything else. Also, remember that the number of eggs eaten should correspond to the weight of the dog. Give just the right amount of calories.
6. Can My Dog Or Puppy Enjoy A Deviled Egg Peacefully?
A deviled egg is first hard-boiled and then cut into half. It is then filled with a paste made from ingredients like mustard and mayonnaise together with the egg yolk. And the answer is no – these eggs should not make it anywhere near your dog’s muzzle.
The fat that comes in the added mayonnaise could wreak a lot of havoc in the dog’s system. On top of that, the risk of developing pancreatitis still lurks in the shadows. If the dog doesn’t get it, it may as well develop greasy diarrhea (or steatorrhea).
When you find your deviled eggs missing and your dog seemingly satisfied, you should start monitoring them. If you notice any signs of discomfort and GI upset like vomiting, drooling (nausea), and lip-smacking, you should get vet help.
Bonus Section: Dogs And Meat Protein
This section will focus on other sources of proteins apart from eggs – sources that vary in terms of digestibility and content. You should know that there are protein sources that are healthier than others for your dog.
With the range seemingly extensive, you could get confused. On one end, there are all types of fish and on the other, different kinds of meat. This bonus section puts together a list of the pluses and minuses of each source of protein. In the end, you will make the best choice for your furry canine friend.
There is no argument that beef is the most common component in many commercial dog foods. If the beef is organic, uses whole cuts, and is pasture-raised, it is the best protein for your dog to feed on.
Apart from proteins, beef is also rich in vitamins B, iron, and fat – these are all important, especially if you are dealing with an active dog, such as a hunter.
One caveat is that beef is quite expensive. Also, most of it is made with harmful and unethical farming practices. In dog food, the beef added is not usually whole but is either beef by-products or beef meal, or both. Those two – by-product and meal – are made from the ‘less beefy’ cow parts like organs and bones. Sometimes, manufacturers even use diseased or rotten meats. Because of heavy processing, they become a little too hard for the dog to break down.
This one deserves to appear earlier on the list. Like eggs, chicken provides the lean kind of protein that is much needed by dogs. However, the same unethical doings in the world of beef are employed in the chicken industry. Because their farming typically happens industrially, the whole meat chicken (the deboned kind) may not be beneficial to the dog – it may lack the nutrients that dogs need to thrive and survive. If you decide to give your dog chicken, ensure that you source it from a free-range, cage-free, or organic source. Spending on a commercial dog food product that uses chicken by-products is a waste of money, so think wisely.
Pig meat is not the best source of proteins for dogs. Like the previous two meaty options, it is farmed industrially and undergoes a lot of processing. Also, and as you may already know, pork has a lot of fat. If you’re feeding it to a canine, ensure that the dog also exercises. Too much pork could lead to liver problems and issues with obesity.
Another thing is that pork meat is not easy to break down, and so it may cause the dog to experience a lot of GI issues. So, while dogs may love the taste of bacon and ham, it is not the protein source you want them to depend on.
Vet and animal nutritionists, in general, argue about the health value of lamb meat. In the past couple of years, manufacturers of commercial dog food went all lamb because all the other livestock meats were highly processed. However, lamb meat may not be the best as it contains lots of fat and copper, which may affect your dog’s health.
Because of the expense of lamb meat, the lamb included in dog foods is mostly of low quality. As a fresh ingredient, I can really comment much about it.
This is yet another source of protein (from the world of fowls) gaining ground in many dog food options. Turkey meat has B vitamins combined with zinc, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. As compared to previous alternatives, turkey is better in terms of naturalness – it is not farmed intensely, and it appears in many organic and holistic foods. It is one of the best sources of protein for your furry canine friend.
Although arguable, fish is probably the healthiest type of meat. It has the essential omega-3 fatty acids apart from its low-fat content, lean protein, and easy digestibility. The only unfortunate thing is that fish does not provide the dog with all the nutrients it needs. Actually, if a dog was left only to eat fish, it could develop a deficiency of vitamin B1.
You should know that a dog’s digestive system quickly breaks down freshwater fish like salmon and trout better than the mackerel and the tuna, which are saltwater fish.
Since fish is not the ideal source of protein, you should only offer it as a supplement, that is, after sources like beef or turkey. This way, your dog will enjoy healthy and balanced meals.
If you look at the finer details of the meat industry, you will pick out that game meat is becoming more, and one of them is venison. The meat comes from deer, elks, or other game meat, and food manufacturers are now using it as a meat option to deal with food allergies.
It is easy to digest and comes from natural sources (it is not allowed to keep game in industrial quantities). It also contains zinc, niacin, vitamin B12, B6, riboflavin, and thiamin – all those nutrients are important for a dog’s health.
Rabbit is yet another game-meat option that cannot go unmentioned. If your pup were in the wild, it would be eating a rabbit whole. This means that rabbit meat is healthy, natural, and one of the best sources of protein for dogs.
Sadly, rabbits have taken the road of lamb, pigs, and cattle and are now being farmed industrially. Sometimes, the rabbits get raised awfully and become malnourished.
So, if you’re going for live rabbits, you need to ensure that you source them from a free-range, organic place. This way, the dog will get all the required nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to thrive.
I’m Christopher Benjamin, a dedicated Animal Nutritionist at Ethos Veterinary Health with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Michigan State University. My lifelong passion for animals led me to establish AnimalsData.Com. Here, I share expert advice, educational resources, and inspiring stories to empower fellow pet lovers worldwide. Join our community as we celebrate the beauty and diversity of our beloved animal companions!