What does your breakfast plate usually look like? In my house, we typically opt for a big plate of fluffy scrambled eggs. Jam-packed with quality protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, they’re an easy-to-make morning meal that quickly fills up our tummies and leaves us feeling fueled. But when Fido starts staring up at the omelet with those sweet puppy eyes, you may question: Can dogs eat eggs?
Short answer: Yes!
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one large whole egg touts:
- Water – 75.8 g
- Calories – 148
- Protein – 12.4 g
- Total Fat – 9.96 g
- Nitrogen – 1.99 g
- Carbohydrates – 0.96 g
- Calcium – 48 mg
- Iron – 1.67 mg
- Magnesium – 11.4 mg
- Phosphorus – 184 mg
- Potassium – 132 mg
- Sodium – 129 mg
- Zinc – 1.24 mg
- Iodine – 49.1 µg
- Selenium – 31.1 µg
- Thiamin – 0.077 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.419 mg
- Choline – 335 mg
- Folate – 71 µg
- Retinol – 179 µg
- Lutein – 230 µg
- Zeaxanthin – 229 µg
- Vitamin A – 180 µg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.063 mg
- Vitamin B-12 – 1.02 µg
- Vitamin D – 2.46 µg
Benefits of Eggs
Here’s a fun fact: Dogs can eat all parts of an egg. They can eat the whites, the yolk, and even the shell! Each part offers up an array of health benefits. Overall, some top benefits include:
- Supports a Strong Immune System – Eggs are rich in various vitamins and minerals that help support immunity.
- Can Help Settle Tummy Troubles – Much like plain chicken and rice, eggs are a wonderful bland food for pups who aren’t feeling well or recovering from tummy troubles.
- Good For Anemic Dogs – Dogs who suffer from anemia (too few red blood cells) need lots of iron, which is plentiful in egg yolks.
- Supports Thyroid Health – Eggs are an excellent source of iodine, an essential mineral needed by the thyroid.
- Builds Strong Muscles – Eggs are rich in amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Once a dog’s body breaks down protein, it’s absorbed through the GI tract and used to build and maintain muscles.
- Healthy Bones & Teeth – The vitamin D and calcium in eggs are to thank here. Vitamin D aids calcium absorption, which helps build strong bones and teeth!
- Eye Health – Eggs contain a good amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. Experts say these carotenoids help to protect a dog’s retina — the light-sensitive inner wall of the eye — from oxidative damage.
- Improved Skin & Coat – The lutein and zeaxanthin found in eggs also help promote healthy skin.
Concerns Some Pet Parents Have
- Egg whites contain enzyme inhibitors, which may affect digestion. However, canine nutrition experts say this isn’t a concern if you are feeding a well-balanced diet and aren’t relying on eggs as your dog’s main source of nutrition.
- Egg whites also contain something called avidin, which is a Biotin inhibitor. Biotin is essential for your dog’s overall health. However, it’s important to note that biotin deficiencies are pretty rare, and it would take consuming a large number of eggs to trigger an issue. Additionally, this isn’t a concern with cooked egg or when consuming whole eggs, as egg yolks are very high in biotin.
- Feed eggs either scrambled or hard-boiled and make sure to chop them up into bite-size pieces before offering them to your pooch.
- Hold the salt! While you may like to spice up your eggs, leave your pup’s serving plain.
- Incorporate cooked eggs into your dog’s meals as a protein-booster or offer on the side as a special treat.
- Try my Doggy Frittata recipe as a special treat!
- In my cookbook, Proud Dog Chef: Tail-Wagging Good Treat Recipes, you’ll find a recipe for Doggy Deviled Eggs on page 166. Try it!
- Many of my homemade dog treat recipes call for eggs!
While eggs are chock full of goodness, they are a bit high in fat. So, don’t overdo it! In general, anywhere from half to one full egg is good for small dogs. Large breeds can have one or two eggs every few days.
For The Egg Shells
If you home-cook for your dog’s food, adding ground eggshell to their meal is a great way to add calcium. When I was home-cooking for my pups, I would dry out the shells and then run them through the food processor until I was left with a fine powder. Then, I would sprinkle the powder into my dog’s food! 1/2 teaspoon of powdered eggshell equals 1000mg of calcium. Note: When cooking homemade for your pooch it’s super important to make sure your recipe is nutritionally balanced or you could actually do more harm than good.
Get More Doggy Food Facts
This feature is part of a weekly web series called Food Facts Friday. Every Friday, we share foods that are great for our canine companions. Check out other foods highlighted in this series HERE!