If keeping your dog safe and healthy is your top priority, which it should be, then this DogAppy article is for you. It explains the health benefits of raw eggs for dogs, and also describes the risks involved.
Did You Know?
Constant shaking of the head or itching by the dog could be indicative of a food allergy. Most dogs are usually allergic to one or more foods from the following: beef, dairy, wheat, eggs, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish.
Whether raw eggs are good for dogs, is a fiercely debated topic. According to some, feeding raw eggs to dogs can affect their health seriously, while according to others, they should be fed to dogs, as eggs can improve their health in several ways.
Are Raw Eggs Safe for Dogs?
➺ Some experts may ask you to avoid raw eggs and suggest that you include cooked eggs in your dog’s diet, because they think that bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli from raw eggs can lead to food poisoning, diarrhea, and upset stomach. However, a dog’s gut is completely different from ours. Salmonella or E. coli do not affect dogs like they affect human beings. Dogs can easily digest raw eggs. Moreover, chances of getting an egg contaminated with salmonella or E. coli are very less.
➺ An enzyme called ‘avidin’, present in raw egg whites can inhibit the absorption of biotin, a type of B vitamin. This can result in skin problems. Cooking egg white denatures avidin and stops it from preventing the absorption of dietary biotin. However, according to some experts, eggs are so rich in biotin, that avidin cannot prevent absorption of the entire amount of biotin. Consumption of raw egg white for a prolonged period (many weeks to years) can affect biotin levels.
➺ If your dog is allergic to eggs, then feeding both raw or cooked eggs can result in extremely itchy skin, ear inflammation, gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea or gas, an itchy rear end, etc.
➺ Eggs are high in calories, fat, and cholesterol, and can lead to excessive weight gain. Obesity can result in arthritis and other health problems.
Benefits of Raw Eggs for Dogs
➺ Studies show that dogs can digest raw eggs quite easily.
➺ Egg yolk contains higher amounts of biotin, the vitamin which promotes healthy skin and coat. Lack of biotin in a dog’s diet can lead to dry hair, hair loss, and other skin problems.
➺ Biotin helps regulate blood sugar levels.
➺ Biotin helps lower cholesterol levels too.
➺ Recent studies conducted by ESM Technologies have shown that the eggshell membrane is safe for dogs. It works great for the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. Eggshell membrane is a natural source of glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, collagen, and calcium. So, you should feed your dog raw eggs along with the shell. These days, it is incorporated in various dog supplements too.
➺ Calcium from the egg shell can make the bones, joints, and teeth stronger.
➺ Selenium from eggs is beneficial to dogs. Sometimes, cooking destroys or lowers the amount of nutrients in food.
➺ Raw eggs are a complete source of amino acids. They contain all the eight essential amino acids. Protein is essential for cell health. It helps build strong muscles.
➺ Eggs are packed with vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, selenium, and fatty acids. So, they help improve the health of the dog in several ways.
➺ One of the important facts to take into consideration is that modern dogs are decedents of wild gray wolves, and wolves eat raw food only. Naturally, the digestive system of your dog should be well-equipped to process raw eggs. Feeding the dog ‘cooked food’ can, in fact, weaken his/her digestive system.
➺ Choline provided by eggs promotes normal development of the brain and strengthens the memory of dogs.
➺ Eggs are a good source of iodine too. Iodine helps enhance the function of the thyroid gland. This prevents hormonal imbalance and related health problems.
➺ Folic acid present in eggs plays an important role during pregnancy. It promotes proper development of the fetus and reproductive organs. So, raw eggs are good for pregnant dogs too.
➺ High levels of iron and selenium help fight cancer.
➺ Protein, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, etc., help improve the quality of a dog’s skin and coat. These nutrients can keep your dog’s fur shiny. Dogs shedding excessively can be fed raw eggs occasionally, as eggs work great for hair loss.
Dog owners may not like to take a risk in case of pregnant dogs. They may prefer feeding her a high-quality dog food that is rich in protein and other essential nutrients like folate. Occasional feeding of raw eggs to an average dog should not lead to any health problems. Eggs should not be the main part of the diet though. They should be considered as a treat. As explained above, excessive consumption of eggs or consumption of raw eggs over an extended period of time can result in health problems.
Taking into consideration the size of the dog and also the size of the egg, you can start with a small quantity. If you don’t see the symptoms of a stomach upset, you can continue feeding raw eggs to your dog once or twice a week. A couple of raw eggs a week should not lead to serious side effects. Buy organic eggs and feed your dog farm-fresh whole eggs, with the yolks and shells. If you see the symptoms of a stomach upset, you can reduce the amount of eggs, and then again watch for the symptoms. If your dog cannot digest raw eggs, feed him scrambled, boiled, or fried eggs. But remember, even with cooked eggs, moderation is the key.