With a long list of human foods that we should never give our dogs, such as almonds, grapes, and chocolate, eggs are actually great for our pets. In fact, dogs have had eggs as part of their diet for a very long time. So the answer is YES – dogs can eat hard boiled eggs, and most dogs will love the taste, too. Moreover, when serving your pooch eggs, boiling them until hard is the safest and easiest option.
History shows that canines would even take eggs straight from the bird’s nests or chicken coops, even if at present time most dogs do not have the same access to eggs as they have in the past. But while eggs are safe for dogs to eat, owners should know how to prepare eggs for their pups, the benefits of feeding a dog eggs, as well as any potential side effects or dangers.
RECIPE: Homemade Dog Food with Eggs
How to Prepare Eggs for Your Dog
Even though dogs would eat raw eggs, shell and all, from a bird’s nest or chicken coup, raw eggs are not the most practical way to feed your dog. Feeding your dog a raw egg could be messy and potentially spread unwanted germs and bacteria, among other reasons mentioned below. Preparing the egg by hard boiling it is the most fool proof and straightforward method for feeding eggs to your pet.
Making hard boiled eggs is easy, simply follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Place the eggs in a pot.
- Cover the eggs with approximately one (1) inch of cold water.
- Bring the water to a boil on medium-high heat.
- Once the water has reached a boil, cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
- Allow the eggs to sit in the water for eight to ten (8-10) minutes.
- Drain the water and cool the eggs in an ice bath.
- Peel and discard the shell, or crush it and serve it with eggs.
The reason that hard boiling eggs for your dog is the suggested cooking method, instead of preparing them other ways (scrambled, over easy, over hard, etc.), is that it is the easiest and cleanest preparation method, and there is no need to add any extra fats, spices or other ingredients. We tend to add extra stuff when we cook them by using non-stick sprays, butter, oil, margarine, or salt depending on the cooking method of the egg.
In order to serve your dog a hard boiled egg is to cut the eggs into sizes that best fits your pup's needs. If you have a larger dog, you can cut the eggs into hearty chunks or if you have a small dog you can dice them into little pieces. When feeding your dog eggs, you can give the pieces to them plain, or put them in your dogs kibble as an extra source of protein.
Of course, if you do not want to feed your dog hard boiled eggs, but want them to receive the benefits listed below, you can poach or scramble the eggs, but remember not to add any additional ingredients.
The Benefits of Hard Boiled Eggs for Dogs
Eggs are packed with nutrients. And just like for humans, there are many benefits that your dog can receive if they eat eggs. Eggs help your dog in the following four ways:
It promotes muscle development and helps repair damaged tissues. Eggs contain a high amount of quality protein that can help your dog build muscle and repair any damaged tissues.
Settles uneasy stomachs. Eggs can help settle upset stomachs so a hard boiled egg can be a meal replacement or substitute if your dog has been ill or is refusing to eat.
Good source of calcium, selenium, and riboflavin. Eggs promote strong, healthy bones because the contain the calcium that dogs need. They also contain other vitamins and minerals that are essential to the overall health of your dog.
Excellent source of fatty acids and essential amino acids. Eggs are an excellent source of many essential amino acids and fatty acids. By providing your dog with fatty acids and essential amino acids you will help strengthen their hair as well as improve the quality and look of their coat.
If you want to use eggs as an occasional meal replacement or if your dog is sick, it is recommended to ask your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist how many eggs it would take to be a proper meal substitution. Your vet or nutritionist will be able to give you the best answer by considering your dog’s breed, weight, health and the reason for meal substitution. Even though eggs are pretty safe for most dogs, overfeeding your dog can result in obesity and other health problems.
Shell Or No Shell?
As previously mentioned, dogs would eat the eggs directly from the nests raw, shell included. Studies have shown that eggshells contain an excellent source of protein and calcium, which are great for developing strong bones and teeth in canines.
Once the egg has been properly hard boiled and cooled, you can serve the shell to your dog by simply crushing it into smaller pieces after it has been peeled from the egg. Once the shell is removed, then you will want to crush the eggshells using some sort of food processor, grinder, or even put it in a plastic baggy use the bottom of a pan.
However you choose to decrease the size of the shell, make sure it crushes into fine pieces. Then, sprinkle the shells over your pup's regular food source for extra nutrition. You do not have to feed all of the shell to your dog at one time. Depending on the size of your dog you may want to spread out the amount of shell that they eat. You can always refrigerate the eggshells for later use.
Potential Side Effects of Eggs for Dogs
Eggs, when fed to dogs in moderation, are generally safe, but there are a few side effects associated with feeding your dog eggs when it's not done properly:
- They are at risk of salmonella poisoning if they eat the eggs raw;
- They are at risk of biotin deficiency if they are fed only the egg whites for an extended period of time;
- They are at risk of obesity if they are fed too many eggs in addition to their regular food (eggs range between 50 and 100 calories per egg).
Side effects from feeding eggs to dogs are very rare, but they should be fed to your dog after being thoroughly cooked and in moderation.