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, 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, shells, and all, raw eggs are not the most practical way to feed your dog from a bird's nest or chicken coup. 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 is the most foolproof and straightforward method for feeding eggs to your pet.
Making hard-boiled eggs is easy; 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 are 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.
A hard-boiled egg is to cut eggs into sizes that best fit your pup's needs to serve your dog. 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 dog's 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. Like 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 refuses to eat.
Good source of calcium, selenium, and riboflavin. Eggs promote strong, healthy bones because they 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 and 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, you will want to crush the eggshells using some 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 shells 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;
- Dogs 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 rare, but you should feed them to your dog after being thoroughly cooked and in moderation.
Common Questions about Can Dogs Eat Hard-Boiled Eggs
The above information lets you know that yes, dogs eat eggs, and it is safe, but you may still have some questions about feeding hard-boiled eggs or other eggs to your dog.
Are Eggs Good for Dogs?
Yes! Eggs are good for dogs to eat thanks to being a rich source of protein. They also contain vitamin A and other fat-soluble vitamins and linoleic acid.
Can Dogs Eat Scrambled Eggs?
Yes, just like dogs can eat hard-boiled eggs, they can also enjoy scrambled ones. The key is to keep the ingredients simple. Don’t add salt or pepper as you would to your own eggs. You should also avoid using butter or oil.
Follow the same rules when cooking eggs in any way for your pooch. Your pup can eat the egg yolks as well as the whites but shouldn't have non-dog-friendly foods in them.
Can I Feed My Dog Eggs Every Day?
Yes, you can give eggs to your dog every day but with a few important caveats. The AKC suggests sticking to one egg per day at the most. They also suggest sticking to organic eggs, as this will mean they don’t contain chemicals that could be bad for your pooch. Finally, think of eggs as treats and make sure they don’t make up more than 10% of your pup’s daily diet.
Are Raw Eggs Good for Dogs?
Their wild ancestors ate raw eggs, but you shouldn’t feed your dog them. They can contain salmonella, which is dangerous for canines.
Are Egg Shells Good for Dogs?
Yes, but with caveats. Eggshells provide protein and calcium, but you cannot feed them to your dog without grinding them up. You don’t want to feed your dog whole (or mostly whole) eggshells because of the sharp edges. Instead, dog owners should grind them up into tiny pieces and mix the shells in something else, like wet food or a treat.
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