Eating chicken eggs (or the eggs of other poultry) including the white, yolk, and shell can add many key nutrients to your dog's diet at a very low cost.
Not Just Chicken Eggs
Bird eggs are a common food that contains protein, fat, and important minerals.1 The entire egg is edible, although the shell is generally discarded. Are eggs good for dogs? Absolutely, they are. You can use eggs for dogs as a protein source in a cancer-friendly diet.
Chicken eggs are easy to find at any grocery store, and eggs from other poultry sources such as duck and quail can also be fed to dogs. These are more difficult to find and are often available only at specialty stores.
Are Eggs Good for Dogs?
Eggs are a healthy and nutritious food that is appropriate for most dogs. Eggs are safe to give to dogs with cancer, as they are a good protein and fatty acid source and highly digestible. Let’s look at how eggs are good for dogs.
Some of the nutrients eggs contain include:1
- Fatty acids
- Vitamins and minerals
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamins B1, B6, B12
- Folic acid
Eggshells themselves also have a high nutritional value and contain:1
Egg whites are considered a complete protein as they contain all of the essential amino acids.1
In people, eggs have been suggested to promote eye health3 and sharpen the mind.6
When Not to Feed Eggs to Dogs
Raw eggs for dogs are not a good idea, as they may contain the bacteria Salmonella which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.7 Generally, dogs tolerate bacteria better than humans, but there is still risk from feeding raw eggs. This is especially important for dogs with cancer or a suppressed immune system.4
Dogs can be allergic to eggs. Clinical signs of an egg allergy include gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and diarrhea as well as allergic skin issues.
There are no known drug interactions between eggs and medications that your dog may be taking.
How to Prepare Eggs for Dogs
There are many ways you can prepare eggs for your dog.
Hard-boiled or scrambled are both safe ways to prepare eggs fully cooked.
For hardboiled eggs, you can either feed the egg whole or break and remove the shell.
One large chicken egg has 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat, so be sure you are not overfeeding your dog.2 Per day, a small dog can eat one quarter to half an egg, and a large dog can eat a whole egg.
The shells can also be ground in a food processor and fed to your dog. However, since they are a rich source of calcium, be sure you are not exceeding the safe maximum amount of calcium nor the calcium:phosphorus ratio. Check with a nutritionist for proper amounts if you want to feed your dog eggshells more than once or twice a month.
Choosing Eggs for Dogs
Truly free-range, pasture raised hens produce eggs with a moderately better nutrient profile, but commercial eggs are safe too.8
Frozen or freeze-dried products do not reduce the risk of bacterial poisoning, so still be sure to cook these items.4
- Réhault-Godbert S, Guyot N, Nys Y. The golden egg: Nutritional value, bioactivities, and emerging benefits for human health. Nutrients. 2019;11(3):684. doi:10.3390/nu11030684
- Egg nutrition facts. American Egg Board. https://www.incredibleegg.org/nutrition/egg-nutrition-facts. Published August 3, 2020. Accessed April 21, 2023.
- Gunnars K. Proven health benefits of eating eggs. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/proven-health-benefits-of-eggs#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4. Published December 20, 2022. Accessed April 21, 2023.
- Freeman LM, Linder DE, Heinze CR. Feeding pets with cancer. Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School. https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/08/cancer_diet/#:~:text=It%20is%20very%20important%20to,and%20other%20potentially%20dangerous%20bacteria. Published August 16, 2017. Accessed January 8, 2023.
- Egg. Uses, Interactions, Mechanism of Action | DrugBank Online. https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB10529. Published December 1, 2015. Accessed January 8, 2023.
- Lee GJ, Oda K, Morton KR, Orlich M, Sabate J. Egg intake moderates the rate of memory decline in healthy older adults. Journal of Nutritional Science. 2021;10. doi:10.1017/jns.2021.76
- Salmonella and eggs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/salmonella-and-eggs.html#:~:text=Chickens%20and%20other%20live%20poultry,eggs%20properly%20to%20prevent%20illness. Published March 8, 2023. Accessed April 21, 2023.
- English MM. The chemical composition of free-range and conventionally-farmed eggs available to Canadians in rural Nova Scotia. PeerJ. 2021;9. doi:10.7717/peerj.11357
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