Eggs for Dogs

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.

Key Takeaways

  • It is OK for dogs to eat eggs every day.
  • Large dogs can have a whole egg a day, while small dogs should have a quarter of an egg a day.
  • Dogs can have cooked eggs – in fact, they are safer.
  • You should cook eggs for your dog by scrambling or hard-boiling them.
  • It is not recommended to put raw egg in dog food because of the risk of bacterial contamination.

Bird Eggs as Protein Sources

Are eggs good for dogs? They are. You can also use eggs as a protein source in a cancer-friendly diet.

Bird eggs contain protein, fat, and important minerals.1 The shell is generally discarded, but you don’t have to throw it out … because dogs can eat eggshells and may even enjoy that crunch.

Chicken eggs are easy to find at any grocery store, and eggs from other poultry sources, such as duck and quail, can also be used. These are more difficult to find and are often available only at specialty stores.

Note: if your dog is allergic to poultry meat, they may also be sensitive to their eggs.

An Incredibly Healthy Food

Eggs are a healthy and nutritious food. They are a good protein and fatty acid source and highly digestible.

Some of the nutrients eggs contain include:1

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamins B1, B6, B12
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folic acid
  • Choline

Eggshells themselves also have a high nutritional value and contain:1

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Iodine

Egg whites are a complete protein as they contain all essential amino acids.1

In people, eggs have been suggested to promote eye health3 and sharpen the mind.6

When Not to Feed Eggs

Raw eggs are not a good idea, as they may contain the Salmonella bacteria, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.7 Generally, dogs tolerate bacteria better than humans, but there is still a risk. This is especially important for cancer patients or those with a suppressed immune system.4

If your dog is allergic to the bird, they are likely allergic to its eggs. Clinical signs of an egg allergy include gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea, and 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.

  • Dogs enjoy scrambled eggs.
  • Hard-boiled eggs are also good: feed your dog the whole egg or remove the shell before feeding.

One large chicken egg has 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat, so be sure you are not overfeeding.2

A small dog can eat one-quarter to half an egg per day, and a large dog can eat a whole egg.

Use Egg Shells for Minerals

For occasional mineral supplementation, eggshells can be ground in a food processor and mixed into other food.

However, since they are a rich source of calcium, be sure you are not exceeding the safe maximum amount of calcium or the calcium:phosphorus ratio.

Check with a nutritionist for proper amounts if you want to feed eggshells more than once or twice a month.

Choosing Eggs for Dogs

In general, the healthier the environment a hen enjoys, the higher quality eggs she lays. Truly free-range, pasture-raised hens produce eggs with a moderately better nutrient profile … but commercial eggs are healthy and safe, too.8

Frozen or freeze-dried products do not reduce the risk of bacterial poisoning, so still cook these items.4

  1. 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
  2. Egg nutrition facts. American Egg Board. Published August 3, 2020. Accessed April 21, 2023.
  3. Gunnars K. Proven health benefits of eating eggs. Healthline. Published December 20, 2022. Accessed April 21, 2023.
  4. Freeman LM, Linder DE, Heinze CR. Feeding pets with cancer. Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School.,and%20other%20potentially%20dangerous%20bacteria. Published August 16, 2017. Accessed January 8, 2023.
  5. Egg. Uses, Interactions, Mechanism of Action | DrugBank Online. Published December 1, 2015. Accessed January 8, 2023.
  6. 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
  7. Salmonella and eggs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.,eggs%20properly%20to%20prevent%20illness. Published March 8, 2023. Accessed April 21, 2023.
  8. 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



Did You Find This Helpful? Share It with Your Pack!

Use the buttons to share what you learned on social media, download a PDF, print this out, or email it to your veterinarian.


Editor's Picks