You've heard that raw eggs are nutritionally beneficial to humans. Bodybuilders eat them to buff up, after all. However, you don't know if they're great for your dog. Some sources say dogs can eat them, while others advise against it. What advice should you follow?
Before you try to feed your dog raw eggs, make sure you do your research, because they may not be as healthy for your pup as you think.
A brief history of raw eggs
Raw eggs come from chickens. While humans have presumably been eating eggs since ancient times, it's known that they've been drinking raw eggs as far back as the 17th century, where they were incorporated into beer and wine in England. A sick person may have been given a beer with raw egg, honey, and herbs to get better. A drink called posset was made from raw eggs, sugar, cream, spices, wine, or beer and mixed into a custard, and it was believed that it could cure a cold or flu.
Can dogs eat raw eggs?
While dogs can eat cooked eggs, they cannot eat raw eggs because they could get sick from them. It's never a good idea to feed your dog raw eggs, or any type of raw diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What are the concerns with feeding raw eggs to dogs?
There are a few concerns with feeding raw eggs to your dog:
Even if you're getting clean eggs from the grocery store or farm, there is always the chance that they could be carrying Salmonella. If your dog does get sick from Salmonella, which is a common bacteria, he may vomit, become depressed, have diarrhea with mucus or blood in it or get a fever. In severe cases, your dog could die.
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, he will need to go to the veterinarian right away so that a fecal culture can be taken. Many times, the symptoms will go away on their own, but you can never be too safe. If it's more severe, your dog may have to go on antibiotics or be hospitalized and given medications and fluids.
If dogs eat raw egg whites over an extended period of time, they may experience a biotin deficiency, since egg whites contain an enzyme that stops the body's absorption of biotin. Your dog needs biotin, a B complex vitamin that ensures their skin is healthy, they are digesting foods properly, their metabolism is functioning, and their cells are in working order.
Dogs shouldn't eat raw eggs, however, they can eat cooked eggs. In fact, cooked eggs are a wonderful source of protein, fatty and amino acids, riboflavin, and selenium. Cooked eggs may even help calm your dog's upset stomach.
You can scramble the eggs, boil them, or fry them up for your dog; just make sure that the eggs are thoroughly cooked prior to serving them. Also, don't throw in anything your dog shouldn't eat. That includes some of the classic omelette favorites like onions, avocados, and garlic, which are harmful to dogs. Feel free to add a tiny amount of cheese, such as cheddar, cottage cheese, or mozzarella, since your dog will likely devour it.
Many people like to give boiled eggs to their dogs as treats. You could always use them when training your dog. And you don't have to stress out about cholesterol from egg yolks, but if you're feeding your dog too many eggs, you may notice that he'll start to gain weight.
Cooked eggs provide your dog will all the health benefits that raw eggs do, without any of the risks. If you need more ideas for what to pair the cooked eggs with, check out our list of everything your dog can and cannot eat.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.