It's no secret that eggs are a powerful, high-protein food. Since doctors agree that eggs can be beneficial for humans, it's natural that you'd want your dog to be able to share in this healthy food. Plus, being able to whip up breakfast for yourself while also treating your dog to some egg yolk would be so convenient! But before you start feeding egg yolk to your dog, be sure you're familiar with how to do it safely.
Is Egg Yolk Good for Dogs?
Eggs can be a great food for dogs as long as you feed them correctly. According to the American Kennel Club, eggs don't just contain large amounts of protein, but they're also rich in essential amino acids and fatty acids. The protein that eggs add to your dog's diet can help to build muscle and even strengthen her hair for a healthier coat. Plus, the fatty acids contribute to the health of her skin and joint tissues.
As for egg yolk? It's now regarded as the most nutritious part of the egg, states Medical News Today. But keep in mind that the actual nutrition offered by a yolk varies from egg to egg and is affected by how the egg was raised and processed. Don't forget, too, that cooking an egg in oil can double or even triple its cholesterol content.
As a rule, though, egg yolks are high in vitamins and also contain minerals that are important to your dog's health, including about 22 milligrams of calcium, 19 milligrams of potassium, and 0.46 milligram of iron.
Feeding egg yolks to dogs
It's usually safe to feed your dog egg yolks as a supplement to his diet. Some dog owners create their own diets for their dogs and incorporate egg yolks. Still, it's a good idea to talk to your vet before making any changes in your dog's diet.
Although your dog can eat and process egg yolks, there are a few different ways of feeding eggs to him. For example, you can hard-boil them and then offer him a cooked yolk with his regular food or as a special treat. Alternatively, you can scramble an egg in a dry skillet without salt or other seasonings and then feed it to him. Just be sure it's thoroughly cooled before offering it to your pup.
According to PetMD, egg shells contain valuable calcium, so you could hard-boil an egg and feed it to your dog, shell and all. Depending on your dog's size and ability to chew a full egg, you may want to break the shell so it's easier for him to bite into.
In most cases, dogs do just fine with eggs as a part of their diet, although adding eggs to your dog's diet can increase her caloric intake. Banfield Pet Hospital explains that this addition to your dog's food can mean that she's getting less of something else, which could mean she's missing out on valuable nutrients. This can be a particular problem for small-breed dogs, who naturally eat less than larger breeds.
You should also consider the fact that most pet foods available today offer a nutritionally balanced diet that's been carefully formulated for your pet. Regularly feeding eggs to your dog could create a nutritional imbalance. Check with your vet to make sure that eggs are a positive addition to her diet.
If you choose to feed your dog eggs, you should be aware of a few safety tips. Dogs Naturally Magazine suggests that you only feed your dog eggs from organic, free-range chickens and keep the eggs cool to help hold bacteria to a minimum. Because it's possible that raw eggs may be contaminated with salmonella, the American Kennel Club encourages you to cook eggs before feeding them to your dog to further reduce the risk of infection.
Eggs may be great for your dog, but too many can potentially interfere with his internal systems. Raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin. If your dog ingests too much of this protein, it can interfere with the biotin in his body. Biotin is involved with functions such as fat metabolism and cell growth. To keep your dog healthy, PetMD recommends playing it safe by cooking any eggs you give him and feeding him no more than one per day.