Because they contain plenty of digestible protein, and because they have significant amounts of riboflavin and selenium, eggs in moderation are a suitable addition to your dog's diet. They can improve coat condition. You can even give a dog the calcium-rich shells if you cook them first and crush them. Check with your veterinarian before introducing eggs to your pet's diet and before making any other changes to his nutritional intake, including supplements.
The caloric value of a hard-boiled egg depends upon its size; but most have between 70 and 90 calories. Thirty-five percent of these calories come from protein, while 62 percent of the calories come from fat. Carbohydrates make up only 3 percent of the calories in an egg. In addition to riboflavin and selenium, eggs contain relatively high amounts of phosphorus and Vitamin B12. Nevertheless, eggs are not a perfect food source -- the average large egg has 212 milligrams of cholesterol.
Cooked Eggs Are Safer
It is best to cook eggs before feeding them to your dog. While the occasional raw egg is unlikely to cause your dog nutritional problems, routinely feeding raw egg whites can lead to biotin deficiency. This often manifests in the form of skin problems and poor coat quality. Additionally, raw eggs may be a source of salmonella or E. coli bacteria, which can make your dog very sick, though the occurrence is rare.
You can cook Fido's eggs just about any way you like, but limit the amount of butter, oil or fat you use in the cooking process. The best way to prepare eggs is by hard-boiling them, eliminating the need to use additional fats to keep the eggs from sticking. Peel and cut hard-boiled eggs up if you wish, but, according to PetMD, you can give them to your dog as is, provided they have cooled sufficiently. If you are concerned that your dog may be too small to handle the egg, tap the egg around its circumference with a spoon to make a hairline crack. This way, your dog can just crunch down on the egg with his teeth.
Only in Moderation
Too much of any good thing can cause problems, and eggs are no exception. Excessive egg consumption can cause dogs to gain weight, so offer eggs in moderation. You can offer your dog an egg a day, but consult with your veterinarian before increasing the quantity you offer.
You can feed your dog eggs of any color -- brown, white, olive, green and blue eggs are all nutritionally similar. The differences in color occur because different chicken breeds produce differently colored eggs. All chicken eggs start out white and gain pigment during the 26 hours in which they pass through the birds' oviducts. Some chicken breeds even produce unusually colored whites or yolks, but these are perfectly safe for your pet.
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.
- Modern Dog: 10 “People” Foods for Dogs
- WebMD: Slideshow: Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat
- PetMD: The Incredible, Edible Egg: Nutritional or Deadly for Pets?
- Cesar's Way: Dog Nutrition: A to Z
- Self Nutrition Data: Egg, Whole, Cooked, Hard-Boiled
- Michigan State University: Why Are Chicken Eggs Different Colors?