When it comes to our favorite furry friends, it’s so easy to give in to anything they want. It’s especially true when they give you that look: tail wagging ninety-to-nothing, ears perked in excitement, puppy dog eyes beseeching for just a bite (or twelve) of your latest meal. The Buddies and Benji’s of the world know how to bend us to their food-loving will, and we love being the hero that goes along with it.
The problem is that all the cute pup dog faces and begging in the world don’t change that there are just some things not meant for doggo consumption. Even some of the things we think of as “safe” can pose some serious potential problems. But what about eggs? Read along to find out if they’re part of that list or are perfect for Sparky’s next treat.
Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
Before we get into the particulars, let’s discuss more general terms. By and large, eggs are a rather safe food for your dog. There’s nothing naturally toxic in them to cause harm. On top of that, they’re widely considered an excellent source of protein and contain a variety of fatty and amino acids like Vitamin A and lutein (something that every pup needs to stay healthy and happy!).
It makes them not only a safe snack for your buddy to chow down on, but one that’s actively good for them, supporting their eye health, metabolism, coat sheen, and generally just supplying them with the good nutrition they need day after day.
Raw Eggs vs. Cooked Eggs
So, your beloved doggo can eat eggs, but what kind should you feed them? There’s been significant debate over the years, especially as raw food diets have become something of a health craze, for us and our dogs alike. Some are proponents of feeding them raw eggs, arguing that the cooking process strips them of their vital nutrients and insisting that it’s the more “natural” choice. However, these arguments stem more from personal beliefs than hard and fast facts.
While it may be true that cooking does decrease the nutritional content found in eggs, and the adorable fluffy puppies of today are descended from the hearty, wild wolf, neither of these validate feeding them raw eggs. Domesticated dogs have evolved for thousands of years, and, contrary to popular belief, it’s caused their food needs to change as well.
Unlike wolves, there’s now a mind-boggling variety of breeds, and all with sometimes exceptionally different genetics, body types, nutritional needs, and more. Some dogs simply can’t handle eating raw foods, whether because of food sensitivities, digestive system differences, or other unique chemistry. And even the ones that maybe could are not immune from Salmonella or similarly connected conditions. It’s simply better not to take the chance.
This is especially true since it’s not necessary in the first place. Eggs are not meant to be a cornerstone in your dog’s diet. They’re not nutritionally balanced enough for it – rather, they’re meant to be a treat or a handy supplement to your dog’s. Thus, losing a small percentage of nutrients is no big deal big. Scramble them up one or two now and again, and you won’t even tell the difference.
Health Concerns to Consider
Eggs can be an excellent part of a dog’s healthy diet, but that doesn’t mean there are some things to consider before adding it in on the regular. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns is that eggs are about 70 calories each – a pretty big chunk for small dogs, or even big dogs if you’re a sucker for their begging, indulging them with too many. The result? Weight gain, which can spur a whole lot of other health problems that you’d rather just avoid if possible.
You’ve also got to worry about accidentally feeding your dog bad stuff along with their healthy, tasty treat. As humans, we’re so accustomed to adding onion, garlic, salt, and pepper to our eggs, that it becomes second nature. These can all cause issues in dogs, though, potentially causing anything from mild gastrointestinal upset to serious anemia issues. As a rule, avoid giving Rover anything off your plate and make some fresh. Just lay off the seasonings!
How Often Can Dogs Eat Them?
As with any other good thing in life, moderation is key. Even though eggs are a safe snack, it’s still essential to reign yourself in from giving them out willy nilly. Most dogs can eat a couple of bites every day, but our suggestion is mainly to treat them as you would, well, any other treat!
Only allow them to comprise about 10% of your dog’s diet, to avoid any excess calories, or give them once, maybe twice a week. Of course, keep an eye on how they handle the food. If they get an upset stomach or the treat seems to otherwise not sit with them well, reduce this number down even further.
Now that you know eggs aren’t a hindrance to your puppies’ and pooches’ health, you can start introducing it into their diets. You can do many ways, including just scrambling or boiling up one or two without any additional oils, butter, spices, or garnishes. You can also get a little creative with it if you’d like! One of our favorite ways to jazz them up is by making them into little doggie-safe brunch treats. Curious about trying it yourself? Here’s an easy way to make them:
- Chopped ham or similar meat
- 2 tbs. of your choice of cheese
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup of milk
- Preheat your oven to around 350 degrees.
- Mix your eggs, chopped ham, and milk in a bowl until everything is well combined and divide it evenly into non-stick muffin tins.
- Bake them for about 20 minutes or until they’re a nice golden color
Voila! You’ve got some easy treats that your best friend (and maybe even you!) will love. Feed them one for a snack, and you’ll see the adoration in their eyes for the rest of the day.