, May 24, 2024

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Of Dogs and Eggs

  •   4 min reads
Of Dogs and Eggs
Shakti, a senior dog, enjoys a mix of eggs, lettuce, grated carrots and ground meat. Feeding your dog a whole cooked egg or just the yolk can be beneficial, except if your pet suffers from certain health issues such as acute pancreatitis or diabetes.
By Niko Gabriel Salgado

For many dog owners, sharing food with their furry companions is a common practice. Most pet owners would try to find additions to their pet’s diet in terms of taste or nutritional value.

Eggs are staple ingredients in many households. Though frequently met with questions regarding its safety and benefits for dogs, eggs can be a healthy addition to their diet.

“Eggs are good for dogs as they provide an excellent source of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and protein,” said Dr. Hector Joy in “Can Dogs Eat Eggs?” published in the Pet MD website.

“Essentially the entire egg, including the eggshell, can be nutritious for dogs,” added Dr. Joy.

The Nutritional Benefits of Eggs for Dogs

Eggs are high in nutritional value, which extends to canine diets as well. They are a great source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids required by dogs for optimal health. The high protein content helps support muscle development and repair, making eggs an excellent dietary addition especially for active dogs.

According to Dr. Joy, beyond protein, eggs are rich in the following nutrients that are beneficial for dogs:

– Vitamins: Eggs contain several vitamins such as Vitamin A, B12, and riboflavin, all of which play crucial roles in maintaining healthy skin, proper nerve function, and good vision.

– Minerals: They are a good source of iron, selenium, and fatty acids, which contribute to a healthy coat, improved cognition, and overall cell function.

– Choline: This essential nutrient aids in brain development and liver function, and is particularly abundant in eggs.

Gold, a rescue of Save Animals of Love and Light-Save ALL, loves eggs as treats. Eggs provide nutrition for humans and dogs alike and can serve as delicious snacks or a satisfying breakfast, prepared in various ways such as hard-boiled, poached, scrambled, or sunny-side up.

Potential Risks of Feeding Eggs to Dogs

While eggs are generally safe for dogs, there are a few risks that should be considered:

– Salmonella: Raw eggs may carry salmonella bacteria, which can lead to food poisoning in both dogs and humans. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy.

– Biotin Deficiency: Egg whites contain avidin, a substance that interferes with the absorption of biotin (vitamin B7). While it is rare, excessive consumption of raw egg whites could potentially lead to a biotin deficiency, which manifests in skin and coat issues in dogs.

– Allergic Reactions: Some dogs might be allergic to eggs. If you notice symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as itching, swelling, or gastrointestinal upset, it is best to remove eggs from their diet and consult a veterinarian.

How to Safely Include Eggs in Your Dog’s Diet

Considering the potential risks and benefits, eggs can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet if introduced properly:

1. Cooking is Crucial: Always cook eggs before feeding them to your dog. Cooking not only destroys the avidin that could cause biotin deficiency but also kills any harmful bacteria. Scrambled or boiled eggs are simple, safe options.

2. Start Small: When introducing eggs to your dog’s diet, start with small amounts to monitor how they react, particularly if they have a sensitive stomach or are prone to allergies.

3. Moderation is Key: As with any treat or dietary supplement, eggs should not constitute a large portion of your dog’s diet. They are best used as an occasional treat or a supplement to their regular food.

4. Consult Your Veterinarian: Before adding eggs to your dog’s diet, especially if your dog has specific health issues or dietary needs, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian.

Can dogs eat eggshells?

Eggshells can be a source of calcium, which is vital for bone health. However, they should be ground into a fine powder to avoid choking hazards and digestive issues. Again, consult with your vet before introducing eggshells to your dog’s diet.

How often can dogs eat eggs?

This largely depends on the dog’s size, activity level, and overall diet. Generally, a couple of eggs per week should suffice for an average-sized dog.

Can puppies eat eggs?

Yes, puppies can eat cooked eggs, and they provide a nutritious boost for growing dogs. However, portion control is crucial to avoid any digestive upset.

Eggs can be a healthy and tasty addition to your dog’s diet when fed correctly. They offer high-quality protein and other beneficial nutrients, which can contribute to your dog’s overall health when included in moderation. Cooking eggs thoroughly and starting with small portions will help minimize potential health risks, making them a safe treat for most dogs. As always, when in doubt, consult your veterinarian to ensure that you’re providing meals that are tailored to your dog’s specific health needs and dietary requirements. This approach will keep your canine companion happy, healthy, and eager for their next meal.

About the Author: Niko Gabriel Salgado is a graduate of consular and diplomatic affairs from De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, and worked at the House of Representatives. He is now an entrepreneur and a volunteer of the animal welfare group Save Animals of Love and Light- Save ALL.

This article also appears in the Manila Standard

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