Eggs are the staple of a classic Australian brunch menu but dog owners are sometimes cautious about feeding them to their four legged friends. Well the good news is they are fine to feed to your dogs, lots of dogs love the taste of eggs and, they’re full of nutritional value particularly when served raw.
What are the nutritional benefits of eggs?
Eggs are full of protein, and a reasonably cost-efficient source of it at that. Plus they’ve all the amino acids required by dogs for good health and are high in iron, selenium and Vitamins A, B2 and B12. However, some nutritional value, particularly amino acids, are destroyed by cooking so for maximum health benefits always feed eggs raw.
Why do some choose not to feed eggs?
There are two main reasons some dog owners avoid raw eggs but in both cases the risk is very, very low. Some believe there is a risk of salmonella, however the chance is less than 1 in 20,000 and can be further reduced by using organic eggs from free range hens, and storing in a cool, dry, place.
Some feeders also point out that egg whites contain a biotin or vitamin B7 inhibitor called avitin. In reality you’d need to feed dogs many eggs per day to cause a biotin deficiency and you can also counteract any effect by feeding the egg shells too, which are rich in biotin as well as calcium.
Tips for feeding raw eggs to dogs
- Feed eggs raw rather than cooked – cooking destroys a lot of the nutrition that’s in eggs, and while a raw egg may sound unpalatable to you, dogs love them.
- Consider whether to feed the shell or not: egg shells are full of calcium and biotin so are a great source of nutrients for dogs and can counteract the small biotin inhibition caused by the egg whites. However, some feeders are very cautious of salmonella, and in the very, very unlikely chance the egg may be infected with salmonella the vast majority will be in the shell so you may want to dispose of it. Note if you do discard the cell you’d have to feed quite a few eggs every single day to actually cause a biotin deficiency.
- Remember never feed chocolate eggs to dogs, even at Easter. Chocolate, like many other foods, is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health issues.
- 1 to 2 raw eggs per day is plenty and there’s lots of benefit in still feeding 1 or 2 per week
Here’s a short video we filmed with Eggs Australia (who prefer their eggs cooked) but remember, raw has more nutritional value.
Dr Bruce Syme BVSc (Hons), Founder of Vets All Natural.
Dr Bruce Syme is a practicing vet and expert in natural pet nutrition, has spoken at the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, and provides regular comment on TV and Radio.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this article are based upon the opinions of Dr. Bruce Syme, unless otherwise noted. The information is not intended as medical advice, it simply shares the knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Bruce and his community. Pet health care decisions should be based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified pet health care professional.
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