Did Your Dog Just Wolf Down An Entire Raw Egg And Now You’re In A Panic? Don’t Worry! Reasons Why It’s Good To Feed Your Dog Eggs And Eggshell
Sometimes other dog parents ask me if dogs can eat eggs and eggshells. Not only are they safe for dogs, eggs and eggshells are an excellent source of many essential nutrients for dogs. Find out why they’re so good, and how you can add them to your dog’s diet.
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BENEFITS OF EGGS FOR DOGS
Eggs are little bombs of multi-vitamins, so much so that they represent one of the most nutritious meals you could give your dog. I feed my dogs a complete raw food mince diet, but I still throw in a raw egg a couple of times a week.
Dogs can eat the egg yolk, egg whites and the eggshell. Whole eggs are rich in:
DON’T FEED ONLY RAW EGG WHITES
Some people believe that you should only give your dog the egg white, but you’d be missing all the nutritional goodness of the yolk as well. The yolk is rich in biotin, which is important for supporting healthy skin, nerves, the digestive tract, metabolism, and cells.
CAN DOGS EAT EGGSHELLS?
Yes, dogs can eat eggshells, and they can be very good for them.
Before you chuck the empty eggshell in the bin, consider what the humble eggshell has to offer for a moment. Eggshell is high in calcium, and calcium is necessary for many functions. Bodies don’t produce calcium, but here’s why we need it:
We get our calcium from what we eat. Dogs get calcium from their diet too: balanced dog food includes it. Ready prepared raw minces have at least 10% bone content which provides it.
ARE EGGSHELLS GOOD FOR DOGS?
Egg shells are especially good for dogs that have a calcium deficiency, or that are on a raw diet but can’t eat bones for whatever reason. In the latter case, you need to make sure you’ve got enough phosphorus content in the rest of the food – more on that later.
HOW TO FEED EGGSHELLS TO DOGS
I either throw the eggshells in the bowl along with the egg (raw), or I dry the shells and grind them to add them later to my dog treat recipes – see below for recipes.
My dogs are happy to eat the whole egg, shell and all. However, not all dogs will eat a big chunk of eggshell, so you could try crushing it up. If your pup still manages to spit it out, drying the shells then grinding them will resolve the problem. Just add the ground eggshell powder and mix it in to the food well.
As with many things in life, too much of a good thing is in fact, not a good thing. If your dog is already getting a complete dog food, the calcium requirement is already included in that, so there’s no need to ‘top up’ the calcium specifically – unless your dog has a calcium deficiency of course.
However, giving your dog a raw egg, including the shell, a couple of times a week is certainly not going to upset the nutritional balance provided by a complete diet food.
What’s more, kibble diets benefit from additional fresh food being added to them, eggs included.
HOW MUCH EGGSHELL TO GIVE A DOG?
The simplest way to give eggshell is to feed an entire raw egg in your dog’s bowl of food a couple of times a week.
If you’d rather feed the eggshell in powdered form, you’ll need to prepare it first – see the instructions at the end of this article. A general rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon of powdered eggshell calcium per pound / 450gr of boneless meat and organs (if feeding a raw diet).
Here’s another option for adding eggshell to your dog’s food: although my dogs are fed raw, they do get cooked treats. I strive to make my dog treats as healthy and nutritious as possible, and I often include eggshell. Here are some dog cake and dog treat recipes that include eggshell:
ADDING EGGS AND EGG SHELLS TO RAW FOOD FOR DOGS
Eggs and eggshells offer many benefits for a dog, but eggshells alone cannot appropriately replace raw bones in a raw food dog’s diet. Bones provide high levels of calcium and phosphorus, whilst eggshells only offer a high level of calcium, not phosphorus. Egg yolks on the other hand, have a good quantity of phosphorus.
If you plan to add eggshells regularly, be sure to provide the phosphorus requirement in other forms to maintain a 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Giving the whole egg, including the shell, is a good way to start. A large egg contains approximately 30mg calcium and 100mg phosphorus, not to mention all the other nutrients that go together to make eggs an almost complete food source.
Depending on the size of the egg of course, an eggshell contains around 400mg calcium – this equates to around 1/2 teaspoon of ground eggshell powder.
I’ve seen many websites suggest using eggshell calcium instead of bonemeal, but I don’t recommend it. Bone meal, like bones, contains high levels of phosphorus of course, and we already know that eggshells don’t.
HOW TO GRIND AND STORE EGGSHELLS (MAKE EGGSHELL CALCIUM)
When I use eggs in my own cooking, I save the egg shells. I rinse them out then store them in a container in the fridge until I’m next using my oven. Waaaiit! What does the oven have to do with the fridge I hear you ask…
Storing the shells in the fridge keeps them fresh, so if you don’t plan to bake them for a few days, store them in the freezer instead of the fridge. I don’t grind them from fresh. I dry them out and give them a little heat blast to kill off any nasties before grinding and storing for later use.
So, whenever I happen to be baking something in the oven, (I prepare dehydrated liver treats for my dogs every week) I take advantage of having the oven on to heat blast the eggshells at the same time. I pop them on a baking tray and put them in the oven for 20 minutes on 75degC / 167deg F.
Once they’re cool, I blitz them up in my fantastic little coffee grinder. It’s incredible what you can grind in a coffee grinder: oatmeal, dried cranberries, nuts… I use it for anything but coffee it seems. It’s an indispensable tool for any dog treat maker.
A word of warning, DO NOT OPEN your grinder as soon as you’ve finished grinding. You’ll be greeted with a blast of very fine eggshell cloud. Let it settle for a few minutes, then open it up.
If your dog manages to get hold of a whole egg and eat it, there is nothing to worry about. Many dogs eat the eggshell too and both the egg and the eggshell offer excellent nutrients to dogs.
Indeed, it is a good idea to add raw eggs – and the eggshell – to your dog’s bowl a couple of times a week.
A note about eggshells: I buy free range and organic farm eggs. Many commercial egg producers use chemicals that end up in the eggs and eggshells. I’d rather not have that stuff in me, or in my fur-babies.