When it comes to a dog's diet, it's important to introduce vital nutrients and vitamins whenever you can. While dog food has evolved into something more than just the dry and smelly kibble of yesteryear, it's always a good idea to introduce raw components into a dog's diet.
With that being said, some raw foods get a bad reputation.
There's a lot of debate and misconceptions over the safety of feeding raw eggs to a dog.
Because eggs have lead to a slew of health concerns for us humans, many dog owners automatically feel that raw eggs are unfit for dog consumption. Other owners swear up and down that raw eggs are great for a dog's overall health and well-being. So, which side is right?
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Raw Eggs?
In short, dog's can absolutely benefit from eating raw eggs. In most cases, the food is completely safe for them to eat. Dogs have a very different body composition compared to humans. They're not prone to same issues that we are.
If a human eats a raw egg, they are putting themselves at risk for a number of nasty diseases as well as an increase in cholesterol. Dogs don't have to worry about these issues.
Eggs are a great food source. They contain all of the essential nutrients and vitamins to grow life. By eating an egg, your dog will take in those beneficial nutrients and use them to better their overall health.
It's a healthy treat in moderation, but it should never be used as a diet mainstay. A few eggs a week will actually help the dog in numerous ways.
Source of Protein
One of the best reasons to treat your dog to raw eggs is the protein and amino acids they provide. Dogs need protein to thrive. It's why they prefer raw meat over vegetables. It gives them energy to function and helps build muscles.
Eggs are a great source of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Not only that, but eggs are low in calories.
By feeding them eggs a few times a week, you are giving them crucial proteins that they need to thrive without adding any unnecessary calories to their diet. While raw meat is also a great source of protein, it often leads to excessive weight gain because dogs can't always expend more calories than they eat.
Eggs introduce proteins and amino acids without the added pounds.
There's a reason that we eat eggs on a regular basis. They contain a range of essential nutrients and vitamins in a compact and affordable bundle.
Introducing these nutrients and vitamins to your dog's system will be great for them in the long run. Dogs can eat the entire egg raw, shell and all.
While some owners choose to cook the egg first, the heating process loses nutrients. It'll still contain some great things, but not as much as a raw egg.
For dogs, raw eggs are a tasty complete food source. They contain the following:
- Amino acids
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
- Fatty acids
All of these nutrients are great for a dog's health system. Not only will you see a jump in energy and liveliness in your dog, but you'll likely to see positive changes during your next vet visit.
Nutrients like iron and selenium work to fight off cancer in the dog and are also a great source of iodine, which contributes to thyroid health. The calcium in the shells will help strengthen bones and teeth. The various vitamins and unaltered proteins will lead to a healthy coat of fur that shimmers.
Are There Any Downsides?
For a healthy dog, eating raw eggs doesn't usually have any negative side effects. However, young puppies and elderly dogs may experience issues with their digestive tract.
Egg whites contain an enzyme inhibitor, which could possibly affect the way their digestive system handles food. In fact, this is a common reason why some dog owners stay away from raw eggs.
While it is true, owners will only see negative effects if raw eggs are a central part of the dog's diet. This should never be the case. Raw eggs should be seen as a treat or supplement to a dog's main meal.
It's important to monitor a dog when feeding them eggs for the first time to see if they have digestive issues. In most cases, the dog will be just fine, allowing you to continue incorporating them as a regular part of their diet.
Even with all of the positive benefits that a dog could experience, there are still many people that don't think eggs are a good idea. This is often due to a few common misconceptions. It's important to remember that dogs are biologically different from humans in many ways.
Many misconceptions stem from preconceived ideas of what's good for the human body and what's not. Truth is, dogs can handle a lot more than we can. Here are a couple of common misconceptions about raw egg consumption for dogs.
Salmonella and E. Coli Risk
One of the biggest causes of controversy with raw egg consumption is that you're exposing your dog to bacterial infections like Salmonella and E. Coli. This is because of many high-profile cases of humans contracting the diseases from contaminated raw eggs.
While this may be a healthy concern for humans, it's nothing to worry about with dogs.
Dogs have a relatively short digestive tract compared to humans. This means that the food they consume gets processed much quicker. Not only that, but dogs have a very acidic stomach. Dogs consume a variety of tough foods, including animal bones. They need strong stomach acid to break these foods down.
A short digestive tract and acidic stomach create the perfect combination to avoid bacterial infection. Bacteria doesn't have the time to grow and multiply like it would in a human's digestive tract.
The acid in the stomach also makes it difficult for bacteria to thrive. If an egg was contaminated with Salmonella or E. Coli, it's unlikely to cause the dog any harm whatsoever.
With that being said, it's always a good idea to avoid contaminated eggs at all costs. While your dog can handle it without a hitch, you can not.
Cross-contamination is a common occurrence that spreads disease. While your dog may be safe, his lovable kisses might help spread it. It's good to buy eggs from a trusted organic source. Not only are they less likely to be contaminated, but they're also richer in nutrients and taste great.
Biotin is a crucial vitamin. It's a water soluble B-vitamin that helps with cellular growth. It also aids in the metabolism of fatty acids, an important process that keeps the dog healthy. The most apparent thing you'll notice about proper biotin levels is a healthy skin and coat.
One common misconception is that eating raw eggs causes a biotin deficiency. This is because it contains Avidin. Avidin is a type of protein that acts as a Biotin inhibitor. Essentially, it stops Biotin from doing its job, which can lead to a deficiency.
This is why many dog owners are advised to stay away from Avidin. It's present in egg whites, which causes concern for many owners.
However, it would take a lot of eggs to create a deficiency. Dogs would have to eat eggs and nothing else for a prolonged period of time before they ever begin to experience the effects of scarce Biotin.
Furthermore, egg yolks are filled with Biotin. The amount of Biotin in the yolks more than makes up for the Avidin in the whites. Dogs also have many other sources of Biotin. It's found in many brands of foods and treats. Ultimately, there's no cause for concern when it comes to Biotin levels and egg consumption.
Eggs in moderation are perfectly safe for your furry friend. They are a rich source of numerous nutrients and proteins, making them a healthy and cost effective treat. Eggs shouldn't be a huge part of the dog's diet, but rather a supplement treat that they will enjoy.
By introducing raw eggs to their diet, you can expect to see a healthier skin and coat as well as an overall improvement in their general health.