Can Dogs Eat Eggs?

Medically Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on January 03, 2024
6 min read

Eggs are nutritious for both people and dogs. They can be tasty treats or a hearty breakfast, whether they’re hard-boiled, poached, scrambled, or over easy. A cooked entire egg or yolk can be good for your dog, unless your pet has a pre-existing health condition like acute pancreatitis or diabetes. But before you start giving your dog eggs, there are some things you should know. 

By and large, cooked eggs are safe for your dog -- and they're healthy, too. Eggs are high in protein and other important nutrients, which makes them a great supplement to your dog’s diet. With a balanced diet, additional cooked eggs during the week can provide nutritional value. 

They can even be good for your dog’s digestive system and can help calm an upset stomach

Getting eggs from a trusted source is as important for your dog as it is for you. Free-range farm hens with a good diet lay healthier eggs to eat. 

Your vet can tell you the right amount of eggs to give your furry friend. If your dog has certain medical conditions, though, you should talk to your vet to make sure adding eggs to their diet doesn’t cause problems. But even with healthy dogs, you’ll need to start gradually to be sure your dog isn’t allergic or sensitive to eggs. 

Can puppies eat eggs?

Sure, puppies can eat eggs as long as they’re cooked and they’re only given occasionally. Veterinarians recommend that young pups’ diets be made up of at least 90% puppy food and no more than 10% of “safe” human snacks. (Some human foods are harmful to dogs, such as grapes and the sweetener xylitol, found in sugar-free treats.) Puppies should not be fed raw eggs.

Eggs are a great source of important nutrients that offer your dog several health benefits.

  • Vitamin A supports immunity, bone health, vision, and reproduction.

  • Thiamine helps regulate energy and improve nervous system function.

  • Riboflavin and vitamin B12 helps boost enzyme function.

  • Folic acid/folate helps with red blood cell production, supports the nervous system, and may help prevent certain birth defects in puppies.

  • Selenium supports metabolism, aids in thyroid function, and may help prevent and treat cancer.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids support skin, heart, and kidney health and may reduce inflammation to help with osteoarthritis.

There are people who prefer to give their dogs raw eggs as part of a “natural” diet. But most veterinarians recommend cooking the eggs before giving them to your dog. There are some risks to raw eggs. 

Bacterial infections. Raw and undercooked eggs can become contaminated with bacteria like salmonella. Salmonella can cause an infection called salmonellosis, and cause symptoms, such as: 

Biotin deficiency. Egg whites contain a protein called avidin. Consuming them uncooked prevents your dog’s body from absorbing biotin. Cooking eggs stops avidin from blocking biotin absorption. Biotin is an important vitamin for:

  • Healthy skin
  • Good metabolism
  • Cell regrowth
  • Proper digestion

The risk of feeding your dog raw eggs outweighs any reward of their nutritional value. Raw eggs may also cause your dog to vomit or have diarrhea. Simply put, it’s best to steer clear of raw eggs. 

An allergy happens when your immune system reacts to a substance that doesn’t cause a reaction in others. When you come into contact with or eat a food you are allergic to, your body releases antibodies to defend against the substance, even if it's not harmful. This reaction can cause symptoms such as hives, a runny nose, difficulty breathing, or an upset stomach. 

Dogs can get allergies, too. Protein, including eggs, are a common food allergy. If your dog is allergic to eggs, they may show symptoms after eating them, such as:

  • Digestive problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, or gas
  • Sneezing or coughing 
  • Hives or skin rashes, causing your dog to scratch or bite in certain areas
  • Ear infections
  • Excessive drooling

Sometimes allergy symptoms can appear suddenly and be life-threatening if not treated quickly. Serious allergic reactions (also called anaphylaxis) can be fatal. Seek immediate medical attention if your dog has any of the following symptoms after eating eggs:

  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Blue or pale gums
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizure

To be safe, when feeding your dog eggs for the first time, feed them just one egg. Then watch for any signs of allergy or sensitivity, such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.

While eggshells contain minerals that dogs need for metabolism, immune function, growth, and development, feeding a whole egg to your dog isn’t recommended. Nutrients in the egg’s shell are also in the egg whites and yolks. 

The calcium in the eggshell is the exception. But if your dog has a calcium deficiency, there are better ways to include more calcium in your dog’s diet. In addition to the risk of salmonella, eggshells can be sharp if not crushed properly and can get stuck in your dog’s throat on the way down. 

One egg a day for your dog is all that is recommended.

If you want to introduce eggs to your dog’s diet, add a cooked egg to their food. Make sure it doesn’t cause stomach issues like vomiting or diarrhea. If there are no problems, you can start giving them eggs more often. 

Eggs shouldn't be the only source of protein your dog gets. If your dog is eating too many eggs and too much protein, you’ll start to see weight gain from the extra calories. You should treat eggs as more of a treat for your dog. A typical large egg has about 60 calories and 6 grams of protein, with 4 milligrams of fat. You can talk to your veterinarian about the right amount to give them. They will use several factors to determine how much you should be feeding them eggs. These include: 

  • Size
  • Age
  • How active they are
  • Any existing health issues

Now that you've seen that cooked eggs can be a great addition to your dog's meal plan, you might wonder if you should include them every day. While there are many benefits when prepared the right way, you should stick to feeding your furry friend eggs a few days a week. 

Every day can be a lot, and the extra protein can cause your dog to become overweight if you're not considering the extra calories the eggs add to your dog's daily food. Talk to your vet about the right amount of egg to add to your dog's diet. 

Since you shouldn’t feed your dog raw eggs, you’ll have to cook them. Most any method is fine: hardboiled, scrambled, or fried. Just be sure they are fully cooked with no runny yolks. And, you’ll want to cook them plain. Lay off the oil, butter, salt, and seasonings.

Sound too boring? You can get a little creative if you’re willing to put in the time. For example, you can whip up a whole egg or egg white omelet. Add a piece of fully cooked salmon or chicken for added protein or a diced bell pepper for a dose of beta-carotene. 

Dogs can eat eggs as long as they’re fully cooked. Eggs are packed with nutrients that can be a healthy supplement to your dog’s diet. Like humans, some dogs may be allergic or sensitive to eggs, so be sure to check for any signs of allergic reaction after feeding them eggs.

Why should I give my dog raw eggs?

You shouldn’t. First, raw eggs pose some of the same risks to dogs as they do humans, such as a risk of bacterial infections like salmonella. Secondly, raw egg whites contain a protein that blocks the absorption of biotin. Eating too many raw egg whites can lead to biotin deficiency, which can have serious health effects. Bottom line, the risk of feeding your dog raw eggs outweighs any nutritional benefit, so it’s best to skip the raw eggs and stick to cooked ones instead.