dog eating

Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? Are Eggshells Dangerous for Dogs?

You may be aware that feeding your dog eggs can be beneficial. Can dogs eat eggshells, though? As a matter of fact, they can. After all, wild dogs will steal and eat eggs, and they certainly don’t bother to remove the eggshells before digging in.

You will want to feed eggshells to your dog properly, however. Make sure to take steps to ensure that they do not get a stomach-ache from the shells, or accidentally contract salmonella. Also, when feeding your dog eggs, always include the nutrient-rich yolk.

Eggshells are an excellent source of calcium and phosphorous, which promote bone health, strengthen the immune system, and more. To make eggshells easier for your dog to digest, simply grind them into a powder.

Eggs are Good for Dogs

Eggs can actually be fantastic for dogs, depending on the individual. We advise that you double-check with your vet that feeding your dog eggs is OK. Some dogs have pre-existing health conditions that may make consuming eggs, for them, less than ideal.

For most dogs, though, eggs make a perfectly safe and super-healthy snack.

First off, eggs are chock-full of protein, and omega fatty acids as well. In dogs, omega fatty acids contribute to brain health, provide cushioning for internal organs, and promote thick and glossy fur.

Protein will help sate your dog’s endless appetite, make them more muscular, and even strengthen their fur (since the follicles are made primarily of protein).

Eggs also have lots of vitamin B12, vitamin A, selenium, folate, riboflavin, and iron. Each of these nutrients is essential, contributing to blood health, heart health, immune system health, and more.

Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?

Did you know, the composition of eggshells and bones are quite similar? You may already be aware that you can feed (well-ground) bones to your dog. Lesser known is that you can feed eggshells to your dog, as well.

Both bones and eggshells are phosphorous and calcium rich. This makes them especially healthy for dogs’ bones and teeth, as well as their muscles, immune system, heart, etc. Phosphorous even contributes to vital processes like cellular repair.

You will probably want to be sure to supplement your dog’s diet with calcium – like eggshells – as they get older. This is because dogs become more prone to calcium-deficient conditions like osteoporosis as time goes on.

Supplementing your dog’s diet with calcium-rich foods like eggshells, bones, etc. will help stave these off.


An Unbroken Eggshell Can Prove a Choking Risk

Dogs can usually break eggshells by themselves OK. This being said, if left unbroken, an eggshell can prove a real choking risk. Before offering an egg to your dog, you may wish to break the shell up yourself.

You can also opt to peel the egg, and instead give it to your dog in the form of an easily swallowable and digestible powder. Luckily, it’s simple enough to grind up a bit of homemade eggshell powder yourself.

Eggshell Powder

When dogs are calcium deficient, their parathyroid will try to take it from their bones. As you can imagine, this will damage their skeletal system. This can lead to arthritis, osteoporosis, broken bones, etc.

You can help prevent calcium deficiency in dogs by giving them ground eggshells. Make your own homemade eggshell powder. All that you need to do is preheat the oven to roughly 300° F. Put clean, dry eggshells on a tray and bake for 5-7 minutes. They should still be mostly white or brown but may slightly discolour.

Once the eggshells have cooled, powder them quickly and easily in a blender or coffee grinder. Your dog can have 1 tsp a day (roughly one eggshell).

Choose Eggs That are Farm-Fresh/Organic

Did you know that most eggs at the store are bleached? This process and the chemicals involved bleach a lot of the nutrients from the eggshells. As a result, they simply have less to offer.

Sometimes harmful chemicals are left behind, as well. These can make your dog sick. In answer to ‘can dogs eat eggshells?’, clean eggshells are better.

Look for farm-fresh and/or organic eggs, with unbleached shells. The shells on farm-fresh eggs have much more calcium and phosphorous than those that have been bleached at the store. Farm-fresh/organic eggs will give you the most bang for your buck!

free range hens
Fresh free-range eggs are best for dogs

Can Dogs Eat Eggs Raw?

There is a bit of debate about whether dogs can eat eggs raw. In theory, they can. There is nothing inherently harmful about a raw shell, white, or yolk. However, in raw eggs, salmonella will always present a real risk.

There can be other harmful bacteria in raw eggs as well. To avoid any health complications, many advise that you do not feed eggs to your dog raw. When you heat up eggs, most of the bacteria will die as they cook.

Dogs are just as happy to eat eggs cooked as they are raw.

Some argue that, as dogs eat raw eggs in nature, raw eggs are no real risk. This is just not accurate, however. Even out in nature, old and/bacteria-filled eggs can make wild dogs sick.

Try not to worry if your dog ingested raw egg that fell on the floor. Just try to avoid this, and know that with raw eggs, salmonella is always a possibility. Immune-compromised dogs (like very old dogs) are the most at-risk.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Eggs?

Eggs are healthy for dogs and cooking them makes them even healthier. You see, cooking the eggs will kill off any harmful bacteria that can be present when they’re left raw. Just as cooked eggs are safer for humans, they are safer for dogs, as well.

Dogs should always have cooked eggs plain, however. This means no salt, seasonings, or oil. These are unnecessary and will likely just make your dog ill. Canines do not physiologically require extra salt, butter, or oil.

Seasonings like garlic and onion are also toxic to dogs and can prove fatal. It goes without saying that you will want to avoid these altogether. A good, old-fashioned, plainly cooked egg is your best choice, overall.

More Fantastic Calcium Sources for Dogs

  • Ground bone. Did you know that dogs can eat bones? Not just chew on them but eat them. Of course, you will want to grind the bones up. Otherwise, they are very easy for dogs to choke on (with the exception of the giant, tough bones that they chew for fun). This is a very direct way to take calcium directly from other animal bones into your dog’s bones, helping them become much stronger.
  • Meat. There’s also lots of calcium in meat, so feel free to treat your dog to a slice of something or other. The healthiest choices are typically chicken, turkey, or other fowl.
  • Supplements. Doggy calcium supplements are often made from limestone. Apparently, this is a terrific way for them to stave of deficiency – who knew?
  • Broccoli. One of the veggies that dogs can enjoy is broccoli. This is a calcium-rich choice that, as a bonus, is also full of gut-healthy fibre.
  • Fish. Sardine, salmon, and trout are all full of calcium for the hungry pupper.
  • Dairy. Along with eggshells, dogs can also draw calcium from yogurt, cheese, etc.

Can Puppies Eat Eggshells and Eggs?

Just like adult dogs, puppies can benefit from eggshells and eggs, as well. Just wait until they are the proper age for eating solid foods, and give them a smaller portion than you would an adult dog (say, ½ tsp or ½ an eggshell rather than 1 tsp or 1 eggshell).

Can Dogs Eat Eggshells

Ask Your Vet First

Many advise that, before you introduce eggs to your doggy’s diet, you check with your vet. Some dogs do have health conditions that can make eggs less-than-ideal. It’s always good to be in-the-know.

Is Cholesterol in Eggs Bad for Dogs?

Most of the time, dogs do not suffer from cholesterol. Simply put, it does not have the same effect on their body as it does ours. So, when feeding eggs to your dog, excess cholesterol is seldom an issue (some dogs may be exceptions with this, which is why it is still recommended to check with your vet).

In eggs, you will find the cholesterol in the yolk. This is also where super-healthy fatty omega acids are located, however.

Egg Whites Have Very Little Nutritional Value for Dogs

Did you know that egg whites have very little nutritional value compared to the rest of the egg? This includes the eggshell. If you’re wondering, ‘can dogs eat eggshells?’ believe it or not, the shell is healthier than the white itself.

An excess of egg whites can all-too-easily lead to biotin-deficiency, as eggs have an enzyme that prevents biotin absorption in dogs.

This means that you will pretty much always want to balance the white with the yolk. And remember, feel free to leave on or grind the shell.

Signs That Your Dog is Allergic to Eggs

If you’re worried your dog might end up being allergic to eggs, here are some signs to look out for:

  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Swelling in the face, eyelids, earflaps, and paws
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Diarrhoea
  • Red, inflamed skin

If you think your dog may be having an allergic reaction, take them to your vet immediately, where they will administer an antihistamine to offer fast relief.

Final Thoughts – Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?

So, if you’ve been wondering, ‘can dogs eat eggshells?’, there’s your answer. They can indeed eat calcium-rich eggshells, and eggs, as well. In fact, these are actually very healthy for dogs to have as a supplement or snack!

Offer your dog a plain, cooked egg and see if they have a taste for it -knowing the famous appetites of dogs, they probably will!

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