Many owners like to supplement their dog’s diet with eggs. Some believe that it improves their pet’s coat, others want to increase the percentage of protein in their dog’s diet or just make the dog food taste better. Some people love to share their breakfast with their furry family member as a treat.
Is it healthy?
Cooked egg protein is highly digestible and provides all of the essential amino acids required by the dog for growth and maintenance. Eggs are a good source of iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, and several B vitamins. They also contain some essential fatty acids.
How should they be prepared?
The best way to prepare eggs for dogs is to boil them. There is no need to add the extra fat required to make scrambled eggs to the dogs diet. The eggs have to be thoroughly cooked, because of the risk of bacterial contamination, and because there are two substances in raw egg white that change the metabolism of certain nutrients leading to serious nutritional imbalances.
One of those substances is called avidin and leads to “egg white injury” by blocking the absorption of biotin from the GI tract. This happens only if the dog is fed raw egg whites, not the whole egg, because the egg yolk has plenty of biotin to be absorbed regardless. Clinical signs of biotin deficiency are dermatitis presenting with a scaly skin rash, hair loss and poor growth rate.
The second substance is called egg white trypsin inhibitor decreases digestibility of protein leading to loose stools, chronic diarrhea and decreased growth rate. If the egg white is cooked, most of these enzymes are denatured.
How many eggs are ok for dogs to eat?
A general guideline is to limit eggs to just one or two cooked eggs per week for a medium or large dog. This amount should not result in a dietary imbalance and should not cause weight loss problems.
At Prevention Foods we hope that this is an interesting post for you, and that we can help by giving useful information that can improve your pets lifestyle.