Can Puppies Eat Eggs?

Photo by Nicolas Nova on Flickr

In this article, I will answer the question “can puppies eat eggs?”

Eggs are a natural choice to add to a puppy’s diet because they are a staple food in most of our homes, they are cheap and most of us know that eggs are a healthy food.

But are eggs a must have food within a puppy’s diet or should we be more cautious?

That is what aim to work out today.

Hopefully one thing that we all know is that puppies can’t survive on eggs alone.

And so before we zero in on eggs, I want to briefly look at their overall nutritional needs.

What nutrition do puppies need?

When your puppy is first born, they will get all of their nutritional needs from their mother’s milk. Most puppies will be weaned off the milk between three to four weeks after their birth.

It’s important to remember that during this time puppies are growing rapidly, even if they are a small breed, and their bodies need a lot of nutrients for that growth.

Probably the most important nutrient growing dog needs is protein, as it helps them build strong tissue and reinforces the strength of their bones.

They also need a lot of fats, which helps keep their skin and hair healthy.

Amazingly, fats also help their brains and vision continue to develop too.

Those little fur balls are also full of energy, so their diet should also include lots of carbohydrates to keep them fueled up for the zoomies all day.

Finally, they will need a variety of vitamins and minerals including but not limited to vitamins A, B, D, E and K, calcium and phosphorus.

What nutrition will puppies get from eggs?

Eggs are one of the most nutritionally rich foods that we as humans can eat, and our puppies can enjoy many of those same nutrients.

Eggs pack a whopping six grams of protein!

They also contain about five grams of healthy fats and vitamins A, D and E. I

t is important to note that most of these nutrients come from the yolk of the egg.

While many people may prefer to eat just the egg whites, with dogs or puppies you want to make sure they enjoy that yolk and all the nutrients in there.

How many eggs can your puppy eat a day?

While every dog is different, it is advised that you feed your dog one egg, or less a day. While eggs are packed full of nutrients, you need to remember that for your dog this is a high concentration of nutrients being delivered to their body all at once.

For example, the average dog needs one gram of protein a day to maintain their weight. Now, that doesn’t mean they can only have one gram of protein a day, they can process more of it for their bones and skin.

Larger dogs might also require more than one gram of protein a day, just like human bodies, every dog body is different too.

But, if your dog is getting too much protein a day, it can overwork their kidney causing other health problems later in life.

The same goes for fats, too much of those healthy fats can quickly turn into unhealthy fats when the body stores too much of them causing your pup to gain unhealthy weight.

Dogs require the most protein when they are puppies, so your puppy can process the nutrients in eggs more than an older dog.

The same goes for the fats and vitamins in eggs, with puppies needing them the most. So, even though it seems to go against logic, a puppy can safely eat more eggs than a full-grown dog.

Remember though, their bodies are still smaller, so it still might not be good to eat a full grown egg in one sitting, maybe spread it out throughout the day. 

At what age can puppies eat eggs?

To be completely honest, there is no specific age when your puppy can start eating eggs, and that is because every pup is different.

Some pups will be weaned off of their mother’s milk by week three or four after birth, while others will just be starting.

You do not want to serve your puppy anything that is not milk or puppy food until they have fully transitioned away from their mother’s milk. 

This is because when they are born, puppies do not process or absorb nutrients from hard foods (not liquid).

As their bodies grow and adapt, their ability to process hard foods also develops, until they can actually no longer properly absorb nutrients from a solely liquid diet.

That is why it’s best to wait until your dog is only eating a hard food (remember that means non-liquid) diet. 

Raw vs boiled vs scrambled vs fried eggs…

Just like with humans, it is important to make sure that the food that we eat is not just good for us, but is also prepared in a manner that is safe.

While many people have seen Rocky swig a glass full of raw eggs, this is not recommended for you, or for your fur baby.

Raw eggs are susceptible to having salmonella which can lead to an infection in dogs called salmonellosis.

This infection of bacteria can lead to gastroenteritis, spontaneous abortions and septicemia, in both puppies and older dogs.

It’s also important to note salmonellosis is zoonotic, which means that it can be passed from dogs to humans (or other pets) and vice versa.

The best way to prevent salmonellosis in your puppy is to make sure that any eggs they have are fully cooked. 

The question now is how do you cook them?

It is important to remember that your dog’s body differs from yours, specifically anything that is added to your food will have a higher impact on your dogs than on you.

Let’s look at a crazy example, putting spices on food while you might like the way it takes, maybe the burn feels good to you.

Even a little spice can burn their sensitive tongue and upset their stomach or worse.

The same goes for everything else.

While our bodies can process butter, dogs’ bodies will take that as a much more concentrated source of fats, which can have negative health effects. 

That being said, the worst way to cook an egg for your puppy would be to fry them, because of the high fat content that is transferred from the oil used for the frying.

Besides that, you serve your dog boiled, scrambled, over easy, over medium or any method of cooking as long as the egg is fully cooked.

No matter how you plan on cooking the egg, you want to make sure you stay away from adding butter, oil, salt, spices or any other additives. Sadly, this also includes cheese.

What are the disadvantages of feeding a puppy dairy?

Taking a minor detour here, let’s address why it isn’t good to give your puppy cheese, or any other dairy product.

Dogs have levels of lactose, which is the enzyme that is used to break down the sugars found in dairy products.

This means that even in small doses, dairy ends up putting their body in shock from the exorbitant amount of sugars it absorbs.

This can lead to diarrhea and other digestional issues.

Also, because they rarely ingest dairy, many dogs have developed an allergy to it and if they get into any cheese or other dairy product, they are susceptible to having an adverse reaction, the most common of which is excessive itching. 

Should Puppies Eat Eggs and Rice?

Many times our little fur babies might get into something, maybe dairy, that upsets their stomach and causes them to have diarrhea.

Sometimes they don’t even have to eat anything, they might just catch a cold, or have a bum belly.

During those times it is most important to make sure that they have more than enough water available to keep from getting dehydrated.

But, what else can you do to ease their bum belly?

A sumptuous meal for when they are suffering with diarrhea is eggs and rice.

Eggs and rice are easy for the body to digest and when mixed they will help absorb any excess acid in the stomach that could contribute to the diarrhea.

The eggs will provide much of the basic nutrients needed for your puppy while they are sick and the rice will provide carbohydrates which will be turned into extra energy to fight off whatever is making your puppy sick.

In fact, eggs and rice is a great combo, in moderation, for any dog, even if they aren’t sick. 

Should a Picky Puppy Eater Eat Eggs?

If your puppy has shown a proclivity for being picky with their food, it can be hard to choose a diet that they will both enjoy and that will be healthy for them. While there is nothing to specifically bar you from giving a picky eater eggs, I honestly wouldn’t recommend it. Eggs are great as a side dish for your dog, not as their main diet, just like with humans, too much of a good thing can be bad.

Instead, try to adjust your dog’s diet through other means, like trying different dog food. Sometimes puppies might have trouble adjusting from their mother’s milk to dry dog food. In that case you can mix a bit of wet food into the dry food, or even a little water if you want. There is also something to be said about tough love, just like humans sometimes our dogs can act a little spoiled. But, as long as you make sure the food is available when they are hungry, you can often wait for their hunger to win out over their stubbornness and have them eat the high quality food that you have chosen for them.

Conclusion

So, in conclusion, yes your puppy can eat eggs, but you need to keep a couple of things in mind. While puppies need a lot of nutrients, you don’t want to overdo it, remember the nutrients are absorbed at higher concentrations than human bodies. Also, you must make sure that any eggs you serve them are also completely cooked to prevent them from being infected by salmonella. Finally, you want to steer clear of any spices, oils, butter or other additives, instead mix in some rice to give them everything they need to grow up big and strong.