Did you hear about the police dog who was part of President Trump’s security detail on a recent visit to India?
Dicky is a labrador, trained as a sniffer dog.
And it seems that a key part of her diet is boiled eggs- along with mutton, vegetables, bread and milk!!
But what is it about a boiled egg that makes them such an addition to a dog’s diet?
Or have most of us got it wrong and we shouldn’t let our precious dogs anywhere near boiled eggs.
Read on to find out more.
The problem with using nutrition data with dogs
In this article, I will be using a lot of nutrition data about boiled eggs and other forms of egg.
And this information is very useful to us because it informs us about all of the different vitamins and minerals that boiled eggs can provide for our dogs.
The real weakness of the data, from a dog owner’s perspective is that the data has been created to meet the needs of an adult human.
That is something that we need to take into consideration as we look into all of these issues.
Nutrition of a boiled egg
A 100g serving of a boiled egg, will mostly contain water.
Just over 75 g of it in fact.
Other important details about a hard boiled egg can be gleaned from looking at the label on the right hand side.
A boiled egg provides lots of protein , a large amount of fat, a huge dose of cholesterol and a large dose of sodium. However, it hardly contains any carbohydrate.
Vitamin wise hard boiled eggs are rich in riboflavin and vitamin B12 as well as smaller doses of vitamin D and vitamin B6.
Focusing on the minerals, hard boiled eggs provide a good dose of iron, a huge amount of phosphorus and selenium as well as lots of zinc.
None of that means anything until we look at how each of these nutrients help to keep our dogs healthy.
And for now, I will ignore protein, fat and carbohydrates because I will look at those in detail later.
How the vitamins and minerals in a boiled egg keep our dog healthy?
What I will do in this section is to look at the main minerals and vitamins that are in a hard boiled egg and talk about the role that they play within a dog’s body.
Riboflavin is also called vitamin B2. Like many vitamins it plays an essential role in many functions.
These include turning food into energy and also helping the body to grow.
B12 is a vitamin that keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. It is also involved in making DNA.
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in creating red blood cells and keeping cells within the body healthy.
This vitamin is water soluble, which means that a dog’s body can’t store it.
And so their body’s need a supply everyday.
Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in keeping our bones and teeth healthy.
It does this by regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate that are in your dog’s body.
How do minerals keep our dog healthy?
Like vitamin B6, iron is responsible for making and maintaining red blood cells in the body.
Those are the cells that carry oxygen around the body!
The importance of this mineral was described when I explained about vitamin D.
By all accounts, your dog’s body doesn’t need much of this mineral but it plays a vital role in making sure that the thyroid works effectively and it helps to boost a dog’s immune system.
Zinc plays an important role in enhancing a dog’s immune system and the body also uses it to make proteins and DNA.
Now that I have described the ways in which the main minerals and vitamins within a hard boiled egg helps keep our dog healthy, I’m now going to compare if the nutrients in other forms of egg are the same or different.
Boiled egg vs scrambled eggs vs fried egg- which is better for your dog?
The chart below shows the main nutrients in a boiled, scrambled and fried egg.
Each value is based on a serving of 100 g.
|Vitamin D (mcg)
And to tell you the truth, there aren’t many huge differences between them.
Boiled and scrambled eggs have very similar values.
A boiled egg has slightly more cholesterol, sodium and iron in it than a scrambled egg.
But a scrambled egg contains more carbohydrates and calcium.
Nutritionally, the differences are minor.
And so, considering this, which one is better for your dog?
I think it is down to the amount of effort it takes to boil and egg as against scrambling eggs?
Which one is quicker or easier or with less clearing up to do?
I would personally opt for a boiled egg.
It is quick and easy to do and it makes very little mess.
The hardest part is taking the shell off.
A fried egg is a slightly different proposition to a boiled or scrambled egg.
Mostly this is down to the fat content and the increased number of calories. has more calories, fat, cholesterol and iron than a boiled or scrambled egg.
And I included a fried egg in the chart more as a comparison rather than because I think that people feed their dogs fried eggs.
You don’t, do you?!
How many boiled eggs should I feed my dog everyday?
This is a very popular question and it is so intriguing that I wrote a whole post about it.
Well, my post focused on more than just boiled eggs but you can read it here.
But to summarise the post, the number of eggs your dog can eat everyday depends largely on the size of the dog.
And I gave some recommendations based on different sizes of dogs.
One of my Golden Retrievers, Sylvie, could eat a large egg per day.
A smaller dog, such as a French Bulldog should probably only eat one small egg per day.
Whereas a super sized Great Dane would do well on up to two eggs per day.
In my post, I explain how I worked out all of this by using an online calculator.
But as I said, if you’re interested, click here.
Will a boiled egg help my sick dog with diarrhea?
Some people believe that boiled eggs will help to cure your dog’s diarrhea, which they might, but I need to tell you that there are better foods to use.
And your best bet as a dog owner in treating diarrhea is to make sure that your dog has access to plenty of fresh water (because diarrhea is a major cause of dehydration.)
As long as your dog has lots of water, some people recommend fasting the dog for 12 or 24 hours.
This will allow the stomach to sort itself out by not requiring it to digest anything.
If you haven’t got the heart to do that (and I include myself in this group) then instead of a boiled egg, opt for some boiled white rice or some cooked oatmeal.
These two foods are simple and bland and are very easy for a dog’s digestion system to process- even one that is feeling rather delicate!
How will a boiled egg help my pregnant dog?
Some people recommend feeding a pregnant dog with boiled eggs.
This is because eggs are a great source of protein, which is a very important nutrient for a pregnant dog to eat more of.
And eggs are great because they are cheap and they are really easy to prepare.
10 minutes on a rolling boil and you have a perfectly boiled egg.
But, when you look at the nutrition data, the amount of protein in a hard boiled egg isn’t that high.
A 100 g serving would provide your pregnant dog with 13 g of protein.
Now for a quick comparison, 100 g of chicken breast would provide 28 g of protein.
I know what you are saying.
Chicken breast is more expensive and it takes longer to prepare, which is true.
But it provides double the amount of protein.
Think how much more your pregnant dog would love you if you opted for chicken?!
Can a boiled egg help a dog with kidney disease?
If you are in the unfortunate position of owning a dog that has a kidney disease then you will be aware that the condition comes with a real need to go on a restricted diet.
Because of the gravity of the situation, you should be in close contact with your vet.
Hopefully, your dog is on a tailor made kidney friendly dog food.
And those diets are complete and your dog really doesn’t need anything else.
But if you are looking for a way to sneak in the odd treat or two, then hard boiling an egg is the way to go.
Unfortunately, you need to “ditch” the yoke before you feed it to your dog.
This is because it is only the egg white that is gentle enough to not distress their kidneys.