This Healthy Addition Can Boost Your Dog Food By 100%!
Not only are they cheap but they’re nutritious! Many pet owners know that nutrients in processed dog foods aren’t as complete and digestible as nutrients in whole raw foods are. Eggs can be an easy, economical and creative way to boost your dog’s diet.
Eggs Offer Complete Nutrition.
They contain every nutrient necessary to support life. A chick has to grow inside that egg with no outside input for three weeks, and then it consumes the yolk which feeds it for three days after hatching. Incredible!
Eggs are a natural source of Vitamin A and B, selenium, and omega fatty acids. And eggs are a significant source of protein. Each one has an average of 5 grams of protein.
High in Protein
The best part of about the egg’s protein is its bioavailability. This means how much of the protein is digestible to our dogs. And the egg’s protein is so easily absorbable that they rank at 100%! In fact, all other foods are compared to the egg when it comes to protein digestibility.
Calcium and Joint Support
That’s not all! Save those shells for your dog because they’re full of good stuff. The shell itself is an excellent source of calcium and can be used to supplement feeding bones in raw or homemade diets. Just dry them out and grind in a coffee grinder then sprinkle on your dog’s meal.
The eggshell membrane, the sticky inner layer attached to the shell, contains glucosamine, chondroitin, proteins, hyaluronic acid, and elastin. These nutrients promote healthy joints, cartilage, and connective tissues to help prevent arthritis. Save these membranes by peeling them out of the shell and feed directly to your dog! Cooking destroys these delicate nutrients, so it’s best to feed the membrane raw.
EPA and DHA
When chickens are fed diets high in greens and grains with balanced omega ratios, they produce eggs that are higher in the omegas. This is excellent for our dogs because dogs have a difficult time turning ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Chickens make this conversion naturally and pass it on in an easily digestible form to our dogs.
“Omega-3 eggs are from chickens fed flax. Your dog’s body (or your body) will have to convert the omega-3 from ALA into EPA and DHA — and it’s not an efficient process. It’s much better to eat foods with high EPA and DHA levels. Cats are unable to make this conversion at all, which is why flax oil is not a good choice for cats.”
“When chickens are fed algae or kelp, and other green foods, the EPA and DHA content of eggs increases significantly. These eggs are marketed as “DHA eggs,” and are preferable, in our opinion, to omega-3 eggs. Although these high-DHA eggs are not easy to find, we did locate them in a number of stores (from Wild Oats Stores to Stop and Shop).”
There are a few concerns that we will address.
Vitamin B deficiency only happens when feeding just egg whites because they contain avidin which is a Biotin (vitamin B) inhibitor. However, egg whites alone would have to be consumed in excess to cause a deficiency.
When you feed the whole egg, no deficiency will occur even when fed daily, because the yolk is very high in B vitamins.
Enzymes inhibitors in the whites are another concern for pet owners. Supplemental feeding will not present a problem as digestive enzymes will not be affected long-term.
Also, digestive enzymes are easily supplemented into the diet with foods like yogurt and kefir if you feed eggs daily. Cooking them also eliminates this problem, but reduces overall nutrition of the egg.
Salmonella is a concern that keeps many people from using eggs raw. This concern is correct when concerning commercial eggs. Testing has found that fresh eggs from commercial companies have the highest risk for salmonella (a possible 23%). This includes those labeled as “cage-free” and “free-range” or “organic.”
If you do not plan to feed raw eggs to your dog, cooking them should eliminate salmonella bacteria.
Eggs intended for raw feeding should come from small local farms who pasture-raise their hens. This should mean the chickens forage for their food, instead of being fed soy-based feeds. The hens’ diet should not contain antibiotics or hormones. These eggs have the lowest risk of salmonella contamination (ranging from 0-4%). Check around your area for local small farms, and even backyard flock owners who are selling pasture-raised eggs.
How to Feed
This is where feeding eggs can be a creative outlet. They can be fed to your dog pretty much any way you would eat them. Boiled, scrambled, fried, omelet-style and raw.
Feeding eggs raw leaves their nutrients the most bioavailable and complete for your dog. There is a minimal risk in feeding your dog a raw egg as they are well designed to digest them raw. Dogs have small amounts of salmonella in their gut normally. This helps them keep active immunity against salmonella bacterium and reduces the risk that your dog will get sick. Feel free to crack an egg on your dog’s food a few times a week!
A boiled egg can be cut up small to make great soft training treats. Use boiled egg whites as low-calorie training treats, and the yolk can be added to a meal later to provide those B vitamins.
Caliber’s Satisfying Omelet
My dog, Caliber, loves omelets. He loves eggs just about any way he can get them. I’ve even caught him after having stolen and eaten one of my free-range hens’ eggs raw. He’ll happily eat spinach and plain greek yogurt if he can have them with his eggs!
Here’s the basic recipe for Caliber’s Omelet. I have tried to make this omelet a complete meal for Caliber. It has a healthy ratio of fats, protein, and non-starchy carbohydrates, as well as fiber, omega 3’s, calcium and includes Healthy Additions. Using this omelet to replace some of his kibble meals has helped Caliber lose some excess weight and maintain a healthier weight for the last few years, as well as address his allergy symptoms.
Special-Occasion Spiced Eggs
Another fun, special-occasion recipe for your dog: “spiced” eggs. Boil or steam your eggs first and then cool completely. Cut in half and take out the yolk. In a food processor, blend the yolks with a little yogurt (1 TB for every two yolks), some dried parsley flakes and a dash of a spice of your choosing such as turmeric, ginger, or garlic. Scoop the yolk mixture back into the egg white halves (an icing bag will make this prettier).
Add a “spiced” egg half to your dog’s dinner and let him enjoy!
HEALTH TIP: If your dog likes this recipe, it will be a great way to hide crushed pills or powdered supplements that need flavoring! Just add to the egg yolk mixture.
*Adding eggs to your dog’s diet will increase overall calories, so you may have to cut back on the kibble to keep your dog from gaining weight.
– Cassy Kay & Ivy Alexis
Scott, Dana. “Eggs For Dogs – Good or Bad?” dogsnaturallymagazine.com. Web. Accessed Mar. 8, 2018. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/feeding-your-dog-raw-eggs-good-or-bad/
Habib, Rodney. “Before Tossing Out Your Eggshells, You May Want to Consider The Following First” planet paws.ca. Web. Accessed Mar. 8, 2018. https://www.planetpaws.ca/2015/08/11/pet-joint-health/
Geertsen, Lauren NTP. “How to Eat Raw Eggs Safely” empoweredsustenance.com. Feb. 17, 2014. Web. Accessed Mar. 8, 2018. https://empoweredsustenance.com/raw-eggs-safe/
Oxford Academic. “The Impact of Different Housing Systems on Egg Safety and Quality” Poultry Science. Jan. 1, 2011. Web. Mar. 8, 2018. https://academic.oup.com/ps/article/90/1/251/1513625