Devoted wife and mother to three fur-kids and most recently, one tiny human.
Are Raw Eggs Good for Dogs?
Is it safe to feed dogs raw eggs?! There's a lot of confusion on this subject. Some vets encourage it while others warn against it—and so the raw food debate rages on. Pooch parents wonder if dogs will get salmonella or E. coli. They wonder if they will get salmonella or E. coli. Are raw eggs dangerous to our beloved canines?
Although I’m not a vet, I do feed my two dogs (a 60 pound shepherd mix and 60 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback mix) organic raw eggs at least once a week. And they just love it.
The bottom line is that eggs are a good food source for dogs. They're a complete source of amino acids, and they contain vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and fatty acids. The shell contains calcium and is good for their teeth and digestion.
Modern dogs are a decedent of grey wolves and wolves eat raw . . . well, everything. So your dog’s digestive system is fully equipped to handle raw foods too. In fact, the dry kibble of today may be doing a disservice to your dog’s wolf-like digestive system.
The Controversy About Feeding Dogs Raw Eggs
Some experts warn against raw eggs for two reasons: because of the possibility of salmonella or E. coli and because of avidin, a biotin inhibitor. The truth is that dogs rarely get salmonella or E. coli.
- It all begins with the hen, and this is why organic eggs from a trusted source are so important.
- But even so, even if your dog ate an infected egg, the chance of him contracting E. coli or salmonella is rare. Dogs have a very short digestive tract combined with a very acidic stomach. This means their short digestion tract does not give time for bacteria to build up–unlike with humans.
- Further, the acidic stomach is strong enough to kill all bacteria as well as break down whole raw bones. This is why dogs can eat wild animals and digest them with little problem.
- The greatest risk of exposure is to the human, so proper hygiene is a must. I give my dogs the whole egg, send them outside, and watch them carefully carry it in their mouth to their “special” place. With the care of a surgeon, they crack the egg and suck out all the insides before munching down the shell.
Why Eggs Are Good for Dogs
Biotin is a B vitamin and avidin is a biotin inhibitor–both of which are in raw eggs.
- Avidin is in raw egg whites and is very important for cellular growth, fatty acid metabolism, and a good skin and coat. Although pet owners are warned against avidin, it would take an extraordinary amount of raw eggs to create this deficiency. Besides, the egg yolk has plenty of biotin. This is why it’s important to serve the whole, raw egg. There's magic in the combination of avidin and biotin.
- Furthermore, assuming you feed your dog a well-balanced diet, your dog gets biotin in other forms. If you're concerned, supplement your dog’s diet with liver treats, which are a wonderful source of many vitamins. Check out my article on how to make frozen dog treats with liver for a cheap and easy recipe.
Bottom line: it’s perfectly safe to feed your dog several raw eggs a week, as long as it’s not a mainstay of his diet. If you notice stomach upset then feed less, as eggs are rich and high in protein. It may take some time to adjust. If you’re very concerned about potential risks you can always cook the egg. Although some health benefits are lost, there are still many vitamins and nutrients in a cooked egg, with none of the risk.
What Kind of Eggs Are Best for Dogs?
My biggest fear when buying eggs, either for my dog or myself, is whether I can trust the farmer. I buy local, organic, farm-fresh eggs as often as I can, straight from the farmer. I do live in rural, Northern California where I have a ton of access to farm fresh food. If you can purchase eggs straight from an organic farmer, do it! They're incredibly flavorful and often higher in nutrition than commercially grown eggs.
If I can't buy farm-direct, I'll go with a brand I trust. I look for hens that are 100% free range (meaning they can come and go whenever they please) and fed a 100% organic diet.
Other People Foods You Can Feed Dogs
Just like eggs, you may not know of these other foods that are good for Fido. Always feed something new in small amounts first, and if you notice stomach upset, cut back on the amount.
If raw eggs aren’t your style, scrambled, boiled, and fried eggs are great for your dogs too! Cooked eggs still contain riboflavin, selenium, and of course protein!
- Apples. In moderation, they make great treats and help clean teeth. Remember to avoid the seeds! Apple seeds actually contain a form of cyanide which can be fatal to dogs. Don’t worry, humans filter this low dose of cyanide out. So share your apple a day to keep both the doctor and the vet away.
- Carrots are low in calorie and high in fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin A . They can be raw or cooked. My dogs take their big carrots in the backyard whole and nibble on them slowly. My only problem is now they'll dig them out of my garden and eat them whole! Greens and all. Perhaps they're part rabbit?
- Green beans, believe it or not, make excellent treats. They are filling and low in calories. Buy organic frozen ones and add them to your dog’s next meal. Use them as training treats. See, you were actually doing your dog a favor sneaking him veggies under the table as a kid!
- Peanut butter makes a great treat. It is a good source of protein, healthy fat, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. Always choose raw, organic, unsalted, sugar-free peanut butter. I spread some onto their Kongs and watch them go crazy trying to get it out.
- Pumpkin is wonderful for dogs. The flesh can be raw or cooked and the seeds ground raw. The flesh settles the digestive tract and is good for both constipation and diarrhea – weird I know, but true. Plus, it’s loaded with fiber and beta-carotene. I would avoid the sugary canned pie stuff, but organic or sugar-free canned pumpkin would work. Ground, raw pumpkin seeds are a natural de-wormers for dogs too. They are so easy to grow in your garden with a bit of space too. Roast the flesh and keep the seeds raw and your dog will thank you. A couple tablespoons for big dogs per day is plenty.
More Than Just My Best Friend
My dogs are truly my best buddies and I treat them as so. They are companions, security, comfort, and encouragement. Last year, I lost my 8 year old Golden Retriever, Tate, to cancer. The lymphoma took over and within a few months, his entire body was covered in lumps. It was absolutely devastating to watch this gentle soul, full of only love and optimism, die in such pain and misery. His life was cut too short. He deserved so much better. Was it my fault? Could I have prolonged his life had I made better food choices? I’ll never know and I’ll always wonder. But I have vowed to take the health of my family much more seriously, eating only organic non-GM foods. RIP Tate, love you always.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: How should I feed my Pomeranian raw eggs?
Answer: Since they have small mouths I would crack them into a bowl and break the shell at least in half.
Question: How many eggs a week can I feed my puppy? He’s a pit bull, if the breed matters, and is only 7 weeks old.
Answer: I think 1 egg a day would be fine although it may cause diarrhea or stomach upset. I feed raw eggs 2-3 times each week.
Question: Do you feed the shell of the egg to your dogs?
Answer: Yes, I give my pups the entire egg. The shell is full of calcium!
Question: Is it ok to feed a dog a raw minced beef patty made with free-range egg and vegetables? Unfortunately, the ingredients are not organic. I want to try raw, but I'm scared as the vet says small dogs, like french bulldogs, do better on dry food and raw food is dangerous for them.
Answer: Some breeds do have a harder time digesting raw food although dogs were originally designed to eat raw and I believe raw is the healthiest. Dogs were made to hunt and eat wild game. We have changed the physiology of dogs through breeding, however, which is why certain breeds are now better suited to a raw diet. If you want to go raw I would start slowly, maybe 1 small portion each day, and watch him. Introduce more raw food if there aren't any reactions.
© 2013 Robyn D Bera
Rick on August 29, 2018:
I just fed my just rescued Malinois Bella raw farm egg today. Thought I would check Thank You. She was v underweight 2+ weeks ago but now she is looking healthy and Happy girl. Loves liver too chicken n calf. Her prey drive is super strong and she is learning commands so fast. She is so different from my American Pit bull terriers and Rottweiler rescues. She is so intelligent and eager to be involved in everything.
Debra on July 14, 2018:
Is raw eggs good for sick dogs
Ross on June 06, 2018:
Thank you for your article. It was highly informative.
Andrew on May 21, 2018:
Exactly what I was saying, pets need to be cared of. We are the ones to support them. They are not like humans, to talk when they feel bad, they just give us signs, i really like how https://www.dogs.support/ handle their courses, maybe talk with them and make something in common.
Jennifer on April 21, 2018:
Is it harmful to feed a pregnant dog the whites of 3 eggs poured over her food.I only gave it to her once
sraysugjbl on February 03, 2018:
dogs can get samonella just like humans
L.A.Simeoli on January 23, 2018:
I want to add something else for your readers that may have concerns with cancers, and lymphomas and many more physical issues. Read up on vaccinations, reasons why not to vaccinate. And reasons why you may vaccinate for certain things at certain times in your dogs lives. I am now a huge believer that vaccinations for dogs are way to many, and research has now proven that they can harm your dogs natural immune system. Just educate yourself so you can make better informed decisions for your dogs life.
L.A.Simeoli on January 23, 2018:
What great information is contained in all of these comments. I will definately be making liver treats. Lymphomas are caused from toxins accumulated in the lymph glands. Just like people. If the body accumulates more toxins than it get expel many illnesses occur. Blindness, joint problems, cancer, etc. Toxins caused from so many things. Could be the ground they walk on, that perhaps had been sprayed with round-up. Dogs smell everything everywhere they go. Man has contaminated the ground and the ground water with many poisons. I use to worry about my dogs swimming in a contaminated river. Plus they drank from it too. Plus man spray, wheat, rice barley with different contaminants and then we feed this to our dogs in the form of kibble. Its important to make sure your dog is evacuating on a regular basis, and its just as important to look at his feces to be sure it looks normal. If he is caged up all day or locked in the house and cant get out to poop, these toxins back up in the animals gut....this is deadly. Toxins that cant escape make your animal sick.To me one of the cruelest things people do, is to leave their animal caged up all day while they go to work, and make them hold their feces or urine until they get home. And then punish them when they have an accident....that breaks my heart.
greg duke on May 07, 2017:
I boil sweet potatoes till soft. I pour out the starchy water and mix in peas and either plain yogurt or eggs. Sometimes they get beets in their mixture. They look and act great. Their smell is much better. once a week I give them a chicken leg or thigh. And fro treats I give them chicken feet.... yes chicken feet ! They will love you for it. Once a week I give them a raw beef bone. I've read that they need bone in their diet so that's why I stuck with it. WARNING.... Feeding like this can make a normal laid back dog want to fight. Watch them close !
Miranda on February 27, 2017:
We raise our own chickens and I give my 2 great danes 1 fresh raw egg each evening. They love it! They have had no troubles and with the cold dry winter air I noticed the dandruff clear up quickly and they shine! They are also on a high quality grain free diet. We grow our own pumpkins and they love that as well. I didn't know about the ground raw pumpkin seeds so I will be doing that with some of this summers crop for sure! Thank you!!
Sammy on January 16, 2017:
My dogs.. and unsurprisingly my chickens eat their own eggs whenever they lay them! I've never had an issue feeding a raw egg from my hens to my dogs, or even to the hens themselves but I did have an issue when I gave my dog a raw egg that was store bought. I feel like it's just all the chemicals and hormones chicken farms feed their hens to fatten them up, the same with any plant that's store bought, they use chemicals that keep bugs away from them but in turn I think it's poisonous to our beloved dogs and other pets to.
Thank you though for the facts, when halloween rolls around again I'll make sure to feed my dog some pumpkin as a treat! She eats pretty much anything (which is why I call her moo moo now rather then Luna) and she LOVES things that aren't dog food, particularly fish based dog treats that come in cans; like salmon, crocodile and catfish.
Ethen88 on November 20, 2016:
Thanks for great info !
Danielle on September 18, 2016:
I give my 2 dogs angle and Pico so raw eggs.
irenegm on July 24, 2016:
Hi Robyn What a great read! I also wanted to reassure you that there was nothing you could have done differently for Tate. I lost my beautiful soul, Lacey, to cancer of the spleen, a devastating, silent swift unforgiving tumour. There was nothing I could do. She was only 9 years old, and she was fed a very high quality diet, partiallly raw. It is unfortunate that dogs are showing up more and more with different types of cancers, and they are becoming more and more breed specific. Lacey's was. I was devastated beyond belief. I did, however promise thatI would adopt anotherdog, and in one month after I said good-bye to my sweet girl, I adopted a northern ruscue Husky. She is of Inuit origins, not Siberian. Her name is Nukka (means "little sister" in Inuit) and I want to keep her diet as close to her natural diet as possible. I probably wont be able to get my hands on seal, walrus or whale, but there are other foods that I can. My question is for eggs. Your article talks about dogs presumably adult, but for a 10-11 week old puppy, I can only use my imagination. My concern is to when I can introduce her to an egg? I cant't wait to watch her with it, and I know people will be alll worried about raw foods. Natural foods are the way to go. At least I can control the ingredients and hopefully the source. I do feed dry kibble, Taste of the Wild, no grains, and neither Lacey or now Nukka wolf their food down. They "browse", and Lacey was so healthy, fresh breath, shiny silky coat, clean eyes and ears, and the vet kept tellng me so, then the tumour took over. I was hoping you could give a few tips on introducing raw eggs to a puppy.. She is already eating raw meat.
Thank you so much for your insight and advice.
irene & Nukka
Sophia Kay on July 17, 2016:
This website helped me so so so much! thank you! Tate's death wasn't your fault. We lost our 9 1/2 year old mastiff american bulldog, Enzo. We lost him to cancer as well. We took very good care of him and the vet said he was in very good shape. Although it was devastating, I don't think it was our fault. So it probably wasn't your fault. It's just an age thing. But thank you for all this helpful info!
Henry on June 02, 2016:
Would you please make a list of things dogs should not have? Thank you for your help.
siva on April 20, 2016:
I absolutely loved reading this post. It is informative, completely comprehensive and straight to the point. well done and thank you.
Debanorforkterriorlover on April 19, 2016:
I read this and agree with it all but.......you talk of 60 lb dogs. Mine is 15-20 lbs. Could you give me a source that could tell me about those size of dogs and what the can and cannot eat
Fina on April 19, 2016:
I was sold hands down on the raw eggs for my rottie 4 yrs, and my lab, 7 yrs. But then, someone comes along and plants doubt. Well, if you don't like eggs for your pets, bloggers, it's ok. Too many people just can't be wrong with the raw eggs. So, my furbabies will be getting (with moderation of course) raw eggs! And Just For Those Who Feed Their Pets Off The table, just remember, spices could be bad for them. Just saying! Not a vet or blogger, just a careful furbaby mom.
Shiza on January 09, 2016:
I think its not good to serve raw eggs to your pet. I am a family pets blogger and blogs on different tips about pets and food ideas at http://www.smartfamilypets.com/
I always suggest the healthy diet to my readers for their dogs and other pets. With the healthy diet plan, your pet will remain healthy, but its not a good idea to give raw eggs to your dog.
LosectinWinders on January 20, 2015:
Thanks for your comment! I'm so excited to have been nominated! Many people are surprised that certain "human" foods are healthier than kibble. Thanks for reading.
Uzair Mehmood from USA, TX on December 21, 2014:
The natural food for dogs and cats both is best. All high protein foods are going to keep dogs and cats safe and healthy.
ChristineAngelson on December 14, 2014:
I've recently read some.articles succeeding a raw diet, it's cost, and healthy alternatives when it comes to expense. One source recommended a good basic kibble grain free supplemented with meats and vegetables and fruits from your table, including raw eggs with shells. Sounds logical to me...@
Besarien from South Florida on November 29, 2014:
I have come to the conclusion that there could be nothing worse for my dog than a big name commercial dog food. We recently adopted a rescue in pretty poor health. We had her teeth, that were nearly hidden under a build up of scale cleaned. I have started giving her mainly a raw diet. I grind chicken thighs bone and all and add raw eggs and veggies. She also gets leftover cooked veggies, cooked gristle, and occasional cooked beef, lamb, goat, chicken, rabbit, etc. that is leftover from someone's plate. I just give it to her as part of her next feeding. I also give her cods liver oil and an organic canine vitamin supplement to plug any holes in her diet. She now looks, acts, smells, and plays much healthier. Her coat has improved. She is as happy as can be at feeding time.
Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 29, 2014:
It is great to see this at the top of the "hot hubs" about dogs. There are so many people out there that write articles about the dangers of eggs and they do not even know what they are talking about.
I laughed at the comment from one of your readers recommending you change this. I wonder if that person has ever seen a biotin deficiency.
ShirleyJCJohnson on November 29, 2014:
I will often times fix our dog some rice and mix an egg into it (a raw egg). The rice helps in digestion and the egg will make his coat thicker and shinier. A healthy dog is a happy dog.
Robyn D Bera (author) from California on July 28, 2013:
Fanny, I'm so glad to hear that Tesla is eating! What a great idea to use liver as a reward for potty training. It sounds like she is doing great. My dogs go bananas for liver! Thanks for the tip! Best of luck to you and Tesla, and happy training!
Fanny on July 26, 2013:
Wow, let me just start by saying amazing advice! I made Tesla a mixture of epicure chicken broth, which is far less sodium then regular store bought stuff. I added cut up baby carrots and homemade calf liver treats. See devoured it in about 10 seconds!
Here is a recipe for you that is cheap, easy and your dogs will do ANYTHING for. Buy a calf, beef or pork liver (doesn't matter and what ever the farmers market had available is fine). Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out liver flat. Put in oven for 1 hour flip over and cook for another hour. Once it cools (about 20 minutes) cut up into tiny pieces. They last in your freezer for about a month and in your fridge for 5 days. If the liver changes colour or texture throw it out. It costs about $5.00 to make. Remember a little bit of liver is great for your dog but too much is not. Great way to house train a puppy is to take them out to do their business and when they finish immediately give them three of these treats in quick succession. Since we started this two weeks ago, Tesla hasn't had a single accident in the house! Love my baby girl! Such a smarty pants
Robyn D Bera (author) from California on July 25, 2013:
Hey Fanny, thanks for your comments. Congrats on the new addition to your family! I have major respect for those who adopt through the SPCA. I wish more people would. All my animals have been rescued too. I love that you are looking into healthy, alternative options to keep your pup strong. Although I am not a vet, I would definitely recommend adding the raw egg to her kibble. Personally, I would not exceed more than one raw egg per day. If you notice her stool is too soft, try adding a few tablespoons of organic pumpkin puree to her kibble. It is full of vitamins and helps solidify her stool. If she still won't eat, you can always try making a broth! I make a liver/carrot/sweet potato soup of sorts, and add the broth and chunks to their food. They love it! Good luck with your baby and do let me know if I can offer any more advice. We are a mutt family here and we too love our diamonds in the rough!
Fanny on July 23, 2013:
Hey Great Blog!
RIP Tate. I thought I was going to cry reading that. We consider or five month old 55lbs Mastador an important member of our family. I just discovered before reading you blog that she love carrots and apples. We are all about giving her healthy options. You never really know what they are eating unless you see it for yourself. We adopted our baby girl from the local SPCA and have been advised by our vet and trainer that she is too skinny. She just doesn't like kibble (any kind) so I did some research and discovered if I put an egg in her kibble and mix it good she just devours it! Is two eggs a day too much? I have noticed less solid poops, but I'm not sure what else to do to get her to eat. She's a diamond in the rough and we adore her!
marion langley from The Study on June 29, 2013:
Because we only had store bought eggs at the time I always boiled ours before feeding them to the dogs but now that we have chickens that might change. :-) Our bassets also loved fruit and peanut butter. Thanks for writing and reminding us that we can both love dogs and at the same time not forget they are animals.
Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on June 23, 2013:
Great hub - Voted thumbs up and useful! Dogs can tolerate many things humans cannot; and raw food is all that has been available to them during the majority of their development. I can hardly think of an omnivore or carnivore that would pass up an opportunity to steal a raw egg. Just ask the foxes! Raw, cooked and scrambled, my dogs love them and their coats are glossy.
Robyn D Bera (author) from California on June 20, 2013:
Thanks for your comment Vic. Avidin does slow down the absorption of Biotin but it would take numerous eggs, in a short period of time, to create a Biotin deficiency. As long as whole raw eggs are fed in moderation, in addition to a healthy diet, the other nutrients and vitamins in raw eggs will benefit your dog. Although I appreciate your opinion as an instructor, there are countless holistic Veterinarians that do agree with and encourage raw egg feeding. Veterinarians of course are the experts in this field. You can follow my sources (above) and read the material from the Veterinarian's for yourself. Dog's Naturally Magazine is a magazine run by holistic Veterinarians and is a great resource for those new to raw feeding. I encourage you to check out their site. I know it seems scary at first, but plenty of recent studies support raw feeding. It is today's kibble (dry food) that is most deadly. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment!
Vicky Pelletier from Edmundston on June 20, 2013:
"raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems"... You should probably change your hub. (I am a dog obedience instructor/trainer and I do not agree with this.) You should boil your eggs before feeding them to your dog, even scrambled eggs cooked in a pan should not be given to a dog.
Nancy McLendon Scott from Georgia on June 02, 2013:
Great hub! I have always given my dogs raw eggs. I had heard some of the warnings, too, but ignored them because years ago a vet advised one of my aunts to feed her dog raw eggs. My dog's coat is beautiful and I attribute the shiny coat to the nutrients from the eggs. Also liked reading about the other foods----will definitely try some of these, too. Thanks for providing this valuable information for our canine family members.
Angie Power from North Cali on May 23, 2013:
Awwe. I loved reading this! Full of valuable information and it touches my heart that you consider your animals to be part of your family. RIP Tate. Thank you for the personal touch also. There should be more people like you in this world! Voted up.
moonlake from America on May 23, 2013:
My husband use to make oatmeal every morning for our big dogs. I worry when we buy dog food if it's good or tainted like it was a few years ago. I'm wondering if we shouldn't go back to the old way of feeding dogs human food. They would be safer. We love farm eggs. Voted up.
Robyn D Bera (author) from California on May 21, 2013:
Thanks for your feedback, Collegedad!
collegedad from The Upper Peninsula on May 21, 2013:
This is a topic I would have never considered. We always gave our dogs raw eggs and never gave it a second thought. Marked interesting and shared!
Robyn D Bera (author) from California on May 09, 2013:
People always comment on my dogs coats. We'll be camping, and people will stop me and ask if I bath them in my campsite! Lol. Dogs love raw eggs and I love being told how gorgeous my pooch's coats are. Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on May 09, 2013:
Always great to read about feeding dogs a more healthier diet. The photo in this hub at the very beginning is very cute. When I was growing up we fed my dog raw eggs and her coat was real shiny from it. I agree it's best to give organic eggs from a trusted source rather than commercial store bought, just to be safe. Thanks for sharing this informative and interesting hub, voted up.
Robyn D Bera (author) from California on May 01, 2013:
Thanks for your comment! I also love to see people take a serious interest in their dog's health. Fresh is best! Thanks for reading.
Amy from Texas on April 30, 2013:
I love to see people who are interested in feeding dogs good, healthy foods.
Robyn D Bera (author) from California on April 27, 2013:
Thanks for your comment! I'm so excited to have been nominated! Many people are surprised that certain "human" foods are healthier than kibble. Thanks for reading.
FlourishAnyway from USA on April 26, 2013:
Interesting hub on a topic I'm sure many dog parents wonder about. The variety of healthy foods mentioned here are so diverse. Your observation about trust in organic farmers and buying local is useful. Congratulations on your nomination.
Robyn D Bera (author) from California on April 15, 2013:
Thanks for your comment! I too discovered pumpkin to help my Golden Retriever with his sensitive stomach. I just started my pumpkin seeds indoors here in California, for a late fall outdoor harvest. Love that pumpkin!
Mary Craig from New York on April 14, 2013:
Another interesting hub about dogs. You've covered a lot of ground here. My dog had issues with his anal glands and pure pumpkin was recommended to help form firmer stool. It works great, he hasn't had his glands done in over a year, before it was every six weeks.
Good food, good stuff.
Voted up, useful, and interesting.l