There are a huge number of myths and misunderstandings when it comes to what you can and can’t feed your dog. There is plenty of evidence to show that foods like chocolate, garlic and onions, avocado and macadamia nuts can potentially be toxic to dogs and cause them a huge range of health issues, there are also many other human foods that people mistakenly believe to be harmful to pets. One such food is eggs, which routinely get a bad rap as being dangerous or unhealthy for dogs when in fact the opposite is true.
Even though both raw and cooked eggs are generally considered safe for personal protection dogs and all other dogs to eat in moderation, there are still plenty of people who worry about the potential dangers of adding eggs to their dog’s diet. In fact, many veterinarians report that their patients frequently ask whether it is safe for their dog to eat eggs. Therefore, in an effort to clear up some of the common misunderstandings, we’ll now provide you everything about adding eggs to your protection dog’s diet.
Are Eggs Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Opponents of eggs continually claim that they are too high in cholesterol or pose other potential health risks to dogs. However, the truth is that eggs are incredibly healthy and can provide many benefits to the health of your furry best friend. Of course, eggs should only be included in your protection dog’s diet in moderation like most everything else, but the fact remains that they are generally safe and even healthy.
Whether you choose to include them raw or cooked, eggs are undoubtedly a safe and healthy inclusion to your dog’s diet. Not only are they one of the cheapest sources of protein available, but eggs are actually one of the healthiest and most complete sources of nutrition. Personal protection dogs often need even more focus on their nutrition to keep them healthy and doing their job properly, and including eggs in your dog’s diet is a simple way to ensure they get the essential nutrients they need.
Eggs Are a Complete Source of Nutrition
Eggs are one of the most important food sources for many wild animals, as one single egg contains a vast number of essential vitamins and minerals. Eggs are also one of the most complete sources of amino acids, which is a crucial factor considering that these amino acids are the building blocks of protein. In addition to the amino acids, eggs also contain all the following nutrients.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid or folate)
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
- Omega fatty acids
The egg whites and yolks themselves are an excellent source of nutrition for dogs, and although you might not think of it, the egg shells can be just as healthy. All you need to do is dry the shells out, blend them in a coffee grinder and then pour a small amount of the egg-shell powder over your protection dog’s food. This can be especially useful for older dogs that can no longer chew on bones.
Is There a Risk of Salmonella from Feeding Eggs to Dogs?
One of the reasons that some people recommend that dogs shouldn’t eat eggs is due to the perceived risk of salmonella. While salmonella obviously won’t be a problem if you cook the eggs first, many people are still worried about feeding their dog raw eggs. However, the truth is that a dog’s system should easily be able to handle whatever bacteria may be present in raw eggs and other raw food.
Of course, the health of the chicken that laid the eggs helps determine the amount and type of bacteria present. For this reason, it is recommended that you buy eggs from organic, free-range chickens if you are overly concerned about salmonella. As well, you can also lower the risk of bacterial contamination by making sure to keep the eggs cool and store them properly. That being said, the risk of your protection dog contracting salmonella from eating any raw eggs is still extremely minute.
What About the Enzyme Inhibitors Found in Egg Whites?
The biggest reason that some people say dogs shouldn’t eat eggs, specifically raw eggs, has to do with different inhibitors found in raw eggs whites. Egg whites contain an enzyme inhibitor that has the potential to interfere with a dog’s digestion, but this is normally only an issue with puppies and much older dogs. A healthy, adult dog should easily be able to eat several raw eggs a week with no digestion issues. That being said, if you do notice that you dog suffers from poor digestion after eating eggs, it is best to stop feeding them eggs just to be safe.
Can Eggs Cause Biotin Deficiency
The much bigger issue with eggs has to do with avidin, a chemical found in eggs whites. Avidin is known to inhibit the body’s ability to take in biotin, one of the most important B vitamins that is responsible cellular growth, metabolism and a healthy skin and coat. If a dog were to only eat raw egg whites, there is a chance that they could potentially develop a biotin deficiency over time. However, the truth is that biotin deficiencies only occur extremely rarely, and you protection dog would have to regularly eat a huge number of eggs to develop a deficiency.
Cooking the egg whites destroys the avidin, which means that it won’t have any effect on your dog’s ability to process biotin. However, raw eggs are generally considered to be much healthier, as cooking an egg actually destroys much of its nutritional value. The good news is that the egg yolks themselves contain a huge amount of biotin, and this helps to counteract the effect of the avidin even when the eggs are eaten raw.
When a raw, whole egg is consumed, the avidin will generally bind to the biotin in the egg yolk. This basically cancels out the effect of the avidin and thus leaves the dog’s system able to take in any other available biotin. What this means is that there is almost zero chance of your dog developing a biotin deficiency if you make sure to cook the eggs or feed them both the raw whites and yolks.
There is no point in looking for personal protection dogs for sale if you’re not willing to do everything it takes to keep your dog healthy and in good shape. This means making sure they get plenty of exercise and paying special attention to their diet to ensure they get all the recommended vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Luckily, feeding your dog just a few eggs a week is one of the easiest ways to make sure this is so, which could potentially mean it will be many years before you again have to start searching for personal protection dogs for sale.