My Dog Ate an Eggshell: What Should I Do?

Who doesn’t love eggs? I love mine in an English breakfast, scrambled with some bacon, sausages, bread, and a hot cup of coffee. On several occasions, my dog wiggles his little tail out of excitement when I have some eggs—it’s hard to say “no” to my little buddy. 

So, in this article, I’ll be answering your “can my dog eat raw eggs?’’ question. Also, if you’ve been pondering on what would happen if your dog ate eggshells, then read on.

What Should You Do if Your Dog Eats Eggshells?

First, let us dig a little into eggshells. What are they made of?

We all know eggshells are the outer layers of eggs made mostly of calcium carbonate. Interestingly, eggshells can serve as a supplementary source of calcium. You can get up to 1000 grams of calcium by taking half a teaspoon of eggshell powder.

If your dog eats eggshells in your kitchen while you are busy with other things, you do not need to worry. Eggshells are not toxic. However, you should be a bit concerned if your dog tries to swallow large fragments of shells.

If your dog decides to eat some on its own, then keep reading to know what to do. Also, if you are thinking of feeding your dog eggs, this article will show you the right way to do it.

What Happens if a Dog Eats Eggshells?

If your dog eats some shells, it usually stools them out without complications. In other cases, your dog may vomit or experience diarrhea due to some difficulties digesting the eggshells that could last for a 24-hour period.

If your dog eats them without your supervision, it is advisable to take them to a veterinarian who would check for cuts in the dog’s throat.

That’s right! Injuries can arise from unsupervised consumption of the eggshells. If the quantity of shells consumed does not really seem much cause for concern, it is advisable to watch your dog closely and ensure that the shells are passed out through stool or vomit.

On the other hand, if you plan to feed your dog some eggshells, you need to prepare them properly to give your dog the best benefits.

How Do You Prepare Eggshells For Your Dog?

This is the right way to prepare eggshells for your dog.

You should:

  • Cook the eggshells to kill pathogens
  • Allow shells to dry
  • Grind eggshells to a fine powder

It is best to take this approach because large bits of the shells are sharp and can injure your dog’s throat if not chewed properly. In addition, the shells may result in kidney stones if they are not properly ground. Moreover, cooking the shells ensures your dog is safe from getting infected with the bacteria usually present in eggshells.

Eggshells are very nutritious for dogs but should be done in moderation. However, are they good for puppies?

Can Puppies Eat Eggshells?

Puppies are at a crucial stage of their lives, where everything they eat plays a role in their development. Eggshells contain many minerals that can be highly beneficial, but a growing puppy does not easily absorb calcium carbonate. Therefore, eggshells are not the ideal source of supplementary calcium for your puppy.

Though eggshells are rich in calcium, they’re lacking in phosphorus. If left unchecked, this can create unbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratio in your puppy’s diet, which can have adverse effects on the bones.

Too much calcium can lead to mental or physical impairment, which is usually lifelong. It is advisable either to look for a more balanced source of calcium like bone meal or, at the advice of a veterinarian, reduce the calcium content in your puppy’s main diet if you still wish to feed it eggshells.

In such a scenario, ensure that you cook the eggs properly to get rid of the bacteria. Then pulverize the eggs into a fine powder that can be sprinkled on the dog’s food.

Can My Dog Eat Raw Eggs?

Raw eggs are generally unsafe for dogs as they carry some harmful bacteria. Like most raw foods, raw eggs significantly increase the risk of getting infections from Salmonella and E.coli, which induces vomiting and diarrhea.

These infections are often difficult to treat. Even when the eggs are clean, they can still contain some amounts of Salmonella. Feeding your dog raw eggs is therefore not ideal.

Apart from the infections, raw eggs contain Avidin, a protein that can result in vitamin B deficiency in dogs. This can lead to itchiness, which can cause the dog to develop bald spots due to excessive scratching. Therefore, if you must, feed your dogs raw eggs that are clean.

I recommend that you feed raw eggs to your dogs thrice weekly, at most. Also, keep an eye out for symptoms of Salmonellosis and visit a vet if you notice anything strange.

Furthermore, never replace a proper meal with eggs or eggshells, and ensure that whatever your dog is fed food free from disease-causing pathogens. Therefore, cook your eggs (including the shells) before giving them to your dog because there is no additional benefit of giving raw eggs instead of cooked eggs.

On the other hand, failure to adhere to a healthy feeding regimen would alter the chemical balance of your dog’s digestive system. If a dog consumes other foods that are also high in calcium, there usually tends to be difficulty digesting the excess calcium, leading to hypercalcemia.

Hypercalcemia is a condition whereby there is too much calcium in the blood. Hypercalcemia can lead to organ failure. In pregnant dogs, hypercalcemia can often drastically drop during nursing into hypocalcemia or eclampsia.

Eclampsia, the opposite of hypercalcemia is caused by an extremely low level of calcium in the blood. One of the major causes of eclampsia is an excessive intake of calcium during pregnancy.

Note that the risk of catching an infection increases the more you feed your dog raw eggs. Puppies and pregnant dogs are also more likely to get infected. Thus, while your adult dog can eat raw eggs under strict supervision, puppies should eat properly cooked eggs.

Can My Dog Eat Cooked Eggs?

Compared to raw eggs, cooked eggs are safer for dog consumption because cooking kills the microorganisms present in them. When the eggs are cooked, avidin is somewhat denatured, reducing the risk of vitamin B deficiency. The yolk of the eggs contains vitamin B12, which is essential for hemoglobin production.

Even though they are safe after cooking, the nutritional composition generally remains the same—some of the nutrients might be denatured due to the heat—and must be taken in moderation. Since dogs are easily allergic to proteins, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to know the appropriate portions to give to your dog.

Eggs also contain lots of fats, and even though cholesterol is better processed in dogs, it’s best to give them a reduced amount of eggs. Puppies, who are just being introduced to human food should start with bits of well-cooked eggs.

These eggs which could be fried or hard-boiled will help prevent the induction of vomiting and diarrhea. Half an egg is usually enough for a fully grown dog, as most of their calories should come from their actual food.

Can My Dog Eat Scrambled Eggs?

Scrambled eggs are generally safe for dogs because the scrambling process kills the bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms. However, the actual safety depends on how the eggs are made.

Unlike us, dogs have a hard time digesting seasoned or garnished food. Eggs are made with butter or oil will increase the lipid content, making it very unsafe for your dog. This increases the risk of your dog having triglyceridemia, lipemia, or pancreatitis.

You should also avoid using milk to make your scrambled eggs. Most dairy products can result in allergic reactions and gastrointestinal issues for dogs. It is advisable to make them with no additives or seasoning as this can induce diarrhea or irritate the dog’s digestive system.

While the pathogens are killed in the process of making the eggs, you need to be careful with your dog’s portioning.  Ensure that their snacks or treats, including eggs, should not exceed 10% of their total diet. The 90% remainder should be strict from specially made dog food.

Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?

Yes, dogs can eat eggshells, but not all dogs are advised to do so. Besides the effect that eggshells have on puppies, they are also not recommended for pregnant dogs. On one hand, eggshells contain many minerals like calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and magnesium, making them great for dogs with arthritis.

To sum up, eggs are a rich source of proteins, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B, lipids, and calcium. Under the direction of a veterinarian and in the right proportions, they can serve as an excellent treat. However, they can be harmful to your pet if poorly prepared or served in the wrong proportions.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.

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