Your dog would rather dine with you, but what human foods can dogs eat? Eggs and bacon for breakfast? Peanut butter and jelly for lunch? Here's what every dog owner needs to know.
Your alarm went off late this morning. No problem. A quick shower, breakfast on the road, and you'll make up the time. Then, just as your four-legged companion gives you the sad, hungry look, you realize you're out of dog food. You scour the fridge hoping for some extra lunch meat or hot dogs, but all you find is a hard-boiled egg. Bilbo is licking his chops and wagging his tail, but can dogs eat eggs?
Can dogs eat eggs? Here's what you need to know about dogs and human food.
The quick answer is yes; dogs can eat eggs. In the words of Dr. Ron's Animal Hospital in Simi Valley, California, "Eggs are a superior source of what dogs need" for a nutritious, balanced diet. In fact, eggs may be one of the healthiest "human" foods a dog can eat.
An article on vetinfo.com mentions egg yolks as a good source of Vitamin B9 for dogs with anemia. For dogs with heart disease, Vermont Veterinary Cardiology Services points out that eggs make an excellent treat. And the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine suggests an egg-based diet for dogs with hepatic encephalopathy (a disease of the central nervous system brought on by liver disease).
Raw or cooked: Which eggs can dogs eat?There are mixed opinions on this question. Petmd.com says, "While there have not been health scares involving raw eggs and transmission of any major illness to domesticated animals, it is still better to be safe. Raw eggs do not impart any significant health benefit and may only cause problems."
The Pet Food Manufacturers Association in London, on the other hand, maintains that a few raw eggs per week are a perfect addition to a balanced diet.
However, this all comes with a big caveat.
Can dogs eat eggs? Only if you follow these rules.
1. Watch the omelets
Why can dogs eat eggs, but not omelets? The biggest problem here is from extra ingredients. For instance, you don't want to share that savory garlic and onion omelet (and not just because it's so darn good you don't want to divvy it up).
Onions and garlic, as well as similar plants like shallots, chives, and scallions, are highly toxic to dogs and cats. Banfield Pet Hospital warns that eating these foods "may lead to internal organ damage, organ failure, or even death."
Incidentally, this isn't just for omelets. Any food you give your dog should be free of these and other toxic ingredients.
2. Hold the salt
A simple hard-boiled egg with a dash of salt is a delightful snack for humans. Your dog, however, doesn't need the extra salt. While it's unlikely that your dog will ingest too much salt, there's no good reason to take the chance. While some salt is necessary for proper physiological functions, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual, "Excess salt intake in dogs results in vomiting ... (and) can progress to weakness, diarrhea, muscle tremors, and seizures."
Make your own delicious egg-based dog food.
No, this isn't just for people with too much time on their hands. Simple, homemade foods are ideal for a dog with an upset stomach or diarrhea. It's important to note that there could be any number of reasons your dog is vomiting or having diarrhea. Get in touch with your vet first to ensure the health and safety of your dog.
If it is just an upset stomach, then a bland diet is the way to go. Here's a recipe from Natural Dog Guide for a "stool-firming, diarrhea-relieving" meal.
- 4 cups of sweet potatoes (or yams)
- 1/2 cup of cream
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
Bake sweet potatoes until thoroughly cooked, around 60-90 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Dice the baked sweet potatoes and place them in a blender with the remaining ingredients. Puree all ingredients in blender until it is the consistency of pancake batter (add enough cream and milk to get this consistency). Pour pureed mixture into a 13″ x 9″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool and serve.
If you have more questions about what your dog can or cannot eat, check with your vet. If you have questions about pet insurance, check with your local Pekin Insurance agent.
What human foods do you feed your dog? Share your stories in the comments.