Dogs are omnivores. This means your canine companion will vacuum out almost anything if left unsupervised so that he might have gobbled up the broken eggshells from the floor. But can dogs eat eggshells? Or eggs? Can you add it to foods that dogs can eat/
To answer this briefly, if they consume eggshells, it will provide your dog some nutritional benefits, but it is NOT digestible to dogs in all forms.
Now, let’s see whether you can or cannot keep the eggshells unattended near your pup.
Health Benefits of Feeding Eggshells to Dogs
As mentioned above, eggshells provide some nutritional benefits to dogs, and you might be wondering what those are. What benefits does something that usually goes into the trash can provide? Well, here they are:
1. High calcium and phosphorus content
Eggshells are an excellent source of calcium and phosphorous, an essential mineral that helps keep the bones of your pupper strong and healthy.
If you foster young puppies or have a pregnant or lactating mama dog at the moment, such high calcium content in their diet will hugely help boost their bone health.
Again, sometimes, the naturally required amount of calcium in your dog’s body might decrease drastically due to various health issues such as hyperthyroidism or kidney issues. Adding the eggshell calcium supplement to your pup’s diet reduces their chances of developing other serious diseases.
2. Better joint health
Some of our sweet senior pups start developing joint issues as they grow old (so do we, but let’s let the doggies get the spotlight for now). Those issues might include arthritis, joint pain, etc.
Studies have found that the membranes of eggshells reduce joint pains in multiple dogs. It is rich in components such as collagen, glucosamine, and Chondroitin.
Peeling and feeding the soft membranous part of the eggshell may help your pooch to lead a healthier and happier life with fewer old-age problems.
3. Contains magnesium
Dogs need magnesium in their body to absorb the calcium intake. Magnesium, alongside calcium and phosphorus, aids muscle and bone development.
Health Risks of Feeding Eggshells to Dogs
But feeding eggshells to dogs also comes with its own set of risks. What could they be?
1. Nutritional imbalance
Since eggs are so full of mineral nutrients, feeding your pup too many eggshells can harm their health, as it may create nutritional imbalances.
2. Choking hazard and internal injuries
The eggshells are sharp and brittle, even though they are not very hard to chew. So, your pupper might easily chew onto them, but the sharp edges may injure the insides of their mouth and throat.
Symptoms may include bleeding from the mouth and intense physical discomfort.
Moreover, if not chewed properly, they might get stuck in your pup’s throat, causing them to choke on the pieces.
- Digestive Issues: If you feed your pup eggshells in large quantities, their tummy cannot process it fully. This will further create digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and digestive blockages.
- Bacterial attack: Some raw eggs may carry dangerous bacteria and parasites. One of the major bacteria that spreads through eggshells is Salmonella. Before you feed eggshells to dogs, make sure to rinse and wash the eggs gently and thoroughly.
- Allergic reactions: Some dogs might experience allergic reactions after consuming an eggshell diet.
Remember to consult your veterinarian before sharing new food with your sweet pup. Ask them about your pup’s allergies and start the new food gradually and slowly (if approved).
How to Safely Feed Eggshells to Dogs?
You need to take a few measures if you wish to add eggshells to your pup’s diet, or else they might face severe health risks. The measures are:
- Wash the eggshells properly with plain water.
- Place a paper towel on a tray and lay the shells on it.
- Refrigerate them overnight.
- Take them out of the fridge and boil them to kill any remaining bacteria on the shells.
- Let the eggshells dry completely (if possible, in an oven) and throw them in a food grinder. Make a fine powder of eggshells and store it in an airtight container.
Why Did We Choose Eggshell Powder?
You might wonder why we even choose eggshell powder instead of feeding the eggs whole.
Well, as we mentioned before, eggshells are sharp and brittle. The sharp edges can injure your pooch’s throat and stomach. Powdered eggshells are always the most recommended way of feeding eggshells to dogs. You can even add it to their daily meals as a medicinal supplement.
How Much to Give As a Calcium Supplement?
100g eggshell powder contains about 33 to 35g calcium – and 1 tsp holds about 5g powder. So adults would need about 1 tsp and puppies about 1.5 tsp for every 1,000kcal of food (article).
Eggshells might be one of the best natural calcium sources for your dog as they only pose a threat to them once you process them in a dog-safe manner. The glucosamine, collagen, and Chondroitin elements will boost their overall immunity and bone and muscle health.
But, if you fail to maintain the abovementioned precautions, you might risk your fur baby’s health badly. And above all, remember to have a word with your vet. Ask them if your pup even needs these supplements or not.
Adding too many calcium supplements to their diet will make them more susceptible to hypercalcemia (article), a condition when calcium levels spike up in the bloodstream.
Frequently Asked Questions
Eggshell powder has a similar effect as normal eggshells, but the difference is eggshell powder is just easier to consume for dogs than eggshells as a whole. Whole eggshells have sharp edges, which can cut the insides of your dog’s mouth. And moreover, eggshell powder is processed well enough to suit your dog’s dietary needs.
Boiling eggshells breaks the calcium in them to a certain extent, making it easier for dogs to consume them and reducing the chance of nutritional imbalance. Also, boiling kills off any bacteria that could have been remaining on the surface of the eggshells.
We recommend adding mainly eggshell powder to your dog’s food. That makes it easier for your dog to consume it, and you can also control their portions this way. Sprinkle it on their food, and you are good to go.
Eggshells can stay safe for months when stored in an airtight container in the freezer, given the fact that you cleaned them and they are free of any bacteria. Boiling and powdering them is the best way to store them, as you can use them again and again without having to process them further.