Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? A Vet's Perspective

Dogs are known for loving food, so as pet owners, we want to be sure they are receiving all the vital nutrients they require. Many pet owners are unsure whether eggshells may be included to their furry friend's meals due to the popularity of natural and home-made pet diets. While eggs are a fantastic source of protein and other necessary elements for dogs, what about the eggshells? Can dogs eat eggshells without becoming sick? I've been asked this question several times by worried pet owners as a highly skilled veterinarian.

Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?

Yes, dogs can definitely eat eggshells. In fact, eggshells provide a valuable source of calcium, a mineral that is vital for bone development and maintenance, muscle functionality, and proper nerve transmission. Calcium also plays a crucial role in blood clotting and helps regulate the rhythm of the heart. Moreover, eggshells contain other important minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which serve various essential functions in the body.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to note that before feeding eggshells to your dog, they should always be crushed into small pieces. Eggshells can be sharp and may cause harm to your dog's digestive system if not adequately broken down. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the eggshells are thoroughly cleaned and boiled before being added to your dog's meals.

 

can dogs eat eggshells raw


Nutritional Benefits of Eggshells for Dogs

As mentioned earlier, eggshells offer a wealth of nutritional benefits for dogs. They serve as an excellent source of calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth while regulating muscle function. Moreover, eggshells contain other vital minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which contribute to various bodily functions.

Eggshells are also a valuable source of protein. Protein plays a vital role in tissue building and repair, supporting a healthy immune system. In fact, the protein found in eggshells is considered high-quality as it contains all the essential amino acids that dogs require for optimal health.

Risks of Feeding Eggshells to Dogs

While eggshells can provide numerous nutritional benefits, it is crucial to be aware of potential risks. As mentioned earlier, improperly crushed eggshells can be sharp and pose a risk to your dog's digestive system. This may result in gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Additionally, eggshells can harbor bacteria like Salmonella, which can lead to food poisoning in dogs. To minimize the risk of bacterial contamination, it is essential to ensure thorough cleaning and boiling of the eggshells before feeding them to your dog.

How to Safely Feed Eggshells to Dogs

If you decide to incorporate eggshells into your dog's diet, it is vital to do so safely and responsibly. Here are some tips to help you feed eggshells to your dog without any harm:

  1. Crush the eggshells into small pieces before adding them to your dog's meals. This precaution prevents potential damage to their digestive system.
  2. Thoroughly clean and boil the eggshells to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination.
  3. Begin with small amounts of eggshells and gradually increase the quantity over time, allowing your dog's digestive system to adjust.
  4. Keep a close eye on your dog for any signs of gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.


Other Sources of Calcium for Dogs

While eggshells offer a valuable source of calcium, there are other alternatives you

can consider to ensure your dog receives an adequate amount of this essential mineral. Some additional sources of calcium include:

  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli
  • Fish such as salmon and sardines (can dogs eat canned tuna?)
  • Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate supplements


Before introducing any new calcium sources into your dog's diet, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to ensure your furry friend receives the appropriate nutrients in the right quantities.

Common Myths About Feeding Eggshells to Dogs

There are several myths surrounding the feeding of eggshells to dogs. Let's debunk some of the most common misconceptions and uncover the truth behind them:

Myth: Eggshells can cause constipation in dogs.
Truth: While improperly broken down eggshells can lead to gastrointestinal issues, they do not cause constipation in dogs.

Myth: Feeding eggshells to dogs can chip or break their teeth.
Truth: On the contrary, eggshells can actually benefit dental health by helping to clean your dog's teeth and freshen their breath.

Myth: Eggshells can upset a dog's stomach.
Truth: While poorly prepared eggshells can cause gastrointestinal issues, they do not inherently cause an upset stomach in dogs.

Advice from Veterinarians on Feeding Eggshells to Dogs

As with introducing any new food or supplement, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian before feeding eggshells to your dog. Your veterinarian can provide guidance on the appropriate amount of eggshells to incorporate into your dog's diet and advise on safe feeding practices.

Additionally, your veterinarian can evaluate your dog's overall diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients. If your dog has any underlying health conditions, your veterinarian can help determine whether feeding eggshells is safe for them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, dogs can safely consume eggshells with certain precautions. Eggshells offer various nutritional benefits, including a rich source of calcium, protein, and essential minerals. However, it is vital to crush the eggshells into small pieces and ensure they are thoroughly cleaned and boiled to minimize the risk of gastrointestinal issues and bacterial contamination. As always, consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog's diet to ensure they receive all the essential nutrients they need to thrive.

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