I want a German Shepherd someday, and I want to make sure I will feed it properly. I wondered if a German Shepherd could eat eggs, so I decided to research it in order to find out.
Can German Shepherds eat eggs?
German Shepherds can eat eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein which is very beneficial in a German Shepherd’s diet to maintain muscle and energy levels. They can eat both cooked and uncooked eggs, but there are a few more risks associated with eating raw eggs.
There are plenty of reasons eggs can be good, as well as a few health risks to be aware of.
Health Benefits and Risks of Eating Eggs
German Shepherds are a breed of dog that needs a lot of protein in its diet. This is because this breed is extremely energetic and exercises and works hard a lot. Their minds are also active and need to be kept sharp.
Eggs are rich in protein that a German Shepherd needs, so it is beneficial on that reason alone. The protein helps create and maintain muscles and tissues, and while high in protein, is still low in calories. However, there are still other health benefits when it comes to giving a German Shepherd eggs.
Eggs contain easily digestible fatty acids and other acids, such as Omega-3. Eggs contain plenty of good vitamins, such as vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and Riboflavin.
A German Shepherd can also eat the egg shell, which contains many good minerals, such as zinc, selenium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.
“Eggs… make excellent treats or dietary supplements for dogs. Not only are eggs a healthy and nutritious snack for dogs, they can even help settle upset stomachs.”-American Kennel Club
So, if a dog needs any of these extra protein, vitamin, or mineral benefits, then an egg is a great way to get it. Eating eggs can also promote a healthy coat and skin on a German Shepherd. If a German Shepherd exercises or works hard a lot, then eggs will be a great boost for them to help keep them in top shape.
What about the risks of eating eggs?
Well, most of the risks come when a German Shepherd eats eggs raw. To eliminate these risks, you can simply cook the eggs and you won’t have to worry about it as much. However, cooking the eggs also gets rid of many of the vitamin and mineral benefits of eating eggs.
The main risks of feeding a German Shepherd eggs are Salmonella or E. Coli, and potentially a loss of biotin.
Luckily, these risks are not actually very common with dogs who eat eggs.
Dogs have a short digestive tract and a very acidic stomach. Because of this, there is not as much time during digestion for dangerous bacteria to build up. And the acidic stomach can kill the bacteria pretty easily, as it is strong enough to even break down raw bones with little problems.
This all means that while salmonella and E. Coli are always going to be risks, as it is for humans, the chances of a German Shepherd actually getting it is very slim.
Humans eat raw cookie dough all the time and are typically fine, and we don’t even have the same strength of digestion that dogs do, so this risk is one to be aware of, but not worry excessively over.
The other risk is about biotin. Biotin is a B vitamin that is good and even necessary for dogs. In the egg white, there is avidin, which is a biotin inhibitor. However, the egg yolk actually contains plenty of
You can also make sure your dog gets biotin from other sources, such as liver in order to help supplement it. But overall, the risk of biotin deficiency is slim, so long as your dog gets the yolk as well and isn’t fed too many eggs at a time.
How Many Eggs Should a German Shepherd Eat?
The number of eggs a German Shepherd should eat can vary on individual circumstances, such as the amount of exercise it gets, tolerance level, and what it’s main diet consists of.
Some German Shepherds can even be allergic to eggs. While rare, it’s possible. If your dog vomits, has diarrhea, vomits, or develops rashes after eating eggs, this may be a sign that they are allergic, and so should not eat eggs at all.
It’s always good to consult with a vet before making significant changes to a dog’s diet, and they may be able to help you figure out how many eggs your German Shepherd can eat.
Typically, it’s recommended to give a dog between 2-3 eggs a week. However, some German Shepherd owners give their dog one whole egg each day, and have been fine with that amount. It’s best to start off slow when introducing any new food to a dog’s diet, and then you can add more as you see they are able to handle it well.
It’s recommended that a German Shepherd does not eat more than 4-7 eggs in a week.
Giving a dog too many eggs can be dangerous. Too many raw eggs can still add to the risk of a biotin deficiency. It could lead to weight gain or upset stomachs. If not supplemented with other good foods, it can lead to a vitamin and mineral deficiency, and detract on the overall health of a German Shepherd.
How to Feed Eggs to a German Shepherd
There really is no true right or wrong way to feed a German Shepherd an egg. I will just list some options, and you will be able to decide for yourself which option is best for your dog and for your specific situation.
- Raw with nothing else- this method is pretty common. This can be cracking the entire egg in a bowl and giving it to your dog, or giving them the entire thing, shell and all. This will give them the best chance of getting all the good nutrients in an egg but does come with the risk of salmonella and a potential biotin deficiency.
- Raw and mixed with another food item- One option is to crack a raw egg and mix it in with your dog’s dry or wet food, or any other meal you are feeding your dog. This way, they are getting the benefits of the egg at the same time they eat their other food. This can be a really convenient way to feed your dog. It can help when transitioning to a new diet or meal option.
- Half cooked, half raw- In order to reduce the risk of a biotin deficiency, some people feed their German Shepherd the raw yolk, and then cook the egg whites and feed that separately.
- Fully cooked- This option reduces or even eliminates the risk of salmonella and biotin deficiency. However, the egg does lose some of its good nutrients and vitamins by cooking it. It’s safe to feed your dog cooked eggs in nearly any form, including boiled and scrambled. Just don’t cook it with anything extra like butter, milk, or a lot of oil, so it doesn’t risk health problems that come with those things.
As stated earlier, there’s no one way that is best for a German Shepherd to eat eggs. Consider all your options, your individual dog, and your lifestyle to choose what is best for you.
Can I give my dog a hard-boiled egg with the shell?
A dog can eat a hard-boiled egg with or without the shell. The shell actually provides vitamins and minerals that are good for dogs, though some of these could get cooked out in the process of boiling the egg.