If you’re a dog owner, you may have wondered Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? Eggshells are not digestible and can potentially cause digestive issues or even injury if consumed in large quantities. However, eggshells can also be a great source of calcium for dogs when ground into a fine powder. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of feeding your dog eggshells, the benefits of providing them with calcium, and how to prepare and serve eggshells safely.
What Are Eggshells?
Eggshells are the hard, outer layer that encases the contents of an egg. They are primarily made up of calcium carbonate, which provides strength and protection to the delicate inner membrane and yolk. While eggshells are commonly discarded after the contents of the egg have been used, they can actually be a valuable source of calcium and other minerals for dogs when prepared and served correctly.
Why Do Dogs Eat Eggshells?
Dogs may be attracted to eating eggshells for several reasons, including their high calcium content, their texture, and their smell. Calcium is an essential mineral for dogs, and they may instinctively seek out sources of it when their body is deficient. Eggshells are also crunchy and have a satisfying texture that some dogs enjoy chewing on. Additionally, the smell of eggshells can be appealing to dogs, as it is similar to the smell of eggs, which many dogs find delicious.
Are Eggshells Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? While eggshells are not toxic to dogs, they are not easily digestible and can potentially cause digestive issues if consumed in large quantities. The sharp edges of the eggshells can also cause injury to a dog’s mouth, throat, or digestive tract. Therefore, it’s important to only feed your dog eggshells in moderation and in a safe form.
What Are The Benefits of Eggshells?
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? As mentioned earlier, eggshells are a great source of calcium for dogs. Calcium is especially important for growing puppies, pregnant or nursing dogs, and senior dogs who may have weakened bones. In addition to calcium, eggshells also contain other essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
The Risks of Overfeeding Your Dog Eggshells
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? While eggshells can provide many nutritional benefits to your dog, it’s important to not overfeed them. Overfeeding eggshells can lead to a variety of health issues, including:
- Excessive Calcium:
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? Eggshells are primarily made up of calcium carbonate, which means that feeding too many eggshells can lead to an excessive intake of calcium. This can cause hypercalcemia, which is a condition characterized by elevated levels of calcium in the blood. Symptoms of hypercalcemia include lethargy, vomiting, constipation, and in severe cases, kidney failure.
- Digestive Issues:
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? Eggshells can be difficult for some dogs to digest, especially if they are not ground up finely enough. Feeding your dog large pieces of eggshell can cause digestive discomfort, such as constipation or even blockages in the digestive tract.
- Choking Hazard:
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? If the eggshells are not ground up finely enough, they can also pose a choking hazard to your dog. This is especially true for smaller dogs, who may have a harder time swallowing large pieces of eggshell.
When to Avoid Feeding Eggshells to Dogs
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? While eggshells can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, there are some situations where you should avoid feeding them to your dog:
If your dog has a known allergy to eggs, it is best to avoid feeding them any part of the egg, including the shell.
2. Digestive Issues:
If your dog has a history of digestive problems or has a sensitive stomach, it may be best to avoid feeding them eggshells, as they can be difficult to digest and may cause gastrointestinal upset.
3. Kidney Problems:
Dogs with kidney problems should avoid consuming high levels of calcium, so it may be best to avoid feeding them eggshells, which are a rich source of this mineral.
4. Risk of Salmonella:
Raw eggs and eggshells can carry the risk of Salmonella infection, which can be dangerous for dogs. It is best to cook eggs and eggshells before feeding them to your dog to reduce this risk.
Alternatives to Eggshells for Providing Calcium to Your Dog
1. Calcium supplements:
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? There are many types of calcium supplements available for dogs, such as calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, or calcium gluconate. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the right type and dosage for your dog’s specific needs.
2. Bone meal:
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? This is a powder made from ground-up animal bones that is high in calcium and other essential minerals. However, it’s important to only use bone meal from a reputable source, as some may contain contaminants or harmful additives.
3. Dairy products:
Cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are also good sources of calcium, but they can also be high in fat and calories, so they should be given in moderation.
4. Leafy greens:
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? Some leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach are also rich in calcium. These greens can be added to your dog’s meals in small amounts, but it’s important to avoid giving them too much, as they can also be high in oxalates, which can cause kidney issues in some dogs.
5. Commercial Dog Food:
Many commercial dog foods are fortified with calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. Check the label to ensure that your dog’s food contains the appropriate amount of calcium for its size and age.
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells? Eggshells can be a healthy and natural source of calcium and other essential minerals for dogs when prepared and given in moderation. However, it is important to consider your dog’s individual needs and any potential risks, such as allergies or digestive problems, before feeding them eggshells. If you are unsure about whether eggshells are a good addition to your dog’s diet, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian for personalized recommendations.
Read Also: Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?
Can dogs eat raw eggs and eggshells?
Dogs can eat raw eggs, but there is a risk of Salmonella infection. It is recommended to cook eggs before feeding them to dogs. Additionally, raw eggshells can be difficult to digest and may pose a risk of intestinal blockages.
How many eggshells to give a dog?
The amount of eggshell to give a dog depends on the size and weight of the dog. As a general rule, it is recommended to give 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of finely ground eggshell per 10 pounds of body weight per day.
Are crushed eggshells good for dogs?
Crushed eggshells can be a good source of calcium and other essential minerals for dogs if prepared properly. However, they should be given in moderation and monitored for any signs of digestive problems.
How much eggshell powder should be given to dogs?
The amount of eggshell powder to give to dogs depends on their size and weight. As a general rule, it is recommended to give 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of finely ground eggshell per 10 pounds of body weight per day.
How should eggshells be prepared for dogs?
Eggshells should be boiled for at least 5 minutes to kill any bacteria and then ground into a fine powder before being added to your dog’s food as a supplement.