Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?

By John Martin - May 7, 2021

Broken eggshells

Dog owners include eggs in their pooch’s diet very often but usually throw away the eggshells. The first instinct is to assume that eggshells are inedible and your pet may choke after eating them.

So, the question is, “Can dogs eat eggshells?” You’ll be quite surprised to know that the answer to this is “Yes”. Not only can dogs eat eggshells, but they are also an excellent source of calcium, vitamins, amino acids and other essential nutrients. Given in moderation, eggshells can be a healthy addition to your pooch’s diet.

Eggshell Nutrition

Eggshells are packed with calcium, phosphorus and other minerals that are required by your pet for proper bodily function.

  • Calcium: Not only does calcium make your pooch’s teeth and bones healthy, but it also helps to improve circulation, neuron transmission, hormone distribution and intracellular communication. Apart from this, calcium also makes the heart, immune system and muscles healthy.
  • Phosphorus: Eggshells are also rich in phosphorus, which plays an extremely important role in the functioning of your pet’s heart and kidneys. Phosphorus helps to flush out the toxins from the body via the kidneys. It also helps the body to use carbs and fats efficiently and also helps in cell repair. Also, phosphorus helps muscle contractions for proper motor functions such as chewing, walking, running, etc.
  • Strontium: Eggshells are rich in the mineral strontium, which helps the bones and helps to improve bone formation, calcium absorption and preventing bone fractures.
  • Magnesium: Eggshells also contain magnesium, which helps to regulate blood pressure, keeps the heart beating properly and is also good for the bones.

Can Eggshells Help to Improve Calcium Levels in My Dog?

If you are looking for an organic, bone-free, yet healthy way to improve your pooch’s calcium intake, then eggshells are an excellent option. In fact, in the wild, dogs eat whole raw eggs from bird nests along with the eggshell. The shell of one egg is enough to provide your dog’s daily calcium requirement. However, it is important to restrict your pet’s eggshell intake to just one a day because too much calcium can result in hyperthyroidism.

According to studies conducted by the National Institute of Rheumatic Diseases, Piestany, consumption of eggshells can help to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis in both humans, as well as animals.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Doritos?

Do Eggshells Have to Be Sterilized before Feeding My Pet?

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), in some cases, eggshells can be contaminated with salmonella just as raw eggs can contain pathogens. So, it’s a good practice sterilizing the eggshells before you feed it to your pooch to prevent him from being infected.

The best way to sterilize the eggshells is to boil them in water for around 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the eggshells and allow them to cool before serving them to your dog. If you want to feed your pet whole eggs along with the shell, then the best option is hard-boiled eggs. Cook the eggs to 160oF, which is the ideal temperature at which any salmonella present in the eggs will be killed.

How to Serve Eggshells to My Dog?

Instead of throwing away the eggshells from your own eggs into the trash or compost heap, you can keep them and give it to your pooch. Another option is to clean, dry and grind the eggshells into a fine powder, which you can then mix into your dog’s food daily. Eggshell powder is very easy to make in a coffee/spice grinder and it also keeps for longer. You can store the dry eggshell powder safely for up to 2 months.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Pizza?

How to Make Eggshell Powder?

  • Take 12 eggshells, clean and dry them. Place the eggshells on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven at 300oF for around 5 to 7 minutes. When they are baked, the eggshells will not lose their natural color but will become lighter in color.
  • Don’t overbake the eggshells, as they will become unpleasant smelling that your pet will not find attractive.
  • Allow the eggshells to cool down and then using a coffee grinder, grind it into a fine powder.
  • Store the eggshell powder in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

Use farm fresh eggs instead of store-bought eggs because the chemicals used to clean and bleach the eggshells in store-bought eggs can remove the vitamins and minerals in the eggshells and make them harmful for your pet.

The important thing to remember is that on its own, eggshells are not a main source of food but only a supplement. So, it is recommended that you add around 3/4th to 1 teaspoon of the eggshell powder to your pet’s food every day. 1 eggshell gives around 1 teaspoonful of powder, which meets the recommended amount of your dog per day.

Can Puppies Eat Eggshells?

Yes, puppies can eat eggshells safely. Since the eggshells are a rich source of calcium, protein and other nutrients, they help in the proper growth of your puppy and reinforcement of his teeth and bones. However, if you feel that the eggshells may hurt or rub your puppy’s mouth, then you can powder the eggshells as described above and feed it to your puppy. For a growing pup, around ½ teaspoon of the eggshell powder is sufficient every day.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Pomegranate?

Are Unground Eggshells Safe for My Dog?

What if your dog gobbled up an egg that you accidentally dropped or wanted to give him the eggshell from an egg that you just used for your omelette? Is it safe? Eating unground eggshell is quite safe and will not really harm your pooch unless it has any sharp or jagged edges that can catch in his mouth, throat or intestines. However, in the powdered form, your pet can digest the eggshells and absorb the nutrients better.

Can My Dog Eat Cooked Eggs?

Yes, cooked eggs are a great food for your dog and are an excellent source of vitamins A and B, protein, folate, selenium, iron, riboflavin and fatty acids. The only important thing is that you must make sure that the egg is cooked without any salt, pepper, butter or cooking oil because these can upset your pet’s stomach.

However, if you make an egg dish for yourself like a frittata, etc. with plenty of other ingredients, then it’s better to avoid feeding it to your dog, unless it does not contain any salt, seasonings, oil, etc. It’s fine for your pet to eat a scrambled, poached or hard-boiled egg every day, as long as it does not have any salt or added seasonings.

Can My Dog Eat Raw Eggs?

Yes, your dog can eat raw egg, which offers the same health benefits as a cooked egg. In fact, eating the egg raw makes it much easier for the dog to absorb all the beneficial nutrients. Of course, the main risk of eating raw eggs is that your pet can get infected by salmonella in the raw eggs.

If you want to feed raw eggs to your dog, then make sure that they have been handled and stored properly to prevent any risk of infection. Also, raw foods can be difficult for your pet to digest, so it’s better not to feed your pooch raw eggs every day. Instead, you can give it as a “once in a while” treat.

Can My Dog Eat Egg Whites?

Although you can feed your dog egg whites, just the egg whites on their own are not healthy. Egg whites lack several of the nutrients present in the egg yolk and just having egg whites can lead to biotin deficiency. Biotin is an important supplement that helps to boost metabolism, support healthy skin and improve digestion.

Egg whites contain an enzyme that prevents the absorption of biotin, resulting in a deficiency. While eating egg white occasionally will not hurt your pooch, consistent consumption of egg whites only can be harmful. If you depend on eggs as a source of nutrients for your dog, then make sure that he eats the entire egg along with the yolk.

So, in conclusion, the answer to the question, “Can dogs eat eggshells?” Yes, they can. And, there are a lot of benefits that your four-legged friend can get from eating eggshells. Giving eggshells for your pet to eat daily is perfectly safe and good for his health too, giving him the dose of calcium, phosphorus and other nutrients he needs.

You can give your pooch a raw egg that he can break open on his own and eat entirely along with the shell, give him a hard-boiled egg along with the shell or simply grind the eggshells into a fine powder that you can mix into your pet’s food.

Whichever way, eggshells are very beneficial for your dog. It is highly recommended that you use farm fresh eggs instead of the store-bought bleached white eggs because the chemicals in the shells of these eggs can be harmful to your pet. Eggshells are an excellent, yet affordable way to ensure that your pet gets all the vital nutrients he requires that keeps him active and healthy all his life.