A critical question for dog owners is; can dogs eat eggshells? What is your take on this? I have been asked this question a couple of times and also know people have a different opinion about this.
It is only normal for a dog owner to feel scared about feeding a dog with eggshells. Some think it might choke their canine friend to death.
If you are in this category of dog owners, no one should blame you for thinking that way. For the records, you are not a nutritionist but a pet lover and owner.
Here’s the answer to the question; can dogs eat eggshells?
Yes, dogs can consume eggshells. In short, they not only eat but digest it without choking like most people think might happen. Eggshells are also vital for your dog. They contain calcium, which is an essential mineral that your dog requires in a specific amount to build healthier and strong bones and teeth. So, when you find your dog eating eggshells, don’t panic! Nothing terrible would happen to your doggie.
So, that’s the answer to dogs eating eggshells. However, there is other important information you need to know about this topic. Keep reading to know more!
Why Dogs Love And Eat Egg Shells
Dogs and bones are BFF (best friends forever). They like cracking bones and can spend hours trying to eat only God knows what’s in the bone.
For us, humans, once the flesh is off the bone, we are done eating. But for dogs, when the meat on a piece of bone is eaten, they never throw the bone away quickly. Why? It still contains something beneficial to the dog.
What makes the bone vital to the dog is the mineral it contains. What is that mineral? They are calcium and phosphorus.
Taking the right proportion of these minerals will help your dog to become healthier and probably save you time and money that would have gone into regular vet visits.
Alright, what about Eggshells? Are they the same thing as bones? Well, eggshells may not be as hard as bones but are similar to them. Eggshells come loaded with calcium and phosphorus, which are beneficial to dogs.
What Calcium And Phosphorus From Egg Shells Do For Dogs
Well, a lot if you ask me. Your vet doctor may also tell you what you are about to read here. Let’s start with calcium. Then we move to phosphorus afterward.
“Calcium is widely popular as a mineral capable of leaving us with healthy and strong bones. For dogs, it does the same thing and more!”
Let’s talk more about the importance of calcium. Your dog needs calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is also an essential mineral to your canine friend, be it a big or small dog.
Another thing calcium does is help your canine friend’s blood to clot appropriately. It also plays a crucial part in information transfer between cells, including enabling the muscle of your dog to contract and extend.
Other Sources Of Calcium Besides Egg Shells And Ground Bones
So, besides your eggshells and bones, your dog can get calcium from other foods. Below are some examples of foods that can give your dog this essential mineral called calcium.
- Dark leafy greens
Limestone, a natural non-food source, can also give your dog an enormous amount of calcium. For the records, limestone is the material that supplies the calcium that you find in calcium supplements for dogs.
Warning: I know you know milk is an excellent source of calcium for humans. But for your dog’s wellbeing, ensure he doesn’t take milk. The thing is most dogs, the majority of them, are lactose intolerant.
In a nutshell, milk can cause the dog to bloat, give it gas or stomach upset that will make the dog uncomfortable. I know you don’t want such to happen to your canine friend.
What if my dog doesn’t get enough calcium? Here’s another critical question, which every dog owner needs to know. When your dog doesn’t get enough calcium from foods consumed daily, the dog is bound to develop what is called “calcium deficiency.” It’s a situation where a dog isn’t getting enough calcium to maintain healthy bones, teeth, and other bodily functions.
Calcium Deficiency In Dogs Can Cause
- Stress fractures
- Poor growth
- Muscle twitching
- Joint and bone health problems
How beneficial is phosphorus to a dog? Phosphorus is also a macronutrient, just like calcium. The two macronutrients are both in close balance with one another.
“Your dog needs phosphorus to be in top shape health-wise. Phosphorus helps boost a dog’s kidney functions and makes it possible for the bean-shaped organ to flush out toxins from the dog’s body via urine.”
Furthermore, phosphorus assists your dog in muscle contractions, a process that’s critical for motor functions. Thus, it enables your dog to perform those normal functions such as chewing, walking, and plod by your side while you are engaging in your morning run.
Another area phosphorus can benefit your dog is the dog’s heart. It ensures your dog maintains a normal heart rate, particularly after engaging in some exercises.
Phosphorus is also one of the primary components needed for the breaking down of calcium. It plays a critical role in energy storage and transfers in your dog’s body.
Calcium And Phosphorus From Egg Shells: How Much Is Enough For Your Dog?
First and foremost, egg shells or grounded bones are not the only sources of calcium and phosphorus for dogs. You can get these essential minerals from other sources too.
Again, remember dietary phosphorus and calcium go hand in hand. Thus, there is a need to provide them together in a ratio of 2:1 or 1.1:1 (calcium ratio phosphorus). Your dog needs it for proper hormonal balance.
Please note that smaller dogs consume more food, and their nutritional needs are higher for their weight than bigger ones. As a result, you cannot use linear guidelines like “Give XYZ amount per 15 lbs of body weight. Again, when calculating the amount of phosphorus and calcium to feed your dog, keep in mind that dogs fighting kidney problems should get more phosphorus. It should be three times higher than calcium.
You can determine the nutritional needs of your dog via various means. But the simplest turns out to be the one that involves using the dog’s calorie requirements. That’s a straightforward way to determine the actual nutritional need of your dog.
Also, keep in mind that the above manner of calculating nutritional needs does have some warnings that you must take seriously.
One of them is to note that the caloric requirements of your dog depend on several factors. These include the metabolism and activity level of your dog.
You also need to know the number of calories your canine doggie gets from other sources.
Otherwise, you might have difficulties understanding the actual amount of feed your dog requires to meet nutrient needs. Examples of where a dog can get extra calories include leftovers, chews, treats, and more!
Again, if your dog is inactive and consumes less food for his weight than expected, do well to ensure the dog gets a majority of his calories from the diet. You should also provide balanced diets regularly to make sure the dog doesn’t develop nutritional deficiencies.
The Association of American Feed Control Official (AAFCO) and National Research Council (NRC) do have nutritional guidelines, which offer great insight and help dog owners determine the nutritional demands of their doggies.
According to these reputable bodies (AAFCO and NRC), the recommended amount is 1.25 mg calcium per kcal for adult dogs.
For the nutrient, phosphorus, adult dogs, particularly larger breeds that are docile, require at most 1 percent of phosphorus in their diet.
Bigger dogs with active lifestyles need 0.9 percent of phosphorus. But if the dog is aged, 0.7 percent phosphorus is enough to include in the diet.
What Are Puppies’ Phosphorus And Calcium Nutritional Requirements?
Puppies’ nutritional requirement is trickier to determine than that of adults. The above guidelines given are for adults alone. Now let’s talk about that of puppies.
The good news is that the Association of American Feed Control Official (AAFCO) and National Research Council (NRC) have agreed to use 3mg of calcium to a calorie for puppies.
You can also see that the recommended amount of calcium for puppies is higher than that required for adult dogs.
The highest amount of calcium you can give to a puppy is 4.5 mg of calcium per calorie. You should also take care not to exceed this amount.
Will a large breed of dog develop health problems when given too much calcium and phosphorus? The answer is a resounding yes. If you have a large breed of dog, ensure you don’t introduce too much calcium or phosphorus in his diet.
The thing is that large breeds are more likely to develop severe health problems when they consume too many of these macronutrients.
Letting Your Dog Have Cooked And Raw Eggs: What You Need To Know
Firstly, an egg is not just a delicacy for dogs. It’s nutrient-rich and, thus, can massively boost your dog’s health.
Fatty acids, Vitamin A and B, selenium, protein, riboflavin, foliate, and iron; are some of the nutrients present in eggs. They are nutrients your dog needs.
So, be it cooked or raw, your dog can get all the health-boosting nutrients from eggs. But nutrients contained in the raw egg are still very much intact than the cooked ones. Thus, such eggs would be more beneficial to your dog nutrient-wise.
“Your dog can eat raw or cooked eggs, including their shells. But you shouldn’t over-feed your doggie with too many eggs per day. Start with one daily and work your way up. You should also avoid eggs that have come in contact with chemicals that can harm your precious dog. You should source for fresh organic eggs only.”
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There’s no doubt the answer to the question, “can dogs eat eggshells” is clear to you. Dogs can consume eggshells and digest them without hurting inside. They also tend to benefit massively from the consumption of eggs.
In addition to protein, vitamins, iron, and riboflavin, eggshells contain a vital amount of calcium and phosphorus, which dogs need to develop and maintain healthy bones and teeth.
So, if you have the chance, let your dog have eggs daily, but try not to over-feed your doggie with eggs. Too much calcium or phosphorus can be terrible health-wise.