What better way to celebrate Spring than with some EGG-cellent essentials for fido! At home we have our own chickens who start laying like crazy around March. This means we have tons of extra eggs. Because we think of eggs as our food first, we often forget what a wonderful supplement they can be for the pups. Here’s the nutritional, sourcing and serving breakdown:
Eggs are a great source of both protein and fat. Loaded with a broad spectrum of Omega 3s, the fats contained in the yolk are meant to nourish a forming and newborn chick for about 25 days. This broad spectrum of nutrients is a great supplement for your dog or cat. Here are some of the other nutrients worth noting:
- Vitamin A: Aids the immune system and vision
- Vitamin B2: Aids metabolism
- Vitamin B12: Aids immune system, nervous system, and boosts energy
- Vitamin D: Aids bone and teeth health; aids in calcium absorption
- Calcium: Needed for bone health and phosphorus metabolism (don’t toss that shell)
- Choline: Needed for healthy liver function and fat metabolism
- Iodine: A nutrient commonly missing from diets; needed for thyroid function
As with meat, it is important to know where your eggs come from as well as what may be in them since your dog (and presumably you) will be consuming them. Also, knowing that your eggs are handled properly minimizes the salmonella contamination risk.
Ideally, you have your own chickens and can track your eggs from chicken to your dog’s bowl. With this approach, you get to decide exactly what goes into the eggs. We also understand that not everyone can raise their own chickens. Maybe you have a friend or neighbor that will share? The next best option is cage free, organic eggs. You generally want to stay away from factory farmed eggs (just say no to styro!). Aside from greater contamination risks, factory farms use cheap soy based feeds. The end result is less nutritious eggs that are higher in bad cholesterol.
First things first, don’t waste time cooking the egg. Period. Next, it is important to include the shell with the meal. The shell is a great source of calcium and evidence suggests that it is more absorbable than calcium in bone. This leaves you with two options:
- Whole egg: Simply put the whole egg in your dog’s bowl. They will crack it, chew the shell, and swallow all of that goodness inside.
- Crack and crush: Corrina is lazy and prefers this method. Crack the egg over the meal (you can stir it in if you want). Then, take the shells in a plastic bag and crush them up so they can be sprinkled over.