Dogs and Salmonella

When I was a kid we used to give our Cocker Spaniel a raw egg beaten once a week to (presumably) make her coat shiny.

When I asked my vet if I should do that for my Jack Russell Terrier she said no, the risk of Salmonella is too high. I could, however, cook the egg and give it to him.

So two questions here:

  1. Do people still give dogs eggs (cooked or otherwise) to make their coats shiny or is that an old wives’ tale?

  2. Why is Salmonella such a big problem now when it wasn’t in the past, or were we just unaware of the danger back in they day? I’m talking about 40 years ago here.

We eat raw eggs all the time in smoothies. The eggs are from our own hens, so I am pretty comfortable with quality control.

When we have too many eggs for our own use, I feed them to our dogs. The egg board statistics suggest Salmonella is rare::

We feed our dogs a smear of peanut butter daily and it seems to help their coats (as well as brightening their lives, judging by their reactions).

Fry up some bacon and pour the grease over dry dog food. Let it cool a bit. The dog will gobble it up, and he gets a nice shiny coat. And you get bacon.

So does everything give dogs a shiny coat, or just saturated fats?

So how do eggs get salmonella in the first place? Are the hens infected and pass it on to their eggs, or do the eggs get it on their own somehow?

Is there something we can do to an egg, besides cooking it of course, such as wash it thoroughly, to decrease the chance of getting it?

  1. People feed their dogs all kinds of things.

More seriously: The egg (or bacon grease, or whatever) to add fats to the diet can help make up for nutritional deficiencies, which often manifest as dull fur, among other things. 40 years ago the science behind pet food wasn’t all that great, either.

  1. Both. It’s a bigger problem now because of massive battery-farming operations and antibiotic overuse AND people are waaaayyyy more aware of those kinds of dangers (perceived or real) than back then.

Salmonella isn’t much of a problem for dogs, despite what your vet says. You know how dogs love garbage and carrion? Their digestive tracts are adapted for it. Salmonella IS a problem for people though. There are multiple dog food recalls in the US every year because of salmonella, but the worry isn’t the dogs eating it, it’s people. Little kids, people who touch it and then it gets in their mouths, compromised immune systems blah blah. But don’t worry about your dog.

High end dog foods are expensive, but a bargain.