Raw eggs for dogs

Rather than hijack THIS thread I’ll start my own.

I’ve given a raw egg mixed in with dry food to every dog I’ve ever had. Labs, bulldogs, pugs. Breed didn’t matter. Every one had a softer, shinier coat with less shedding after I started putting an egg in their food.

Not one exhibited any outward indication of dificulty, discomfort, or illness. EVER.

Yet my vet and friends tell me giving a dog a raw egg, even occassionally, is very bad. My experience says otherwise, and I’m not stopping until I’m convinced. So…convince me.

You could just add about 1/3 cup of a good quality oil, like wheat-germ oil, olive oil, or just plain corn oil or vegetable oil, to your dog’s food occasionally. That would achieve the same thing, at lower cost, and without the risk of raw eggs.
That risk is really rather small.

Raw eggs (egg white, actually) can interfere with the absorbtion of a B vitamin that dogs need for their skin & coat. But if your dog has a regular balanced diet, you’d have to feed raw eggs pretty constantly to accumulate enough to seriously hurt your dog.

Raw eggs could also cause a risk of salmonella in dogs, just as in humans. Though the risk of this seems to be declining with modern egg production methods.

Think about what a fox, coyote or wolf would eat in the wild. An egg won’t harm your dog.

how about flax seed oil?

Some years ago I owned a racing greyhound. It was kenneled with a trainer but I used to walk it every Sunday. After exercise I would feed it a mixture of raw eggs and sherry, easy on the sherry.

It won races.

Your friends I can forgive but your vet ? did he explain why it was bad? Does he think that it’s also bad and dangeroud for humans to eat raw eggs maybe?

Now you’ll probably get a lot of replies from people stating how bad it is to feed a dog raw food though few can ever actually prove their claims. Then again all I have to prove my claims is 2 dogs who both lived to 14 eating at elast 1 raw egg every week.

if you get convinced otherwise then fish oil will probably be just as good for its coat.

I’ve always fed my dogs raw eggs, too, and without incident. I even give them (gasp!) raw meat scraps. No problems. They’re dogs. Unless you have one of those dogs with really sensitive stomachs (and they are out there) they seem to be able to handle most foods. As another poster said, imagine what they would eat in the wild.

I have been advised to give my dog yolks only since … something about being more susceptible to biotin depletion due to something in egg white something something… anybody know what I’m talking about?

Both dogs and humans can get away with eating raw eggs or raw meat – most of the time. The danger is not an inevitable consequence of raw foods – it’s a risk. Eggs and meat can be contaminated with bacteria or bacterial toxins, and these can only be eliminated by thorough cooking.

Most eggs and meat sold in the U.S. are perfectly safe – but the risk remains. If you’re willing to eat carpaccio or fresh caesar dressing, you might as well subject your dog to the same risk, minimizing his chances of illness by handling raw foods properly – keeping them refrigerated until consumption, washing up before handling them (and in between handling chicken and eggs, for example), etc.

If you won’t eat any raw foods, why are you willing to subjects your pets to the same risk? Contrary to what’s been written here, dogs have no special immunity to contaminated food – wild dogs have a shorter life span for just this reason.

I also give my dogs raw egg yolk on a regular basis and sometimes raw beef. They don’t seem to suffer from it.

I’ll have to call for a cite on both of those statements. Surely dogs are most likely not immune to toxins as a result of bacterial contamination that are already present in food but dogs are most definitely better adept at handling the actual bacterial contamination itself.

Besides, eating raw is habit as much as anything that affects your specific biochemistry and internal microbiology. I’m willing to bet that if you have never eaten raw beef before and you go out and get yourself an 8oz sirloin and eat it raw you’ll get sick (or at least suffer discomfort). I can probably do it no problem, but I’m used to raw or undercooked food.

I thought dogs didn’t get salmonella? At least they’re not as likely anyway. I’ve been told (I have no cites, sorry) that dogs digestive systems are much more resilient then ours.

I give my dogs raw eggs sometimes with their meals. No ill effects.

As between two as-yet-unsubstantiated views, Nametag’s sounds more reasonable to me. Does anyone have a cite either way?

I think groman is right: it’s all in what you’re used to. Our ancestors ate food which wasn’t properly refrigerated or handled in a clean manner all the time. In essence, they probably became immune to most food-bourne illnesses because they’d been “food poisoned” since they were kids, and built up a resistance to it.

Dogs are the same. Puppy breath smells different because the bacteria in the stomach is used to digesting milk. Once the puppy starts eating adult food, the bacteria in their stomachs change. Considering that dogs are opprotunistic omnivores, I’d imagine that a scavenging stray dog’s stomach could get used to eating rotten foods if that was all that was available to them.

If you suddenly switch your dog’s food after they’ve been eating a single brand for a long time, they may get an upset stomach. However, one of the people who works in my mom’s pet store feeds her dog whatever samples have come in that week (she never has to buy dogfood) and the dog never gets sick from it. That dog is used to a varied diet.

Here is a relevant cite from salmonella.org :

“It is not clear that Salmonella does not affect dogs in a negative way. Most dogs do not get serious Salmonella infections, but that is probably because they do not usually get large doses of infected food/water as might occur if fed raw chicken. Furthermore, dogs can be carriers of Salmonella. so infected dogs can be a serious risk for human health. (Also note that raw chicken may lead to Campylobacter infections as well as Salmonella infections.)”

Another bit of relevant information from The Canadian Veterinary Journal raises the same concerns about the possibilty of the dog shedding Salmonella in its stool and saliva.

Clearly, the risk of salmonellosis from raw eggs is low in humans and probably lower in dogs, so do what feels right to you. All the benefits of raw eggs are available from sources with zero risk, so feeding raw eggs is an emotional choice, not a nutritional choice. Do it if it makes you feel good and you feel the risk is insignificant. Don’t do it if it worries you.