Are Raw Egg Whites Good for Cats & Dogs?

by Cindy Quarters, Demand Media
    Feeding pets eggs has pros and cons.

    Feeding pets eggs has pros and cons.

    Some folks claim that raw egg whites are the best supplement for making your pet’s coat shiny and soft, while others say you should never give your pet this food. When you’re trying to decide what’s best, it helps to understand what’s in raw egg whites.

    Avidin

    The main reason you shouldn’t give raw egg whites to your pets is the presence of an enzyme called avidin. Rather than helping your dog or cat’s coat, according to Dr. Elisa Katz, a veterinarian who writes an online pet info page, avidin interferes with biotin absorption as well as blocks your pet’s ability to use other important B vitamins. This means that instead of giving him a shiny, soft coat, avidin may actually cause him to have a rough coat and dry, flaky skin.

    Bacteria

    Another problem with raw egg whites, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is the potential for bacterial contamination. Eggs are sometimes contaminated with E. coli or Salmonella, either of which can make your pet seriously ill. Cooking the eggs kills the bacteria and prevents the possibility of harmful bacteria getting into your buddy’s tummy. The bacteria can be in both the white and the yolk, so the ASPCA recommends that you cook the whole egg before sharing it with your cat or dog.

    Benefits

    Before you decide that feeding Spot and Fluffy eggs isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, keep in mind that eggs do have a positive side. An article in “Modern Dog” magazine lists riboflavin, selenium and highly digestible protein as a few of the nutrients that eggs provide. Eggs can give a protein boost to pets that have tummy troubles and can provide a great incentive as a training treat. Just cook them before you give them to your pals and there won’t be any problems.

    Feeding

    One of the easiest ways to cook eggs for your four-legged family members is to hard-boil them. This doesn’t add any fat to their diets, and hard-boiled eggs are easy to handle and store. Give a whole egg to bigger dogs and let them eat it shell and all, though cracking it before you hand it over is a good idea. The shell is a natural source of calcium and many dogs seem to enjoy it. Peel the eggs for your kitty and for smaller dogs, then chop up the eggs to make them easier to eat.

    About the Author

    Cindy Quarters has been writing professionally since 1984. She writes travel, pet, gardening and technical articles, with work published in "Radiance Magazine" and the "AKC Gazette," as well as online. Quarters earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Washington State University and a master's degree in management information systems from West Coast University.

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