Eggs are a healthy addition to your dog's diet and are included in many homemade dog food recipes. But are raw eggs bad for your boxer? Overall, the benefits of eating raw eggs outweigh the health risks, but to be totally safe, cook eggs before feeding them to your pup.
Health Benefits of Eggs
Eggs contain a good balance of healthy fats and protein. It makes sense that eggs are full of nutrients -- they contain everything the embryo needs to develop into a chick. Nutrients found in eggs include Vitamin A, riboflavin, folate, Vitamin B12, iron, selenium, fatty acids, and complete amino acids. Many dog owners claim feeding eggs to their pups regularly keeps their coats shiny.
An egg cracked over your boxer's food is also a great way to get him to eat if he's hesitant. The addition of a glistening, gooey egg to your boxer's food bowl will surely have him gobbling it down and licking his floppy lips.
The scariest thing about raw eggs is the possibility of salmonella and E. coli infection. The ASPCA warns against feeding pets raw eggs because of this. Salmonella and E.coli are bacteria that may be found in chicken meat and eggs. Although both are rare, salmonella infections are more common than E. coli, and less dangerous. Bacteria are killed when the egg is cooked to a temperature of 145 F. The chance of your boxer contracting salmonella from a raw egg is low, but it's possible. Symptoms of salmonella include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. If you see any signs of salmonella poisoning in your pup, contact your vet immediately, get your doggy some antibiotics and throw out the rest of those eggs! A healthy dog should fully recover from salmonella poisoning with proper medication.
Other Health Concerns
Many experts claim that eating raw egg whites can cause a biotin deficiency in your dog. But, egg yolks contain biotin, so as long as you feed your boxer the whole egg this should balance out itself. Egg whites also contain enzyme inhibitors, which can cause indigestion in susceptible dogs. Not all dogs have a problem digesting egg whites, but boxers are more prone to stomach problems than other breeds. Stop feeding your boxer raw egg if he shows signs of a tummy ache afterward (like excessive gas). Cooking the egg will make it easier for your boxer to digest.
You can buy pasteurized whole eggs at your grocery store. These eggs are specially treated to kill any bacteria in the egg without cooking it. They tend to cost more than regular eggs. Egg products like eggs sold in cartons are also pasteurized, making them safer for your pooch. Organic eggs or eggs from free range chickens may contain fewer pathogens than standard eggs. Storing eggs in the refrigerator will keep bacteria to a minimum.
If you don't want to take the risk on raw eggs, cook eggs to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're planning on feeding them to Fido right away, you can cook them to this temperature for just 15 seconds. Many dog owners feed hard boiled eggs to their dogs with the shell intact so Spot can get the added benefit of calcium found in the shell.
Madeline Masters works as a dog walker and professional writer. In the past she has worked as a fitness columnist, fundraising copywriter and news reporter. Masters won two Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Awards in 2009. She graduated from Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.