Who doesn’t love an egg? Boiled, fried, scrambled, poached… maybe even raw! They’re delicious, nutritious and they are a regular part of most people’s diets. I know I have one on my bacon sandwich every weekend!
But can Labrador Retrievers eat eggs? And if they can, are they actually good for them? We all know that just because a certain food is ok for humans to eat it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s completely fine for our four-legged friends.
In this article, I’ll run through what I know about Labrador’s and eggs. Can they eat them, what are the health benefits, what are the side effects and how you can feed eggs to your Labrador?
Labradors can eat eggs. Eggs can be a great source of nutrients for a Labrador and a very tasty treat.
Eggs can be beneficial to a Labrador’s health for a whole host of reasons, so let’s take a look at what makes eggs so good for our pooch.
Benefits of eggs for Labrador Retrievers
Before I dive in, most of the good stuff in an egg comes from the egg yolk. If you’re feeding your Labrador a raw food diet you may find that the recipes say to use the egg yolk only. If you’re one of those people who don’t like the white and cut the yolk out, just know that your Labrador won’t get the full health benefits from your leftover egg white only.
There are no carbohydrates
Carbs are not a necessary part of a Labrador’s diet. In fact, the wild animals from which they evolved would have eaten little to no carbohydrates at all and a Labrador could have a perfectly healthy diet with zero carbs, they just don’t need them.
However, many things they get fed in modern life do contain carbs (including most dog foods), so their lack of presence in eggs lets you give them a treat which doesn’t add to this unnecessary carb consumption.
This is the vitamin that you’re parents told you would let you see in the dark, the one packed into carrots. Well, it’s also abundant in eggs and it really does help support the eyesight of your Labrador. It is also great for growing puppies as a vitamin A deficiency can actually stunt growth. On top of that, it helps to support god immune and cell function.
You may not have heard of it but Riboflavin is also a vitamin found in eggs (Its other name is vitamin B2). It helps you Labrador maintain an effective metabolism to get the most energy out of its food.
Another one of the B vitamins (B9), and also known as folic acid. This vitamin also helps with a Labrador’s metabolism and supports the integrity of their cell membranes. A folate deficiency can lead to cell structures weakening.
The last of the B vitamins on this list, vitamin B12 also known as Cobalamin. This one is important to maintain a healthy nervous system and good cognitive function. It’s also important for good intestinal health and the growth of red blood cells.
This mineral is vital for the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Those, in turn, are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
A trace mineral, Selenium is essential for the proper function of the thyroid gland and immune system of a Labrador. It has also been credited with a range of other benefits such as acting as an antioxidant and improving joint health.
Created once the fat of the egg has been broken down into fatty acids. This is then absorbed by the blood and helps maintain healthy skin and coat, creating that nice shiny fur. Fats are important in a Labrador’s diet but of course, too much fat can be a bad thing.
Side effects of eggs for Labrador Retrievers
Eggs are a great source of all types of nutrients, but like everything, if your Labrador eats too many it can have negative effects too. Luckily these effects aren’t too serve in eggs and they are a relatively safe treat for your dog.
Eggs contain quite a lot of calories relative to their size. One egg would be around 5% of an adult Labrador’s recommended daily calorie intake, so if you give your Labrador an egg at morning and night without adjusting their other food intake, you could be increasing their calorie intake by 10%, which is likely to cause weight gain.
It’s pretty easy to avoid, you just need to pay attention to the number of calories your Labrador is consuming and adjust the serving appropriately.
Biotin deficiency (from raw egg white)
This is only an issue if you’re feeding your Labrador the raw white of an egg. The raw white contains a protein called Avatin. Avatin binds with Biotin, preventing your Labrador from absorbing it and leading to a Biotin deficiency.
Impacts can be anemia, dry hair or coat, skin lesions and lethargy.
This one is pretty easy to avoid. If you want to feed your Labrador raw eggs on a regular basis just remove the egg white first, then this issue can’t occur.
If you’re only feeding your Labrador the occasional egg then feeding them the white too won’t really cause a problem. In fact, the yolk itself is packed full of Biotin which helps counteract the issue.
This is more of an issue for the owner than the Labrador.
If you feed your Labrador eggs on a frequent basis it’s pretty likely that they will have excessive gas, on top of that it’s likely to be particularly unpleasant. So you might want to take your own wellbeing into account too if you’re thinking of feeding your Labrador eggs often!
Can Labrador Retrievers eat shell
Labradors can eat eggshells.
In fact, wild dogs will often find and eat eggs, gobbling down the whole thing.
The eggshells contain additional nutritional value for your Labrador. They are a great source of calcium and help promote strong bones and hair growth in your Labrador.
I’d advise hard boiling the egg fist if you want to avoid creating a mess, this also avoids any possibility of Biotin deficiency, which can be caused by raw egg whites.
With young or old Labradors they may find the shells a little tricky to swallow or could even choke. You can crush them up into a powder and add them to their meals if you still want them to get the benefits without any risks.
Can Labrador Retrievers eat raw eggs
Labradors can eat raw eggs. However, there are some risks you need to be aware of.
The egg whites contain a protein called Avatin, which can lead to Biotin deficiency in Labradors, so if you’re planning to feed your Labrador raw eggs often you should only feed them the yolk. If you’re only giving them a raw egg as an occasional treat then feeding them the white too is fine.
Labradors can also pick up Salmonella from raw foods and this may be present in some raw eggs. This could make your Labrador sick but severe occurrences are quite rare, so if you take the proper precautions you should be fine.
If you’re in the UK then Salmonella has been eradicated from any eggs with the red lion symbol.
If you’re in the USA you should take extra precautions if you plan to feed your Labrador raw eggs. Make sure they aren’t cracked before you use them and keep them refrigerated until use (this will prevent bacteria from growing in them).
Raw eggs retain the most nutritional value. When you cook eggs some of this is lost, so giving your Labrador raw eggs is a good idea, you just have to be a little more careful.
Can Labrador Retrievers eat fried eggs
I wouldn’t recommend you feed your Labrador eggs that have been cooked in oil.
The excess fat is going to be quite unhealthy for your Labrador.
You can achieve a similar, but much more healthy ‘sunny side up’ egg by baking it in the oven rather than frying it in oil.
Can Labrador Retrievers eat boiled eggs
Boiled eggs are a great source of nutrients for Labradors, the eggshell even provides a good source of calcium.
Just be sure to avoid feeding the eggshell to young or old dogs unless you remove it and grind it into a powder first.
Can Labrador Retrievers eat poached eggs
Poached eggs are another healthy treat for Labradors.
If you’re someone who uses a splash of vinegar in the water to help the egg bind then I would recommend using cider vinegar as small doses of this are also believed to have health benefits for Landraros.
Poached eggs… what a lucky pooch!
Can Labrador Retrievers eat scrambled eggs
Labradors should generally not eat scrambled eggs due to the added ingredients they are cooked with.
Any eggs cooked with extra butter, milk or cream should be avoided as they may contain too much fat and Labradors are lactose intolerant anyway.
The same goes if you add salt to your scrambled eggs.
Always approach new foods with caution
This is a general guide as to whether Labradors can eat eggs. Most can, and for most, a plainly cooked egg is a fantastic source of nutrition with few drawbacks.
But all Labradors are different and some have very strong intolerances to foods that are perfectly fine for most Labradors to eat.
My own Labrador (Geroge) was very intolerant to many foods that are considered safe, or even beneficial, to most Labradors.
Older dogs can also often struggle with certain food as their digestive systems are not quite as strong as they once were.
Always introduce any new food one at a time and monitor the Labrador for the next day or so, checking for any unusual bowel movements or discomfort.
If you have any concerns at all then you should stop feeding your Labrador eggs and consult with your vet.