Can dogs eat eggshells? Yes, dogs can eat eggshells. Eggshells are a great source of calcium, amino acids, vitamins, and other nutrients. When given to dogs in moderation eggshells can be a healthy addition to their diet.
Benefits of Egg Shells for Dogs
If your first instinct may have been to assume dogs can’t eat eggshells, that’s understandable. The shell of an egg isn’t typically viewed as edible. In fact, it is. You should consider adding shells to your dog’s diet today.
Strong Bones and Teeth
Eggshells are a significant source of calcium. Milk is usually the big calcium star, but eggs are a good source of it as well.
Actually, the majority of an eggshell is compromised of calcium carbonate, or CaCO3. That’s an important nutrient for bone health. Since they are dense in calcium, powdered eggshells are found in arthritis treatments. Previously, eggshells were just one ingredient in common canine arthritic medications. Now, drug companies have begun to market eggshell membranes as their own product.
An eggshell membrane is the thin clear substance found lining eggshells. When you crack an egg, it’s the mucus-like slime left behind in the shell. It might not be appealing to look at, but it’s a nutrient-rich material. Humans and dogs commonly take it as a dietary supplement.
Eggshell membranes are effective in easing the symptoms of canine arthritis. In fact, a study can back up this claim. In 2015, researchers performed a double-blind study involving eggshell membranes.
The researchers gave 51 dogs eggshell membranes once a day for six weeks. They concluded that the membranes significantly reduced the dogs’ joint pain. The supplement gave the dogs an improved quality of life.
If your dog doesn’t have arthritis, they can still benefit from eggshells. A young dog with calcium-fortified joints is less likely to experience aging problems. It’s more than the joints. Teeth are big beneficiaries of calcium. The calcium found in chicken eggshells can help keep your dog’s teeth strong and healthy.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, periodontal disease is a widespread problem. Experts estimate that 80% of dogs have signs of periodontal disease by three years old. Periodontal disease can be painful and debilitating for canines.
Many people swear by the health benefits of raw diets for dogs. Followers of this diet often give their dogs animal bones for calcium.
If you aren’t comfortable with feeding your dog an animal bone, eggshells make a safer substitute.
It isn’t just about bones and teeth, though. Eggshells are full of amino acids. Amino acids don’t tend to get the same attention as protein does. Everyone associates protein with building muscle, but not amino acids. Protein is definitely necessary for muscle growth, but so are amino acids. What food source can give your dog amino acids? Eggshells.
Domesticated dogs require 10 amino acids in their diets to stay healthy (Purina). The amino acids are as follows:
Chicken eggshells contain eight of the 10 necessary amino acids. It is a near-perfect source of amino acids – 80% of the requirements. Arginine is the most abundant in eggshells, followed by Leucine and Lysine. Arginine has been shown to have heart health benefits. Arginine is a vasodilator, meaning it dilates blood vessels. It’s been proven to help lower blood pressure.
Meanwhile, Leucine is essential in non-human diets. Animals lack the enzyme pathway to create their own Leucine and must consume it in their diet. Meats and eggs (and the shells!) are a great source of Leucine. This amino acid has been shown to slow the degradation of muscle.
Lysine is another necessary amino acid. For its special uses, studies have indicated that Lysine may help lower blood sugar. This is particularly useful if you have a dog suffering from diabetes. A lack of lysine can lead to anemia and defective connective tissues.
A diet with eggshells can improve your dog’s immune system. No one wants to see his or her furry best friend feeling under the weather. Eggshells contain Vitamin E and magnesium. Both of these can help bolster a canine’s immune system. Consider these potential benefits for your dog.
In 2017, a study by Vuong and colleagues found that avian eggshells have anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers studied powdered chicken eggshell membranes. As a result, they found that the eggshells “possess anti-inflammatory properties that make this material a promising ingredient suitable for use in wound treatment”.
A different study also looked at the effects of dietary eggshell membranes. It was found that powdered eggshell membranes were effective in reducing recovery time from exercised-induced joint stiffness and pain. Please note the two studies mentioned above were performed on humans. Funding doesn’t tend to go towards research on dogs. These benefits may or may not transfer to your dog. Consult with your veterinarian to learn more.
Vitamin E is also an antioxidant. It can help lessen the damage caused by aging. This means vitamin E can help prevent the decrease of cognitive abilities in senior dogs. This will keep up your dog’s quality of life as he ages. Vitamin E is found in eggshells, but also added to most senior dog foods on the market. It is an important vitamin in the production of fur. Eggshells can help keep your dog’s coat shiny and healthy. This keeps him not only looking good but feeling good too.
Eggshells also contain amounts of the following nutrients.
Folic acid – helps with the production of strong cells
Vitamin B6 – Aids brain development
Strontium – Can prevent bone loss
Fluoride – builds strong teeth
Selenium – Shown to prevent cell damage
A simple way to ensure your dog gets the goodness of eggshells is to simply sprinkle our Joint Support Meal Supplement over their food once a day - they will love it and never know is good for them! So what are you waiting for? Get cracking!