Can dogs eat eggshells? The simple answer is yes. It’s good for them.
According to PetMD, Eggs have incredible nutritional value for your dog and eggshells are no exception. They can add some much-needed calcium to your dog’s diet.
Benefits of Eggshells for Dogs
Eggshells can be an excellent source of calcium and protein for your dog, which will support strong bones and healthy teeth. Evidence suggests eggs shells may provide a better source of calcium than a bought calcium supplement. They may also improve joint, muscle and heart health, and support the immune system.
Dogs on a homemade diet would typically require around 20% of their food to include raw meaty bones. Eggshells can provide the necessary calcium without the contamination or safety concerns around feeding dogs raw bones.
Are EggShells Safe?
Traditionally, dogs (and cats) in the wild would eat whole raw eggs directly from the nest without any concern of contamination or choking on shells.
However, while there is no strong evidence to suggest eggshells could be a source of salmonella poisoning, some simple preparations are advised.
A few easy steps in preparing the eggshells for consumption will ensure no risk of contamination or sharp shell edges catching in the throat. And, most importantly, proper absorption of all that healthy calcium and protein.
While dogs can eat an egg whole, whole eggshells may not be the best way to give your dog the added calcium and protein it needs.
Grinding eggshells before feeding help with digestion of the shells and in turn, absorption of calcium and protein. You may see white specks in their stool if they eat them whole.
It will also help avoid any shell stuck in throat situations, especially for dogs who scoff. And, it’s an easy way to incorporate into your daily feeding routine by having premade eggshell calcium powder on hand.
How Much Eggshell Calcium Powder to Give Your Dog?
If your dog is on a quality commercial food diet, there is probably no need to add extra calcium to their diet. You should check with your vet before adding any additional supplements to commercial food.
However, it is usually always a good idea for hounds on a homemade diet. So how much eggshell powder to add? It will depend on the food and size of the dog.
How Much Calcium is in an Eggshell?
One large egg will generally grind down to one teaspoon of eggshell powder (approx 5.5gms) which equate to approximately 2,000 mg of calcium.
As a rule, for 8 ounces (½ pound) of fresh food, you would add 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground eggshell which equates to approximately 500mg of calcium.
Check with your vet if you are not sure on quantities as you don’t want to short change your hound, especially junior hounds who need more calcium for growing bones.
How to Make Eggshell Calcium for Your Dog
If you can, organic or fresh farm bought eggs are best. Some stores will chemically treat eggs which can not only remove nutrients but could be harmful to your dog.
- Collect, wash and dry around a dozen shells.
- Ideally, keep the shells in the fridge until you are ready to grind them. It will help them dry more, but an airtight container at room temperature is just fine until you have collected enough.
- Spread shells out on an oven tray and place in a preheated oven at around 200 ℉ (~95℃) for approximately 10 minutes.
- You only want the shells to dry, not cook.
- Allow the eggshells to cool.
- Once the shells are dry, place in a coffee grinder in batches and grind until completely powdery. You want to ensure no sharp pieces remain.
- You can also use a food processor, mortar and pestle or even a rolling pin but a coffee or seed grinder is best for the job.
- Place the powder in an airtight jar to ensure no moisture can get in which could make the calcium powder prone to mould.
Once dry, the eggshell powder can be kept for as long as two months or longer, providing it doesn’t get damp or wet.