Can cats eat hard boiled eggs? How about your pet dog? You may be tempted to give your four-legged family member a bite of your breakfast, but in the interest of their health and safety, you need to know the effect human food — even something as seemingly innocent as cooked eggs — may have on their health.
Before you feed your pet something you may regret later on, read this article to learn more facts about your cat or dog’s diet — and if human food has a place in it.
Can You Feed Your Cat or Dog Hard-Boiled Eggs?
Cats are carnivores and naturally rely on animal protein to thrive.1 Eggs are generally considered a great source of animal protein, so it stands to reason that cats may be able to eat this type of food.
So, can your cat chow down on cooked eggs? Yes, they can. Eggs are a source of protein for your cat. They also provide some essential vitamin compounds for building strong bones, teeth, and nails. Eggs even contain some amount of water to help keep your kitty hydrated and nutrients that aid in giving your cat a shiny coat and lustrous fur.2
Now, despite all of these potential benefits, it should be noted that eggs are not a complete cat food substitute — and feeding your pet too much egg can have its downsides. There are caveats to feeding your cat or dog cooked eggs. Read on for more information.
Adding Eggs To Your Pet’s Diet
So, while it’s clear that pets can eat cooked eggs, the question now is: Should they? As previously mentioned, eggs can offer a lot of nutritional benefits and they are considered a complete protein, but that doesn’t mean eggs should be a major part of your pet’s diet.
Think of eggs as a rich treat for your pet that should only be given sparingly or served in small, appropriate amounts. And, if your cat has any digestive issues, or is struggling with their weight, you shouldn’t give them eggs at all.3
The same can be said for dogs — it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian first whether your particular dog can tolerate eggs, and how they should be prepared and served. Some natural or raw food proponents believe adding raw eggs to dog food is more beneficial, while others feel cooked egg is safer and poses less risk.4
Generally, with your vet’s approval, you can give cooked eggs as an occasional nutritional boost for your dog or cat. Here are some things to take note of before doing so.
- Never let your cat or dog eat raw eggs. As with humans, your pet could be at risk of contracting E.coli or salmonella from raw eggs. You can avoid salmonella by making sure the egg you’re serving is fully cooked (with no additional seasonings or oil), the egg yolk is solid, and the whites are no longer runny.
- Eggs can trigger food allergies in pets, too. Make sure to serve tiny amounts over the course of a few days and observe your cat’s reaction to the egg. Veterinary intervention may be needed if your cat shows adverse effects to eating eggs.
- Feed your cat eggs properly. Whole or large chunks of egg can be a choking hazard. Chop or mash well, and mix in with regular cat food.5
Building A Healthy Diet For Your Cat or Dog
It’s always best to consult your veterinarian when it comes to planning what to feed your pet.
A human food diet or homemade pet food might not offer the same nutritional balance your cat requires, so even if eggs aren’t listed as one of the foods cats can’t eat, it’s still best to relegate them to the “occasional treat” department.6
As for dogs, you can use hard-boiled eggs (in pieces) as training treats instead of making them a large feature of your dog’s protein needs. Eggs are a good source of digestible protein, but again, moderation is key.7
The Bottom Line
As long as you stick to your vet-prescribed diet plan, stay abreast of your pet’s current medical diagnosis and concurrent dietary needs, and use good judgment when offering safe treats, you shouldn’t encounter any problems with your dog or cat’s health. An occasional hard-boiled egg as a treat should be just fine.