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Check for These Signs
Pay close attention to your dog’s stool for a while after he or she swallowed eggshells. There’s a good chance that you’ll start to see white material in there, which are the undigested remnants of the shells.
If your dog hasn’t eaten much, however, then you might not find anything. This is normally only a problem if your notice severe intestinal gas or bloating.
Either of these are a sign of salmonella poisoning, which is a far more serious concern than anything that your dog might directly develop as a result of eating an eggshell. If this is the case, then you need to get in touch with a veterinarian as soon as you can.
Go over the material that your dog ate and see if he or she swallowed anything else along with the eggshells. Cooking oil, spices and other refuse generated when making omelettes is far more hazardous to dogs than the shells would be.
When dogs eat eggshells, they’re usually attracted by the smell of the eggs themselves and don’t consume enough of the shells to cause any real problems. In an overwhelming majority of cases, dogs won’t even swallow very much of the shell itself.
If your dog has consumed a measurable quantity of eggshells, then you’ll want to watch for the following:
- Stomach Inflammation: Shells can have bacteria on them, which might cause an infection
- Specks in Stool: Dogs can generally pass eggshells normally, which end up as specks in their otherwise solid stool
- Diarrhea: If any spices from a breakfast table made their way onto disposed of shells, then your dog might have loose stools
- Vitamin Deficiency: Eating excessive amounts of eggs or their shells can unbalance a dog’s diet
- Weight Gain: When a sufficient amount of albumin is left on an eggshell, it could theoretically cause weight gain
- Oily Discharge: Egg material left on shells might pass without being digested
- Intestinal Perforation: In extreme cases, sharp bits of shell could hurt the lining of a dog’s small intestine
It should be reiterated, however, that most dogs are able to pass eggshells with no lasting problems.
What to Do
You might want to withhold food for a while even if your dog is acting normal. Give your dog some extra water and make sure that he or she has frequent access to an area that it’s okay to defecate in.
Reintroduce mild foods at first, like chicken and rice or fish. Try giving your dog small meals 4-5 times a day until they feel better.
If your dog appears to have no ill effects and can pass stools normally, then you can reintroduce them to normal food without much difficulty. In general, dogs won’t experience any long-term problems at all from eating eggshells.
Head to a veterinarian if your dog shows any signs of serious bloating, which could indicate an infection or even gastroenteritis. These conditions can arise if your dog came into contact with eggshells that still had some bacteria on the sides of them.
Do I Need to See the Vet or Go to the Emergency Animal Hospital?
Most pet owners won’t have to take their dog to the vet, but it’s usually a good idea to at least call them if you think your dog is behaving strangely after eating some eggshells. You’ll want to keep an eye out for any strange stools or odd behaviors, which could be a sign of something going seriously wrong.
Chances are that your vet will opt for a watch and wait approach anyway. They’ll probably encourage you to pay close attention to see if your dog develops any intestinal problems.
If not, then the danger will usually pass in about a day or two. Most people aren’t going to find themselves in a situation that requires any more serious treatment.
Vets might authorize antibiotics in situations where they find that an infection has set in. They might also recommend surgery, but this is only in cases where an intestine has been perforated.
This is extremely rare.
Safe Alternatives to Eat or Play With
Cooked eggs are actually safe for dogs to eat, and they’re nutritious when they’re not given to a dog on too frequent of a basis. You’ll want to make sure that the eggs are clean and served to your dog plain.
Don’t cook eggs with any other foods that are intended for human consumption. Certain types of meat, like lean cuts of chicken, can be served alongside of eggs if you want to give your dog something special that smells every bit as good as the eggs you’ve been having do.
While you don’t want to give this to your dog often enough to make them beg or get fat, it can be a supplement to a diet that doesn’t provide them with all of the nutrients that they need. You might also want to consider a packaged organic dog food product, which more than likely contains eggs as well as several other types of food.
Ironically, eggshells are nutritious for dogs when they’re cooked and prepared carefully.
Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?
According to noted dog enthusiast Li-ran B., dogs can eat properly cooked and prepared eggshells. Wild dogs would eat eggs whole in the wild, and this gives them plenty of calcium and phosphorus to build a healthy body.
Domestic ones have similar needs, but they aren’t as resilient against bacteria. As a result, you’d need to grind up the eggshells after cleaning and cooking them properly.
You don’t need to give dogs very much of this supplement to be effective, and too much could actually lead to diarrhea. Canine expert and forecaster Jamie Balboa believes that a single teaspoon of ground up eggshells could provide around 2,000 mg or more of calcium for most dogs.
More than likely, you’ll want to talk to a vet or an agricultural animal expert before you make anything less this. That being said, this concoction is becoming popular with those who advocate for more natural dog foods and supplements.