Can You Put Eggshells in Dog Food? (Solved & Explained!)

Yes, you can put eggshells in dog food and it is a healthy additive for your pup! Eggshells have many benefits when given to your dog and eggs are one food that is okay to give to your canine in their entirety. 

While you should always check with your veterinarian regarding canine supplements, keep reading to learn more about the benefits of giving eggshells to your dog and the proper amount to supplement them with. 

What are the benefits of giving dogs eggshells?

Eggshells are a great source of protein and calcium for your dog. These vital nutrients support strong teeth and bones. Eggshells have also been found to improve muscle, joint and heart health, as well as building a strong immune system for your pup too!

There is evidence to suggest that giving your dog eggshells instead of pre-packaged calcium supplements is actually better for them. Providing your dog with eggshells removes the potential for any manufacturing additives and cross-contamination. 

Are eggshells safe to give to your dog?

Yes, eggshells are safe to give to your dog as long as you prepare them properly to avoid a choking hazard for your pet. Dogs (and cats) would usually eat whole eggs in the wild found while foraging. While your family pet dog doesn’t need to do this, it does speak to the safety and longevity of the food.

Is there a risk of Salmonella?

While empty eggshells prepared properly are safe to give to your dog, you should not feed your dog whole raw eggs. Raw eggs and raw egg byproducts contain salmonella. Just like with humans, dogs can become very sick when exposed to large amounts of the bacteria.

When you’re giving your dog eggshells, be sure to look for signs of salmonella poisoning afterwards. You should call your veterinarian immediately if your dog starts to show the following symptoms after eating eggshells:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Shock
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Weight Loss

What is eggshell calcium?

Eggshells contain calcium carbonate which is the most common form of calcium found in nature. For decades, eggshells have been ground to a power to provide humans and pets with crucial calcium supplements. 

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Recent studies have shown that dogs process calcium carbonate from eggshells just as well, if not better, than from manufactured supplements. By grinding down eggshells into a fine calcium powder, you are able to provide the correct amount for your dog depending on their weight, age, and other factors. 

How to make eggshell calcium

In order to prevent choking and contamination while giving your dog eggshells, you’ll want to make an eggshell calcium to make digestion easier and the eggshells safer for your dog..

To make the eggshell calcium you’ll need a heavy duty grinder. Smoothie makers, coffee bean grinders, blenders, or food processors all work well. Simply place the empty eggshells into the grinder and grind until the shells become a fine powdery blend.

How much calcium is in an eggshell?

Using a grade A large egg will grind down to about one teaspoon of eggshell calcium powder. One whole eggshell contains around 2,000 mg of calcium. 

If your dog is small, you may only want to grind up 2 to 3 eggshells at a time. This will ensure that you don’t have a lot of waste left over. Bigger dogs will require more eggshells as a calcium supplement and therefore you’ll want to grind up more eggshells at a time for those dogs. 

How much eggshell calcium should I feed my dog?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the amount of calcium your dog needs daily will depend on the size of the dog. An average 20 pound pup requires 550 mg of calcium per day. A larger sized dog could need as much as 2,000 mg of calcium every day. 

Pups with underlying conditions could need a different dosage than the standard amounts. You should always check with your veterinarian, however, before you proceed to give your dog any additional supplements. You may find that your dog needs more or less than the recommended amount. 

How do I give my dog eggshell calcium?

The easiest method of giving your dog eggshell calcium is to mix it in with their regular dog food. Start with empty, rinsed eggshells and place into a food processor. Grind the eggshells to a fine powder.

If you feed your dog dry food, you might want to add a tablespoon of water to the mixture so that the eggshell calcium will stick to the food. This will ensure that your dog eats as much as possible from their food bowl, leaving  no waste behind.

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You can also feed the eggshell calcium to your dog without dog food. Cheese is a great way to create an envelope to hold the eggshell calcium in while giving it to your dog. Just place the eggshell calcium in the slice and fold the cheese around it before feeding it to your pet.

If you need an alternative non-food method of delivery, you can simply give your dog the recommended dosage by dropping it into their mouths. While this is not the easiest method, it does work if you have a cooperative pup.

How do I know if my dog needs calcium?

While there aren’t any ways to simply look at a dog and determine if they need more calcium, you can be sure that aging dogs especially would benefit from extra bone nutrients. Just like humans, dog bones age throughout their life. Stiff joints, aching muscles and easily injured legs are all signs that your dog may need extra calcium supplements.

If you aren’t sure if your dog needs supplements, contact your local veterinary office. Your veterinarian can tell you if you should start your dog on eggshell calcium for additional health benefits.