Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
Taking care of our dog’s nutrition is one of the top priorities as a dog owner, all the more so when your dog has puppies.
They need the right food, both quality and quantity, to get themselves back to health and to have nutritious milk for their babies.
Feeding them extra food such as eggs might sound like a good idea, but are eggs good for nursing dogs?
Yes, eggs are a great addition to your dog’s diet. They are packed with high-quality protein and other nutrients that will help your dog regain its strength after giving birth. Eggs provide all the essential amino acids that dogs need, plus they’re very easy to digest.
In this post, let’s learn more about how you can ensure your dog is eating right after giving birth.
- Are Eggs Beneficial for Nursing Dogs?
- Food Requirements for a Nursing Dog
- Benefits of Eating Eggs for Nursing Dogs
- Are Eggs Necessary as a Supplement for Your Dog?
- Can My Dog Eat Eggshells?
- Should I Cook the Eggs or Feed Them Raw to My Nursing Dog?
- What is the Best Method to Cook Eggs for My Nursing Dog?
- Useful Tips for Feeding and Hydrating a Nursing Dog
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- In Conclusion: Are Eggs Good for Nursing Dogs?
Are Eggs Beneficial for Nursing Dogs?
Yes, eggs can be a great addition to the diet of nursing dogs. They’re like a little nutritional powerhouse that can help nursing moms stay healthy and provide the best nourishment for their puppies.
Eggs are a fantastic source of high-quality protein, which is essential for muscle maintenance and growth – something both nursing moms and their growing pups need.
Plus, they’re rich in vitamins like B12, riboflavin, and folate, which can help support overall health.
Now, here’s the thing: when giving eggs to nursing dogs, it’s generally best to cook them.
Scrambled, boiled, or even cooked into a nice omelette – just make sure they’re fully cooked, as raw eggs could potentially carry a risk of bacterial contamination.
One thing to keep in mind is moderation.
While eggs can provide awesome benefits, they shouldn’t become the entire focus of the diet.
Dogs also need a balanced mix of other nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, and fibers. So, think of eggs as a healthy and tasty supplement to their regular meals.
Food Requirements for a Nursing Dog
When a dog is lactating, nutritional deficits are particularly likely to happen.
Her physiology will place a higher priority on using nutrition and she will literally use up all of her body’s reserves for nursing and puppy growth, even at the price of her own health.
Your objective is to give her enough food so she can keep a healthy body weight while the puppies feed.
There is a greater demand for all kinds of nutrients and in particular, her diet should contain at least 17 percent fat because it is quite difficult to simply consume enough calories.
Remember: The more puppies in a litter, the higher the needs of your dog.
As a general guideline, you should increase a dog’s food consumption during nursing by 25% for each puppy over what she normally needs to maintain her body weight.
For example, if your dog’s normal intake is 2 cups per day, and she has 4 puppies in her litter, you should increase this by 2 cups (2×0.25×4), bringing it to a total of 4 cups.
Spread out the feeding time or try free feeding, where you leave food around so that it can eat whenever it wants.
When you’re looking for food for your nursing dog, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- The food you choose should be calorie and fat dense
- It should be easily digestible
- High in nutrients such as calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals that can be easily absorbed
- Veterinary-approved vitamins may be added to fortify it
- To maintain her fatty acid balance, add fish oils
- Easy access to fresh water at all times to help with milk production
- Try not to introduce anything that you have not given before; now is not the right time!
What effect does nursing have on her nutritional requirements?
A dog that just gave birth and is still nursing its puppies will require more food than usual. Their energy needs are 4–8 times higher than those of healthy adult canines.
In fact, after giving birth, the majority of dogs need to be fed twice as much food as usual, otherwise, they won’t be able to recover from whelping and feed their young if you don’t provide them with adequate food.
Instead of only a few regular meals throughout the day, you can feed your dog several times instead, or practice free feeding.
This will make it easier for your dog to digest the meal.
Increasing the amount of fat in her diet can also help to ensure the proper supply of energy requirements she has at this time.
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What are the consequences of improper feeding?
The greatest danger of improper feeding is malnutrition, which can lead to serious health problems for both the mother and the puppies.
Puppies born to a mother with this condition are more likely to have “fading puppy syndrome,” which causes them to cry frequently, appear weak and lethargic, eat poorly, grow slowly, and lack coordination.
Many of them eventually pass away.
Inadequate feeding can also result in lactation issues, ranging from decreased milk output to complete failure to produce milk.
If you are breeding your female dog, you need to do all your research way before it begins mating to fully understand its needs.
Benefits of Eating Eggs for Nursing Dogs
Eggs are a great source of protein—an essential nutrient for nursing dogs, who need more protein than their adult counterparts.
They also provide essential vitamins and minerals that can enrich your dog’s milk, in turn benefiting her pups.
Here are a few other key benefits of feeding your nursing dog eggs:
1. Improves and helps milk production
Dogs that are nursing need more calories to create milk for their young.
For breastfeeding dogs, the fats in egg yolks are a good source of energy and aid in the production of rich milk.
The mammary glands are maintained in good condition by the vitamins A and E in eggs, which also aid in the production of milk.
2. Helps to regenerate their tissues
Nursing dogs require a lot of support in rebuilding the tissues damaged during pregnancy and whelping.
The eggs’ proteins and calcium will aid in bone maintenance, tissue growth, and cell division.
In order to develop muscles and help the body produce neurotransmitters, which are chemicals required for cell communication, amino acids are crucial for nursing dogs.
These are in abundance in eggs.
3. Regulate blood pressure and fluid balance of your dog
Lecithin, a functional lipid that is found in egg yolks, aids in emulsifying fats and cholesterol in the body to stop them from depositing in arteries.
A nursing dog’s body’s fluid balance and blood pressure may thus be regulated by this action, maintaining healthy levels.
4. Boost your dog’s immune system
Because of the effects of pregnancy and delivery on their immune systems, nursing dogs are particularly prone to illnesses.
Eggs contain selenium, a potent antioxidant that aids in preventing cell deterioration.
Additionally, it aids in the body of the nursing dog by producing antibodies that fight off infection.
A, B9, and E are other vitamins that are abundant in eggs.
While vitamin B participates in the production of red blood cells and supports the nervous system, vitamin A helps keep the mucous membranes healthy, a barrier against infection.
Vitamin E, an antioxidant, aids in cell damage prevention.
5. Nourishment for puppies
Puppies require a lot of nutrition and energy to grow.
In addition to helping in puppy development, eggs are a wonderful source of protein, beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The colostrum milk that nursing dogs give to their puppies is nourished by the nutrients in eggs (and other meals), and thus, this contributes to ensuring that puppies receive the nutrition they require for healthy growth and development.
Are Eggs Necessary as a Supplement for Your Dog?
Eggs are not a necessity as long as you are feeding your dog a complete and healthy diet suitable for the situation it is in, be it during pregnancy, or during lactation.
That said, if the food that you are feeding your dog is insufficient in nutrients, feeding eggs to your dog can be an excellent supplement.
After all, dog food can get quite expensive, particularly if you are using those with enhanced proteins or calories.
Besides that, eggs can also increase the palatability of your dog’s food, which helps it to eat more.
They are also easily digestible, which is very useful if your dog has trouble with watery stools.
Can My Dog Eat Eggshells?
Eggshells are very high in calcium, and this can cause some issues to dogs especially if they are pregnant, so you definitely should not let your dog eat them during this time.
After giving birth, the tables are turned as they now need increased calcium intake, but I would recommend that you speak to your vet to determine the amount it needs and how it can get them rather than adding eggs shells into the mix.
Should I Cook the Eggs or Feed Them Raw to My Nursing Dog?
Most vets will tell you that cooking eggs will be the better option for feeding your dog.
Raw eggs run the risk of containing salmonella, which can be devasting to your dog. This is a sensitive period and no risk should be taken in my opinion.
A glycoprotein called avidin that is present in raw egg whites binds to the body’s biotin and renders it inactive.
Cooking the egg eliminates the possibility of your dog developing a biotin deficit, even if it would take a diet with a very high proportion of raw egg whites to accomplish so.
Given that egg yolks contain a significant amount of biotin, feeding a full egg is unlikely to result in any issues.
What is the Best Method to Cook Eggs for My Nursing Dog?
Pretty much any kind of cooking method makes for great nursing dog food, as long as you do not add any additional human ingredients or seasoning like salt.
I would personally go for boiled eggs as they have a nice texture that my dogs love and it is so easy to make.
This also takes away the need to use oil during preparation, which can be quite unhealthy for your dog.
Useful Tips for Feeding and Hydrating a Nursing Dog
Instead of turning this post into an essay about post-delivery care, here are a few useful tips that make the whole experience a lot better for both you and your dog.
- Bring food to your dog
- Make the food more enticing and palatable
- Provide lots of fresh water
- Feed more than normal
- Monitor her weight
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it okay for a dog to eat raw eggs?
Yes, it is okay for dogs to eat raw eggs, but it is not recommended as they may contain salmonella, a bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Although most dogs are resistant to this disease, it is best not to take the chance.
Can a dog digest eggshells?
Yes, they can. Egg shells are a great source of extra nutrients for your dog because they are actually loaded with calcium. They are also good for dogs who have trouble biting into bones. To be safe, however, always make sure the eggshells have been cooked or boiled before using them. Salmonella can still be a risk in raw eggshells.
Are scrambled eggs good for dogs?
Scrambled eggs in very small amounts are okay for your dog, but this should be treated as a snack rather than a meal. They might contain oil and butter which can upset the balance of a healthy diet.
Are boiled eggs good for nursing dogs?
Boiled eggs can be a nutritious addition to a nursing dog’s diet, as they are a good source of protein and healthy fats that can help support brain function and overall health. Keep in mind that boiled eggs should be fed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
In Conclusion: Are Eggs Good for Nursing Dogs?
Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition for all dogs, and will definitely help out a nursing dog get the much-needed boost it needs.
Although it is an excellent homemade food for nursing dogs, it should not form the bulk of a diet and should be used as a supplement and palate enhancer instead.
Always speak to your vet before breeding your dog to get a good idea of its nutritional needs and work out a plan first.
Consider reading other dog care tips such as the following:
- Are sardines good for nursing dogs?
- Are Tums good for nursing dogs?
- Is Advantage good for nursing dogs?
- Are carrots good for nursing dogs?
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