can dogs eat egg shells

Have you ever wondered, “Can dogs eat egg shells?” Providing healthy, balanced, and nutritious food to our dogs is essential. Eggshells contain nutrients like calcium and protein and are often praised for their nutritional value. However, before incorporating eggshells into your dog’s diet, it’s crucial to understand the potential benefits and risks involved.

Dogs, like humans, require adequate calcium intake to maintain strong bones and teeth. Eggshells offer a natural source of calcium, which can be beneficial for your dog’s skeletal health. Despite these benefits, pet owners should proceed with caution. Egg shells must be adequately prepared to avoid potential hazards such as digestive issues or choking hazards. 

In this post, we’ll go over “Can dogs consume egg shells, how to prepare them safely, and alternative sources of calcium. By understanding these factors, you can make better decisions about your dog’s diet and overall health. So, let’s dive in.

Can Dogs Eat Egg Shells?

The safety of feeding egg shells to dogs is a concern for many pet owners. Dogs can benefit from the nutrients found in egg shells, such as calcium and protein. However, it’s crucial to prepare them correctly to avoid potential risks. 

To avoid choking, you should ground egg shells finely or crush them into a powder-like consistency. The amount should also be moderate and part of a balanced diet. While egg shells can be nutritionally beneficial, your vet should be consulted for your dog’s specific diet and health needs.

Benefits of Feeding Egg Shells for Dogs

You can give your dog a lot of nutritional benefits by incorporating egg shells into their diet:

Rich in Calcium

Egg shells are primarily composed of calcium carbonate, which is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth in dogs. Adequate calcium intake helps prevent skeletal disorders and promotes overall bone health, which is particularly important for growing puppies and senior dogs prone to bone density issues.

Source of Protein

Alongside calcium, egg shells also contain protein, albeit in smaller amounts compared to egg whites or yolk. Protein is crucial for muscle development, repair, and overall body function in dogs, supporting their energy levels and immune system.

Natural and Digestible

When ground into a fine powder or crushed into small pieces, egg shells are easily digestible for most dogs. This makes them a convenient and natural way to supplement your dog’s diet with essential nutrients without introducing artificial additives or fillers.

Cost-Effective and Accessible

Egg shells are readily available and cost-effective compared to commercial calcium supplements. They can be a sustainable option for pet owners looking to provide a natural source of calcium without relying solely on processed foods or supplements.

Dental Health

Chewing on eggshells can also help maintain dental hygiene in dogs by reducing plaque buildup and promoting gum health, although this benefit is secondary to their nutritional value.

Risks of Feeding Egg Shells to Dogs

There are potential risks associated with feeding dogs egg shells despite their nutritional benefits:

Choking Hazard

Whole or improperly prepared eggshells can pose a choking risk, especially for smaller dogs or those prone to gulping their food. To minimize this risk, it’s essential to crush or grind eggshells into a fine powder before adding them to your dog’s food.

Digestive Issues

Dogs may experience digestive discomfort if they ingest sharp or jagged pieces of eggshell. Proper preparation is crucial to ensure the shells are finely ground and easily digestible. Introducing egg shells gradually and monitoring your dog’s stool consistency can help assess their tolerance.

Calcium Overload

While calcium is necessary for dogs, excessive intake can lead to health problems such as skeletal abnormalities or mineral imbalances. It’s crucial to balance your dog’s calcium intake from various sources and not rely solely on eggshells.

Salmonella Contamination

Although rare, raw egg shells can potentially harbor bacteria like Salmonella, which can cause foodborne illness in dogs. Cooking eggshells before feeding them to your dog can mitigate this risk.

Individual Sensitivities

Some dogs may have specific dietary sensitivities or allergies that eggshells could aggravate. Monitoring your dog’s reactions and consulting with a veterinarian can help determine if egg shells are suitable for your dog.

How to Prepare Egg Shells for Dogs

Proper preparation of eggshells is essential to ensure they are safe and beneficial for your dog to consume:

  1. Collecting and Cleaning: Start by collecting egg shells from fresh, clean eggs. Rinse them thoroughly with water to remove any residue from the shells.
  2. Drying: Allow the egg shells to air dry completely. This step helps to ensure that the shells are clean and free from moisture, reducing the risk of bacterial growth.
  3. Crushing or Grinding: Once dry, crush the egg shells into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a clean coffee grinder. This step is crucial to create a texture that is safe and easy for your dog to digest, minimizing the risk of choking or digestive issues.
  4. Storage: Store the crushed eggshells in a clean, dry container with a lid. Please keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain their freshness and nutritional integrity.
  5. Adding to Food: When ready to use, sprinkle a small amount of crushed egg shells onto your dog’s regular food. Start with a conservative amount and gradually increase based on your veterinarian’s recommendations and your dog’s response.
  6. Cooking Option: Alternatively, you can bake the egg shells at a low temperature (around 200°F or 90°C) for about 10-15 minutes to further reduce any risk of contamination from bacteria like Salmonella. Let them cool before crushing them into powder.

Monitoring and Adjustment: Monitor your dog’s reaction to the eggshells, including digestion and stool consistency. Adjust the amount as needed based on your dog’s size, age, and overall health. Consulting with your veterinarian before adding eggshells to your dog’s diet is recommended to ensure it aligns with its specific nutritional needs.


What happens if dogs eat eggshells?

The shells of eggs can provide nutrients like calcium and protein, but if not prepared properly, they can cause choking or digestive problems. Crushing or grinding egg shells into fine powder before feeding them to dogs minimizes their risk. Keeping an eye on your dog’s reaction and consulting a veterinarian can help ensure their safety.

Can dogs eat whole raw eggs with shells?

Dogs can develop foodborne illnesses from raw eggs, which contain bacteria like Salmonella. Additionally, the shell can pose a choking hazard, especially if not properly broken down. You should cook the eggs and crush the shells into a fine powder before giving them to your dog so they get the nutritional benefits without the risks. Consult your vet before changing your dog’s diet.

Read More: Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?


Eggshells can provide dogs with calcium and protein, but their safety and efficacy depend on how they’re prepared and consumed. Making eggshell powder is important to avoid choking and ensure digestibility. 

It’s best to consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet to see if eggshells are right for it. When you take these precautions, you can safely add eggshells to your dog’s diet as a supplement.

Frank Washington

I'm passionate about canine wellness, particularly skin health. Drawing on years of experience and ongoing research, I hope to provide useful insights and practical tips to help dog owners ensure their pets have a vibrant, healthy coat. As a proponent of natural and holistic care, I founded as a resource center for fellow dog lovers looking to nourish their pet's skin from the inside out.