Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?

Read this before feeding your dog eggshells 🥚

While you probably already know that feeding your dog eggs has tons of benefits, have you ever wondered about the actual eggshell?

The Dodo reached out to Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian at Paramount Pet Health, and Dr. Corinne Wigfall, a veterinarian working with SpiritDog Training, to find out whether or not dogs can eat eggshells.

Are eggshells safe for dogs?

Eggshells are safe for dogs to have as an extra treat with their meal, unless your pet has a history of hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in the bloodstream) or calcium oxalate bladder stones.

“Dogs with a history of these diseases should not eat eggshells due to the increased calcium,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo.

Benefits of eggshells for dogs

Eggshells contain calcium carbonate, which can be beneficial for calcium supplementation in dogs.

It’s important to note, however, that dogs who are eating a commercially balanced diet may not benefit from the additional calcium because these diets contain all of the calcium and other nutrients a dog needs.

In fact, having too much calcium can actually be bad. “Over-supplementing calcium — particularly for pregnant or whelping bitches, young growing puppies or older dogs with underlying health conditions — can be very dangerous and deleterious to their health and bone formation,” Dr. Wigfall told The Dodo.

Because of this, eggshell powder is more widely recommended for dogs who are eating a raw diet, as those pups aren’t getting the right amount of calcium from those particular diets, and supplementation is necessary for a well-balanced diet.

How to feed a dog eggshells

When supplementing your dog's food with eggshells, it’s recommended that your dog consume cooked eggshells that are ground into a fine powder and mixed with their food.

“Dogs are unable to digest whole eggshells, so grinding them into a powder is the most effective way for dogs to be able to absorb the calcium from eggshells,” Dr. Wigfall said.

Additionally, since chicken eggs and shells can be a salmonella risk, it's always recommended to clean and cook the eggshells before feeding.

How much eggshell powder can you feed your dog?

The dose of eggshell powder to feed your dog will depend on a nutritional analysis by a veterinarian and the health status of your dog. According to Dr. Wigfall, each dog is an individual, and so their requirements will need to be individually calculated.

But for a general idea, Dr. Burch did give an overview:

“I recommend supplementing 7 grams of eggshell powder (1 large eggshell) in your dog’s food twice a day,” Dr. Burch said.

So while your dog rummaging through the trash and eating an eggshell wouldn’t be cause for alarm, only dogs who need the calcium supplementation would truly benefit from including eggshells in their diet.