Your dog has eaten an egg shell. Naturally, you will be a little concerned and worried. But how problematic is this? Is there anything you now need to be aware of or, need to do? Let’s find out.
So, what should you do if your dog has eaten an egg shell? If your dog has eaten an egg shell, there is likely nothing you need to do – they should be fine. However, in rare circumstances, they could experience digestive upset – particularly if any contaminated raw egg (and bacteria) was present. Either way, close monitoring and supervision for the next 24 hours are advised.
For the most part, normality should resume.
In most cases, dogs will not suffer any adverse consequences and will go about their day as if it never happened!
In some ways, you could argue that they may even slightly benefit from the event as we shall explore in the next few sections!
What Happens If Dogs Eat Eggshells?
In most cases, a small amount of egg shell consumed, infrequently, will not result in any adverse effects. In fact, they will acquire some calcium, which egg shells are mostly made up of.
However, this does come with its caveats.
It does depend on how much egg shell they ate, the health of the dog eating them, and the egg itself (and what it was potentially carrying).
As such, the following effects may be observed:
Now assuming it was a safe egg shell, to begin with, your dog will most likely be fine.
This is the most likely scenario; you do not notice anything at all.
Sometimes, owners will notice that remnants of egg shell can be seen in their dog’s poop.
These look like little white specks.
Again, this is not a cause for concern. It just indicates all of the calcium was not absorbed.
In other situations, depending on how sharp the egg shells were, you may notice a little blood (drawn from the gums as your dog chewed them).
Again your dog should be fine, but it’s important to check the severity of any cuts depending on how much blood you see.
In terms of egg contamination, that is when more serious digestive upset can arise. Likely, from Salmonella poisoning.
Thankfully, the chances of this are slim, as the following quote from the University of Minnesota illustrates:
So, chances are incredibly small.
But they are possible.
Signs of salmonella poisoning in dogs range from acute gastroenteritis, although fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are also often seen.
So if you do notice any of these occur, you will need to contact your vet at the earliest opportunity.
They can monitor your dog and help support them through recovery, which likely will require hydration replacement therapy (to prevent and counteract any dehydration).
In some cases, dogs have been known to vomit (as the eggshell aggravates their stomach lining).
Vomiting, therefore, serves as an instinctive attempt for your dog to pass the shell.
This can occur outside of Salmonella poisoning, which usually has an incubation period and it takes time for the symptoms to manifest.
The best thing you can do here is to monitor your dog, and contact a vet only if gastro-enteritis develops.
Otherwise, you can always help your dog recover from the vomiting by:
- Starving your dog today but ensuring they have plenty of access and drink lots of water.
- The next say feeding smaller, lighter meals (such as chicken breast, white rice, etc)
- Slowly reintroduce your dog to their normal diet over the course of a few days.
Should You Feed A Dog Eggshells?
Despite egg shells being a sauce of calcium, it is not advised to feed your dogs egg shells without the approval of your vet.
In some situations and circumstances, it can be a great idea to feed your dogs egg shells.
They are mostly comprised of calcium carbonate, after all.
And we all know how important calcium is, and how hard it can be to obtain through diet.
But here is the problem.
What is the optimal amount of calcium for a dog?
Exactly; it’s impossible for us to know!
And calcium recommendations for dogs must be kept within a certain, safe range.
Besides, not all dogs need the same amount anyway. It depends on breed, age, and health status.
For instance, a young growing pup will have vastly different calcium requirements to an active adult.
And the issue when adding extra dietary calcium is that it can lead to other mineral imbalances.
For instance, calcium is tightly connected to phosphorous.
An imbalance in this ratio can impact Vitamin D status which in turn can have negative effects on skeletal metabolism.
So, only feed your dog egg shells (or a calcium supplement for that matter), if you know they are deficient or in need.
Only a vet will be able to tell you that, following close assessment and testing.
How Much Eggshells Should A Dog Have?
How much egg shell a dog can, or should have, will vary dog by dog, context by context. There is no definitive amount that is best or is recommended.
That being said, the occasional consumption of egg shell is generally not an issue.
The problems arise, however, with consistent, regular consumption.
So this is something you are going to want to be mindful of.
If you wonder whether your dog could benefit, or believe your dog is in need of calcium supplementation, then do liaise with your vet.
They will be able to best advise here.
How Do You Give Eggshells To Dogs?
Assuming that egg shells are an appropriate addition to your dogs’ diet, you can feed them by adding them to their regular food.
It is generally advised to pulverize them into powder first.
This will prevent any issues with hard or sharp pieces. It also should be easier for your dog to digest, and absorb the calcium, this way.
To do this, boil the egg shells for 10-15 minutes in a pan.
Once done, carefully remove them from the stove, remove the water, and hand-dry them to remove any excess water.
From there, put them in the oven and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Once done, carefully take them out, let them cool, and transfer to a blender/food processor.
Blitz them until they resemble a fine powder.
At this point, you could mix the egg shell powder into your dog’s food – so they consume it without even noticing.
When it comes to how much to add, you’re not going to need much. Your vet could advise you on specifics, but a typical starting dose would be as little as 1/8 of a teaspoon.
This is essentially a “supplement” after all. It’s also highly concentrated.
When it comes to sourcing eggs, stick to organic if possible.
If you are short of time or do not want to prepare this yourself, you can actually buy a pre-made product such as the best seller below from Amazon:
- 🐕 ORGANIC EGGSHELL CALCIUM - Your furry friend deserves the best nutritional support. This calcium supplement features natural and certified organic eggshells that are rich in calcium carbonate.
- 🐈 STRONGER BONES, TEETH & JOINTS - Keep your canine or feline's bones extra strong and sturdy. Calcium is needed for maintaining healthy bone density, strong teeth, and flexible joints.
- 🐕 EASILY ABSORBED - Forget about manually crushing eggshells for your pet. This eggshell powder features finely ground organic eggshells, which are readily absorbed and digested by your dog or cat.
- 🐈 SAFE FOR YOUR PETS - Enjoy peace of mind that your pet will not consume any sharp shells or heavy metals from this supplement. All you get is pure, natural, and organic ESC powdered eggshell calcium.
- 🐕 EASY TO ADMINISTER - No need to force your pet to swallow large pills. Just add 1 teaspoon of our calcium supplement for pets to 1lb of home-prepared food, or as directed by your veterinarian.
This is generally a much more practical approach.
Can dogs eat egg shells? Technically yes.
Should they eat egg shells? Perhaps.
In reality, unless you are getting your dog medically examined, you will never truly know how much calcium they need.
It is an important mineral and it does serve essential functions on the body.
However, too much is as bad as too little.
For the most part, the occasional egg shell consumption should be absolutely fine.
But long-term supplementation – that’s a different matter altogether – and something your vet should really sign off on.
And if you do notice any adverse digestive effects following consumption, well you and your dog could be one of those rather unfortunate and unlikely Salmonella cases!
If you are, don’t delay. Call a vet.
You could give your dog whole egg shells, and they will still likely attempt to eat them, although this is not recommended. They could cut their mouth and gums on sharp edges. At the same time, they may not be able to absorb as much of the calcium on offer.
You don’t theoretically have to grind egg shells for dogs, although it is best and strongly recommended. It will help digestion, and absorption, and should help ensure your dog consumes all of it.
Concerned or wondering what other things your dog can/cannot eat. Check out my related guides below:
- Dog Ate Corn On The Cob [The Course Of Action You Must Take]
- My Dog Ate A Peach Pit [What May Happen & What To Do]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.