Updated: Dec 16, 2021
Eggs are natures true miracle. Not only do they contain and sustain a little life, nutritionally they are one of the most complete foods (1) . They are chock full of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals (1,2) and due to recent research, they have been found to contain cancer and free radical fighting antioxidants (3). They barely contain carbohydrates or sugar (4) and include all 9 essential amino acids (5, 6,7) which is important for the growth, maintenance and repair of tissue, muscle, hair, bones (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) and much more! Compared to most protein sources they are the most cost effective. For raw feeders, this super food is perfect for any companion. Not only is it a great nutritional addition, eggs often aid with hairballs (13, 14), putting weight on low weight companions (15), and contains anti-inflammatory properties (16) among many many other health benefits.
One topic that always pops up when it comes to feeding raw egg is avidin. Avidin is a component found in the egg white that binds biotin (17). This often results in many owners only feeding the egg yolk or cooking the egg white. The common misunderstanding is that because it binds biotin that a deficiency will result. Nature once again comes in to save the day. While the egg white does contain avidin, the yolk is loaded with biotin. In fact, egg yolks contain one of the highest biotin contents in the natural world (18, 19, 20)! Furthermore, you would need to feed your companions a lot of egg white to produce a deficiency (21). Instead of cooking the egg white which denatures (22, 23) not only the avidin but almost all of the other proteins and nutrients available to your companion, feeding the whole egg, white and yolk is a wonderful solution.
Another concern is salmonella. This concern began in the 1980’s when a salmonella outbreak related to eggs occurred in North East America. It resulted in the deaths of many people and illness in hundreds of other egg consumers. After this outbreak, stricter protocols were implemented (24, 25) to not only prevent the spread of the disease but to reduce salmonella in hen houses. Due to these new protocols, the prevalence of salmonella dropped. One of these protocols included the FDA requiring extensive cleaning if the eggshell and improving the living environments for hens (25, 26).
It is very unlikely that your companion will become sick from salmonella contamination. If eggs are stored at 45 degrees or less, salmonella is not able to grow (26). In addition, if your companion is not immunocompromised in any way, on a raw diet their high immune system will help to keep bacteria and illness at bay. Furthermore, dogs and cats have bacteria destroying enzymes call lysozymes in their mouth (27, 28, 29), a highly acidic stomach that will kill surviving bacteria and a very short digestive tract that very quickly eliminates excess waste including surviving bacteria (30,31).
With eggs being readily available, cost-effective and nutritionally complete your companions would surely be missing something great if you didn’t feed them.
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