Eggs. This poor food has been controversial for years amongst us humans. First, it’s a superfood full of all the amino acids you could possibly want. Next thing you know, it is a horrible food full of saturated fats. Then, you hear if you only eat the whites, eggs are a fine food. After that, yolks are full of beneficial nutrients, eat the yolk! Let’s cut through this craziness, and demystify the egg. In particular, are eggs good for your Bichon Frise?
Can Bichon Frises eat eggs? In short yes! Eggs are an excellent source of bioavailable nutrients that your dog needs. It is best to feed the whole egg: white, yolk, and shell! Eggs are also best fed raw for maximum nutrients. Be sure to get pasture-raised, organic eggs
The Egg Controversy:
One reason that a lot of people say feeding eggs to your dog is bad, is because egg white contains enzyme inhibitors. The fear with this is that the inhibitors will interfere with digestion. This is a valid concern, but only if you are feeding your dog lots and lots of egg white. If you are feeding whole eggs as part of an already balanced diet then there is nothing to worry about.
Egg white also contains an inhibitor of biotin. Biotin is an important amino acid that is essential for your Bichons fatty acid metabolism, cellular growth, and healthy skin and coat. This would really only be an issue if you only feed your dog egg whites. Because egg yolks are very high in biotin! If you are worried you can also feed your dog some liver which is a powerhouse of biotin and other nutrients.
Another concern with feeding eggs surrounds feeding eggs raw. Raw is really the best way to feed eggs, actually. Feeding a raw egg will help to preserve all the wonderful nutrients in the egg. The fear is that raw eggs may contain salmonella. The interesting thing is that dogs digestive systems are made to deal with bacteria like salmonella. A dog has a short digestive tract and extremely potent stomach acid. Bacteria like salmonella won’t have time to take hold due to the short digestive tract and once it hits those stomach juices… game over for the salmonella.
Others will argue that the egg yolks are high in cholesterol and saturated fats. Cholesterol has a bad rep, but it is actually essential for you and your precious pup! If you removed all the cholesterol from your body you would die in a matter of seconds. Cholesterol is in every cell in your body. Cholesterol from eggs is excellent for the liver, brain, heart, eye, and skin health!
Why Feed Raw Eggs?
Okay so those are the main fears surrounding the feeding of eggs, but why would you want to feed eggs? First, eggs are a cheap source of very bioavailable and digestible nutrients.
Whole eggs contain one of the most complete amino acid profile that we know of. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, essentially the building blocks of life. This makes eggs a great way to provide your carnivore with more protein!
Eggs, especially the yolks, contain many other nutrients including:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- B Vitamins
If you buy your eggs from free-range, organic chickens the yolks even contain vitamin D3! Which is a good time to mention: buying the best quality eggs that are free-range, organic, and ethically-raised, will give you the best possible nutrients in the egg.
When feeding eggs raw you can even feed the shell! Eggshell if full of calcium and other nutrients that can be a great addition to your dog’s diet. If you do feed the shell make sure they are organic. Non-organic eggs are sprayed with chemicals to make them look shiny.
How Much Egg Should I Feed?
The amount of egg you feed will depend on your dog. A teaspoon a day should be just fine for your Bichon while some larger breeds would benefit from a whole egg a day. You might be able to work up to
2-3 teaspoons a day for your Bichon Frise. If you notice loose stool, you might want to back off the amount of egg you feed.
Other Health Foods for Your Bichon:
Since we are on the topic let’s look at a few more foods that are very beneficial for your Bichon Frise.
It’s true, underneath that fluffy white coat and clown-like antics beats the heart (and digestive system) of a true carnivore! All dogs are carnivores and they will thrive on a meat-based diet. Yes, eggs are included in that!
Dogs can enjoy most meats cooked, dehydrated, freeze-dried, or raw. Yup, I said raw. Remember why salmonella from eggs is not a threat to your dog? Short digestive tract and extreme stomach acid. Those same things will take care of the salmonella and other bacteria in raw meat as well. The only meat you don’t want to feed raw is wild boar. This contains a parasite that can be quite bad for your dog. But you can cook wild boar and it will be fine!
Okay so here is another controversial topic, maybe even more so than feeding raw eggs. I know your thinking “bones will splinter and mess up my dog’s digestive tract, perforate his bowl, and end in a huge vet bill and my dog in pain!!!” Well, that is true, for cooked bones. Cooking a bone makes the bone become harder while also making it more brittle. The brittleness makes the bone splinter easily. While the hardness makes the splinter tough enough to perforate a bowl.
Raw bones, on the other hand, are much softer and more malleable. Once your dog chomps them up, his digestive tract takes care of the rest. Remember you Bichon, while far removed from his wild ancestors, is still a carnivore. His digestive tract is made to handle whole prey, including the bones.
That said there are two main types of bones that you should be aware of. Raw meaty bones or RMBs are softer bones that your dog can completely consume. These are typically chicken wings, poultry neck bones, ribs from small animals (beef ribs are likely too tough for most Bichons), and others. These bones create the “fiber” in most raw diets and provide the perfect balance of calcium and phosphorus.
Then there are recreational bones. These are heavier, weight-bearing bones. Think femurs, pelvic bones, knucklebones. These are “just for fun” bones, that you give to your dog. A recreational bone for a dog is like a human sitting down to read a good book. Except for a dog, working on a recreational bone is both mentally and physically stimulating!
These are somewhat rare to find these days. We humans mostly shutter to think of eating a liver or heart or brain, YUCK! But your dog thinks, “YUMMY!” But there is more then tastiness to organ meats. Think of organ meats as the most bioavailable multi-vitamin for your dog.
Organ meats are full of vitamins and minerals that are essential for your dog’s good health. The liver is packed with vitamin A and (if you get the liver from pasture-raised animals) vitamin D. Brain is full of omega-3 fatty acids. The heart is full of riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin. The kidney is an amazing source of niacin and retinol.
Raw is the best way to feed organ meats. Feeding organs raw will help to preserve the most nutrients. It is important to get organs that are organic, pasture-raised and fed a species-appropriate diet. This is because a lot of organs are responsible for removing toxins from the animal’s body. If the animal lived in a highly-toxic environment and ate a toxic diet his organs will be compromised. When you feed those organs to your dog you are feeding the toxins too. So, choose organic, pasture-raised organ meats
Small Fatty Fish:
Fish can be a great food to add to your dog’s diet. Fish adds essential fatty acids such as omega-3s. Omega-3’s are wonderful for reducing inflammation, skin and coat health, brain health, and heart health.
Be sure to choose wild-caught fish from Atlantic oceans. You can cook fish or feed them raw. If you choose to feed raw fish be sure to buy them from a place that knows you are going to feed them raw. Raw fish can have parasites that will cause issues to your dog. But if you buy the fish from a good seller they will have frozen the fish appropriately to kill those parasites.
These provide your dog with many healthful probiotics! Probiotics are bacteria that help your Bichon to digest and break down foods. The gut of dogs, and people, are teaming with these beneficial bacteria. However, these bacteria can be damaged by environmental toxins, antibiotics, poor diet, and many other things. These beneficial bacteria also help to boost the immune system. That’s why it is important to feed your do probiotic-rich foods!
Fermented foods can come in the form of kimchi, kavass, kefir, water kefir, yogurt with live and active cultures, raw goat milk, raw milk, fermented meats, and fermented broths. These can all be good sources of beneficial bacteria. It’s best to feed a variety of these probiotic-rich foods for maximum diversity in the gut.
Fruits and Veggies:
Vegetables and fruits can be a great addition to your dog’s diet. they are a great source of micro and phyto-nutrients, antioxidants, and chlorophyll. Veggies and fruit also contain lots of vitamins and minerals. However, it’s important to note that the nutrients in plant matter are not as bioavailable to your dog. This is because dogs are carnivores and their digestive tracts are not made to break down plants. Its made for meat. Nonetheless, dogs can benefit from some vegetables and fruits.
For maximum digestion be sure to lightly cook them or puree them raw or ferment them! This will help to maximize the number of nutrients your Bichon can absorb from the plants.
Plant matter should not take up more than 10% of your dog’s diet. Most of that plant matter should be leafy greens with a few low-glycemic vegetables and very few fruits. Also, be sure to buy organic vegetables.
Bone broth is one of the few foods that are actually great and full of nutrients when cooked! Bone broth is a broth made of cooking bones (typical bones with a lot of joins, like chicken feet) with apple cider vinegar, water, and perhaps a few herbs. You cook this for 24 hours or so in a slow cooker. Then remove the bones and the resulting broth is bone broth!
So why feed it? Bone broth is full of gelatin, glucosamine, and minerals. This makes bone broth great for joint and gut health. It also contains loads of amino acids that are easy for your dog to digest and use.
Think of bone broth as the chicken noodle soup of the dog world. It’s great for a sick dog but it is also good at any time!
Can Bichon Frises eat eggs? In short yes! Eggs are an excellent source of bioavailable nutrients that your dog needs. It is best to feed the whole egg: white, yolk, and shell! Eggs are also best fed raw for maximum nutrients. Be sure to get pasture-raised, organic eggs.
There are several other foods that may seem controversial that you can feed your dog too. Raw meat, raw bones, and raw organ meats. These are all beneficial to your Bichon. They provide the needed nutrients in the most digestible form for your little carnivore.
Small fatty fish can be a good addition as well for their omega-3 content.
Let’s not forget fermented foods. These provide beneficial bacteria to your dog’s guts. Increasing your dog’s bacteria in the gut improves digestion and his immune system.
Plant foods like vegetables and fruits can play a roll in your dog’s health as well. They are not as digestible to dogs so be sure to lightly cook, puree, or ferment them for best results.
Bone broth is a wonderful food for your dog. If your dog is dehydrated or refusing to eat, think of bone broth. Most dogs will lap up some bone broth even if they don’t feel like eating.