The Shih Tzu has been a companion canine to people for thousands of years. These dogs know their place – and that place is at your side, doing whatever you are doing and eating whatever you are eating.
This makes it your responsibility to ensure that you only feed your Shih Tzu dog-safe foods that have health as well as taste benefits.
If you are brand-new to owning and caring for a Shih Tzu, this may mean doing some research before creating your dog’s weekly treat rotation schedule. One question many Shih Tzu owners have is whether eggs can be a safe, healthy treat for their dogs.
The happy answer is yes! Eggs offer lots of benefits to Shih Tzus as long as they are served safely and in moderation. Read on to learn what you need to know before offering eggs to your Shih Tzu dog.
Can Shih Tzu Eat Eggs?
Happily, eggs are a safe and healthy treat for Shih Tzu dogs to enjoy. However, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind, both in terms of quantity and frequency of servings as well as preparation.
In the remainder of this article, we offer guidelines and recommendations to help you add protein-rich eggs to your Shih Tzu dog’s regular treat rotation.
Watch Hungry Shih Tzu Dogs Enjoy Eggs
This super cute, owner-made YouTube video shows how much Shih Tzus enjoys eggs.
You will also notice that the eggs are scrambled and offered in bite-size portions, which is particularly vital when discussing a toy-sized dog breed like the Shih Tzu.
How Much Egg Is Safe to Feed Your Shih Tzu Dog?
As the American Kennel Club (AKC) points out, an adult Shih Tzu might only weigh nine to 16 pounds fully grown.
This means that every single calorie your dog takes in on a daily basis really counts.
This is especially true during the brief puppyhood months but definitely matters all throughout life as well.
Luckily, protein is a major dietary need for all dogs, including Shih Tzus, which means eggs have more benefits than some treat foods that are safe but not necessarily totally healthy for dogs.
However, it is still important to closely monitor your dog’s diet to make sure that the majority of calories represent whole and complete canine daily nutrition.
When in doubt, always consult with your dog’s veterinarian to be sure the diet you are feeding is appropriate to your Shih Tzu dog’s age, gender, life stage, weight, activity level, and overall health.
Compare the Weight of a Shih Tzu Dog to the Weight of an Egg
According to Food52, the average grade AA large egg (shelled) weighs about 1.66 ounces, or about one-tenth of a pound.
Your adult Shih Tzu dog might weigh anywhere from nine to 16 pounds on average. So even a single egg can have a significant nutritional impact on your dog’s overall dietary balance.
What Nutrients Do Eggs Provide for Your Shih Tzu?
However, as we mentioned here earlier, eggs are pure protein and offer plenty of nutrition, whether you are feeding them as a treat in addition to a complete and balanced commercial kibble-based diet or as part of a raw food diet.
As Dogs Naturally Magazine explains, eggs are a complete protein and actually a complete source of nutrition in and of themselves, and here is why.
The average egg contains everything required to make a new life!
An egg has a complete spectrum of amino acids, the building blocks for life. And while there is some concern about feeding raw egg whites to dogs on account of an enzyme inhibitor that may impact bio-available biotin levels, cooked eggs solve this problem.
As well, even if you are feeding raw eggs instead of cooked eggs, the amount of biotin in the raw egg yolk more than counteracts the inhibitory enzyme in the raw whites.
And a single egg (large) is only 75 calories but has a full seven grams of protein, making it a powerhouse nutritional addition to your dog’s protein-rich daily diet.
According to WebMD, a single egg contains all of these nutrient benefits that your Shih Tzu will take in.
Vitamin A is a vital core nutrient to help your Shih Tzu maintain healthy skin, coat, and muscular, and nerve functioning.
Vitamin D helps your dog make and maintain healthy, strong bones and muscles. It also helps your dog’s body make use of other vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin E is important to cell metabolic function, including fat processing, eye health, muscle health, and (if you plan to breed your dog) reproductive success.
Without enough Vitamin K in the body, your dog’s blood won’t be able to clot effectively.
Calcium is a vital component in building healthy nails, coats, bones, and teeth.
Zinc is a trace mineral that helps your Shih Tzu maintain a strong immune system response and regulate thyroid function.
Folate is the nutrient your dog’s body uses to metabolize all the other amino acids and make use of them. As well, each cell requires folate to make strong, healthy outer protective membranes.
Vitamins B2, B5, B6, and B12
According to Veterinary Practice, the whole spectrum of B vitamins is essential for skin health and immune function.
Vitamin B12, in particular, is also essential to help your dog’s body produce red blood cells.
Selenium is another core trace mineral required to regulate your dog’s metabolism and thyroid gland functioning.
Phosphorus is a key nutrient to help maintain healthy bone growth. It is also vital to support immune system function, kidney function, cellular repair, and removal of toxins.
Your dog needs protein for just about everything the body needs to do. As PetMD points out, protein not only gives your dog’s body energy, but it also supports the growth of healthy cells, tissues, muscles, hormones, and enzymes.
Are There Any Dangers of Feeding Eggs to Your Shih Tzu?
Even though eggs are inherently safe for Shih Tzu dogs to eat, there are some important safety factors to keep in mind.
Don’t ever offer the shell served intact (whole)
Eggshells can provide additional calcium for dogs, including tiny breed dogs like the Shih Tzu.
But when you are feeding the whole egg, shell and all, to a toy dog breed, you don’t want to offer the shell as-is. Instead, you want to crush up the eggshell first and then sprinkle it over the egg.
This way, you don’t have to worry that your dog might eat a too-large piece of eggshell and have a choking incident.
Don’t let your dog eat too much egg
Wild wolves will happily eat raw eggs whenever they get the opportunity. Since the modern companion canine is descended from an ancient wild wolf, this bodes well for the overall nutritional impact of adding eggs to your Shih Tzu diet.
However, you definitely want to make sure not to over-feed eggs if you are also feeding a whole and complete diet of commercial dog food. Because the Shih Tzu is such a tiny dog, it is all too easy to end up with an overweight dog.
Once your tiny dog has gained too much weight, it is often far harder to put your dog on a diet than to simply control caloric intake in the first place.
How to Serve Eggs Safely to Your Shih Tzu
While eggs are a beneficial source of whole and complete canine protein, not all dogs tolerate them equally well.
Allergies to eggs
While the Shih Tzu dog breed isn’t one of the breeds known to have egg-specific food allergies, there is always the chance that a new food could cause an allergic reaction.
The truth is, you won’t know for sure until you try it and see what happens.
This means you want to make sure the first time you offer an egg treat to your Shih Tzu you offer a very small portion of the whole egg and then wait 24 hours.
If, after 24 hours have passed, you haven’t seen any signs of any type of issue or allergic reaction, it is likely quite safe to add eggs to your dog’s regular treat rotation.
Sometimes, you may want to stick to serving whole-cooked eggs to your Shih Tzu.
If your dog has any immune system issues or is health-compromised in some other way, cooking the egg first is the best way to avoid introducing any bacteria or pathogens that may be present in raw eggs.
Now you know how to offer tasty, nourishing eggs to your dog safely.