When I was a kid, there was a game that I could never seem to be good in. And that was running whilst balancing an egg on a very small spoon.
I chalked it up to me being a klutz that is devoid of any hand-eye coordination. Having me on your team meant a guaranteed last place in the race.
My dear dog fares a lot better when it comes to handling eggs in his mouth. I’ve placed a hard-boiled egg in his mouth and he treats it like a precious pearl from an oyster.
But why are dogs gentle with eggs? There are some dogs that are extra gentle with eggs due to their breed background. Dogs that are bred to hunt and retrieve are known to be very careful with the hunted animal in their mouths to prevent it from getting damaged. Non-retriever dogs can also be gentle with eggs when they treat the egg as a prized possession.
Let us take a look at this rather strange behavior from dogs and should you be putting an egg in your dog’s mouth?
Why Are Dogs Nice To Eggs?
Seeing your dog being so gentle with an egg can be rather perplexing, especially when your dog is such a chowhound or a dog that just gobbles up food like an excavator.
However, not all dogs are as gentle when it comes to having an egg in their mouths. I would say that a lot boils down to the breed of your dog and its own unique personality.
Let’s take a look at the dog breed first.
Many dogs were bred to be working dogs on farms and hunting dogs. When it comes to hunting dogs, it isn’t about using the dog to take down the animal but to sniff them out and bring them back after the kill.
Here are some of the common hunting dog breeds:
- Golden Retrievers
- Cocker Spaniels
- Nova Scotia
- Portuguese Water Dog
These dog breeds have what we would call a ‘soft mouth’ when it comes to hunting. A soft mouth doesn’t mean that the dog is incapable of biting. In fact, these hunting dog breeds can easily rip a squeaky toy to pieces.
Dogs that have the touch of a soft mouth know exactly when they are not supposed to bite down hard on whatever is in their mouths. This would be the hunted birds and small animals.
A golden retriever that has been trained for hunting, will gently retrieve hunted birds that its owner has shot and bring them back.
A dog that bites down too hard on the hunted animal and damages it wouldn’t make a good hunting dog. You wouldn’t want to eat a duck that has been badly damaged by a dog with a ‘hard mouth’.
This explains why such dogs can be so gentle with eggs in their mouths and not crack them. But when given half a chance, would happily eat broken eggs on the floor.
A Prized Possession
Whenever I give my dog something new to play or eat, it tends to be very gentle with the object for the first few times.
It can be adorable to see my dog bring his new toy or treat wherever he goes. Not very idea if it’s a treat because it just messes up my house.
However, things can start to get out of hand if your dog gets too protective of the egg and doesn’t want to give it back. We call such behavior ‘resource guarding’ which can be a common occurrence in dogs.
Resource guarding happens when the dog values the egg too much and starts to get aggressive when you try to take it back. Although all dog breeds are susceptible to this behavior, Cocker Spaniels are more prone to resource guarding.
Such a behavioral trait isn’t desirable in a dog and needs to be corrected once manifested.
Your Dog Is Feeling Awkward
Have you ever been in a weird situation that took you a couple of seconds to sort out? The same thing can happen to your dog who has never seen an egg before.
The poor dog was probably expecting its usual snack but was taken aback when presented with an egg. Reflex action took over and all it could do was open its mouth and calm down gently on the egg.
Happens to the best of us.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs?
Not too long ago, there was a trend on social media that showed dog owners putting an egg in their dog’s mouth to gauge its reaction. Sort of like an egg challenge.
From what I noticed from the video clips that I saw, many of the eggs were raw and feeding your dog a raw egg isn’t something you should do.
Raw eggs can contain salmonella which is a food-borne disease. This virus can upset your dog’s digestive system and give it symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite.
Furthermore, raw egg white contains avidin which is an enzyme that interferes with the absorption of biotin (vitamin B7) from your dog’s food leading to biotin deficiency.
Biotin is an important vitamin for your dog as it helps with its fur, skin, and overall health.
Even if your dog is on a raw diet, I would suggest giving your dog only cooked eggs to be safe. The heat will kill any food-borne disease and avidin in the egg.
The Egg Can Become A Choking Hazard
Putting a whole egg in a large or medium-sized dog won’t really put the dog at risk of choking. But doing it to a smaller-sized dog, a puppy or even a senior dog isn’t a good diet.
When the dog eats the egg whole, it can get stuck or lodged in the dog’s throat causing it to choke.
It is important for you to know how to remove the object which is obstructing your dog’s breathing.
Why Are Dogs So Gentle With Babies?
Dogs are pack animals and have a natural instinct to protect the young and weak in the pack. Through many years of domestication, our dogs have evolved to understand if there’s a baby or young human in the family.
A dog uses its intuition and senses to identify and baby and treat it gently so as not to hurt it. It is also common to see a dog being protective towards a baby as well.