It’s almost impossible to think of eggnog without thinking of Christmas and the holiday season. If you’re planning a festive party to celebrate the holidays, you might be wondering if dogs can have eggnog, too. Or, maybe you’re wondering what to do if your dog helps himself to a glass of ‘nog. Never fear! We have the answers you are seeking in this run down of all things eggnoggish!
Traditionally, eggnog has been known as a “milk punch” or an “egg milk punch” and those are good names for it. It’s made from milk or cream, sugar, whipped raw egg whites, and raw egg yolks. Then comes the “punch” which is usually in the form of rum, bourbon, brandy, or another alcoholic beverage. It’s possibly derived from a medieval drink called a “posset” that was made with hot, sweet, spiced milk along with some ale or wine.
Modern day versions of eggnog often add spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg to the drink.
Eggnog can be homemade but some people worry, with some reason, about drinking uncooked eggs. It’s also rather expensive to make eggnog from scratch. Most people today buy commercial eggnog mix and add alcohol. The raw egg whites and raw egg yolks are considered necessary to the drink because they thicken and emulsify the beverage. Store-bought versions of eggnog are pasteurized so they don’t carry the risk of bacteria.
If you’re wondering about eggnog nutrition, it contains plenty of calories and fat. Four ounces (120 ml) of a commercial, non-alcoholic version features about 200 calories and 10 grams of fat. When you add alcohol, the calorie count can go much higher. For example, just one ounce of brandy adds 65 calories. Many recipes call for twice that much brandy.
Vegan eggnog usually has fewer calories. It’s often made from soy milk, coconut, or almond milk.
Regular eggnog typically contains about 39 percent carbohydrates, 49 percent fats, and 12 percent protein. It is low in sodium but it’s high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Because of the eggs and milk/cream, eggnog does contain a number of vitamins and minerals. It is very high in riboflavin and a good source of vitamin B12 and pantothenic acid. It’s also a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.
Is eggnog good for dogs?
Eggnog is not to everyone’s taste but many dogs can’t resist it if they find a glass unattended. Milk and eggs together are often enough to lure any dog into drinking some, regardless of the other ingredients. Plus, lots of dogs have a sweet tooth. However, it’s not exactly “good” for dogs because of the high fat and sugar content.
In addition, many eggnog drinks today contain nutmeg which is toxic to dogs. Nutmeg contains a substance called myristicin which acts as a neurotoxin. In high doses it can cause disorientation, hallucination, increased heart rate and blood pressure, dry mouth, abdominal pain, seizures, and death .
Nutmeg also contains a substance called elemicin which contributes to the hallucinogenic effects.
The more your dog ingests, the worse the problem can be. For example, if your dog steals the entire nutmeg container, get him to the veterinarian immediately. On the other hand, if your big dog takes a couple of slurps of someone’s eggnog that contains a dash of nutmeg, he probably won’t have any effects, though it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on him.
Eggnog is also made from milk or cream. Many dogs can tolerate cream since it’s naturally low in lactose but if your dog is lactose-intolerant, milk can be a problem for them.
And, of course, eggnog usually contains alcohol which is a non-starter for dogs. NEVER give your dog alcohol to drink. Your dog can become intoxicated in 30 minutes or less after drinking alcohol – much faster than a human.
Can dogs have eggnog?
It’s not a good idea to give your dog eggnog. The sugar, fat, dairy (for some dogs), the nutmeg, and the alcohol all make eggnog a really bad idea for our canine friends. Giving your dog regular eggnog could make him sick. The alcohol in eggnog can cause your dog to become intoxicated which can be harmful to him. You could expect him to vomit, become uncoordinated, or have diarrhea. If you notice any of these signs and you suspect that your dog has consumed eggnog with added alcohol, contact your veterinarian right away.
If you really want to let your dog have a little eggnog, you can adjust the recipe to make it “dog-friendly.” You could eliminate the sugar and use a non-dairy “milk.” That would also help lower the fat content. And, of course, make sure your eggnog doesn’t contain any nutmeg or alcohol.
How much eggnog can dogs have?
You shouldn’t let your dog have any traditional eggnog because of the ingredients used to make the beverage. Alcohol, in particular, is very bad for dogs.
If you would like to give your dog some mock eggnog, the recipe on this site could be suitable. It contains cinnamon but in small amounts the cinnamon should be safe for your dog. You can make the cinnamon optional if you prefer.
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk Yogurt or Kefir
- 1/2 cup Almond Milk
- 1 large Chicken egg, no shell, separated into the yolk and the egg white
- 1/2 tbsp Honey, raw
- 1/2 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
Follow the instructions on the site.
This mock eggnog is still very calorie-dense, coming in at 200 kcal for about one cup of nog. Honey is still a sugar.
People seem to love or hate eggnog. Many dogs are not as choosy. Given the opportunity, a dog is very likely to guzzle some eggnog if a glass is sitting unattended. If you are having guests over and serving eggnog, let them know that they should be careful about leaving their eggnog sitting around where your dog might drink some. Better yet, it could be a good idea to encourage your dog to take a nap in another room when you have a festive gathering that includes alcoholic beverages, including eggnog.