Carrots are a staple vegetable for many households across the world. Since they are good for humans, you may be wondering if your dog can eat carrots. This vegetable is low in calories and rich in water, fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, niacin, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Carrots are also known for helping maintain eye health. Luckily, carrots are safe and healthy for dogs to eat cooked or raw.
Many veterinarians recommend them as a treat and often feed carrots to their canines, sometimes even on a daily basis. You should avoid giving raw carrots to puppies because it’s harder on their teeth and also difficult for them to digest. It’s preferred to give puppies cooked carrots, without any added seasonings, which will make it easier for them to eat.
To help you learn more, we’ve compiled this guide on carrots for dogs. From health benefits to recipes, let’s explore why carrots are good for dogs to eat!
- 1 Are Carrots Good For Dogs?
- 2 Raw Carrots Are Good for Your Dog’s Teeth
- 3 Many Commercial Dog Food Products Use Carrots
- 4 How to Give Your Dog Carrots
- 5 Healthy Homemade Carrot Dog Treats
- 6 Yes, Dogs Can Eat Carrots in Moderation
Are Carrots Good For Dogs?
Carrots aren’t just healthy for humans. Whether raw or cooked, carrots offer a ton of health benefits for dogs. They are low in calories, high in fiber, packed with water (88%), and are a great source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A, niacin, and phosphorous.
Let’s take a look at a few of the health benefits of carrots for dogs.
Bugs Bunny had the right idea of eating carrots all the time. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, which the liver converts into vitamin A. This vitamin is then transformed when it gets to the retina into rhodopsin, which is a purple pigment that is essential for being able to see better at night. In addition to better night vision, beta-carotene can also help to protect dogs (and humans) against cataracts and macular degeneration (an eye disease that causes vision loss). Carrots also contain lycopene and lutein, which help protect the eyes from damage from free radicals and UVB radiation.
Eating carrots can help reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, including lung, colon, and breast cancer, due to the falcarinol and falcarindiol found within them. These are considered to be anti-cancer properties. Falcarinol is also a natural pesticide and is only found in carrots. Mice that are fed carrots showed a one-third less risk of developing these cancers.
Another benefit of beta-carotene is that it acts as an antioxidant to help prevent the damage in cells caused by metabolism. Beta-carotene also helps slow down cell aging in several ways. Carrots contain antioxidants and vitamin A, which help keep a dog’s coat healthy and shiny. Vitamin A also helps to prevent wrinkling, dry skin, blemishes, and other skin conditions.
If your dog gets a cut, treat it with carrots. Place boiled, mashed carrots (or even shredded raw carrots) on top of the wound, and cover with a bandage, just like a poultice. The vitamins and other nutrients in the carrots will work to heal the wound. Only leave the poultice on for a couple of hours so the carrots don’t start to go bad.
Raw Carrots Are Good for Your Dog’s Teeth
When you give your dog raw carrots, you are not only giving him loads of nutrients, you are also helping to keep his teeth healthy. It is a well-known fact that eating crunchy foods helps to remove plaque and tartar from dogs’ teeth. This helps slow the progression of dental disease. Carrots are a great way to do this, and it is healthy. Dogs also love to play with carrots. They seem to make great toys for some reason. So, you will probably have a mess to clean up, because there will be little bits of carrot on the floor when your dog is finished.
Many Commercial Dog Food Products Use Carrots
Take a look at the list of ingredients on some of the high-quality dog food brands. Carrots are likely on this list because they are used as a healthier filler instead of cornmeal and other additives. The important thing to remember is that just like anything, you should not give your dog too many carrots. Depending on the size of your dog, an ideal serving can range from a quarter to half a cup daily.
How to Give Your Dog Carrots
Carrots should first be introduced as baby carrots or in small slices, especially for smaller dogs, to avoid any potential choking hazards. Like all new foods, introduce carrots slowly at first and see how your dog’s digestive system reacts to them. Too many carrots in your dog’s diet may be hard for them to digest because of all the fiber and lead to gastrointestinal upset. Basically, this means they can have diarrhea or become gassy. If so, reduce the number of carrots you’ve included in their diets.
Cooked carrots are easier for your dog to digest; however, you may lose some nutrients depending on how you cook them. In addition, cooked carrots lose that crunchy texture that many dogs enjoy. Both are safe for dogs to eat as long as they are served plain, without any added seasonings. Common ingredients like salt, garlic, butter, or onions are bad or even toxic to dogs.
Healthy Homemade Carrot Dog Treats
There are all kinds of healthy, homemade treats with carrots for dogs that you can make. Luckily, dogs really love this one and it’s very simple to make!
- 1 C finely chopped apple
- 1 C grated carrot
- 1 C applesauce, unsweetened
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 C flour
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well.
- Sprinkle the rolling surface with flour so the dough doesn’t stick.
- Roll out dough to ¼” thick.
- Cut shapes with a cookie cutter, and place them on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. You can get cute dog bone cutters to make real-looking dog bone treats.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, and allow to cool completely before giving them to your dog.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Carrots in Moderation
There are all kinds of human foods that dogs can eat, and carrots are easily one of the best. They not only taste great but are also loaded with nutrients that bring dogs loads of health benefits. It’s one of the few vegetables your dogs will enjoy “off the bat” because of its chewy, crunchy texture. Whether raw or cooked, carrots make an excellent addition to your dogs’ diets. However, carrots are also high in sugar so you should give them only in moderation.