We hear a lot about feeding dogs whole-food diets, so you may be wondering, can dogs eat carrots and, if so, are carrots good for dogs? The short answer is “yes,” but of course, as with any other foods you give your pet, it has to be in moderation. One of the great things about carrots is that dogs can eat them in any form. If you want to give them one right out of the garden, it is fine to do so. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of carrots for dogs.
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. 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.
Carrots Are Found in Many Dog Foods
Take a look at the list of ingredients on some of the better-quality dog food brands. You will likely find carrots on that list, because they are used as a filler instead of corn meal and other unhealthy 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 is anywhere from one quarter to one half cup daily.
Health Benefits of Carrots for Dogs
Carrots aren’t just healthy for humans. If you add carrots to your dog’s diet, either raw or cooked, you are going to be doing a world of good for their health. 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. They 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. This is a purple pigment, and it is necessary in order to be 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).
Eating carrots can help to reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, including lung colon and breast cancer, due to the falcarinol and falcarindiol. These are considered to be anti-cancer properties. Falcarinol is also a natural pesticide, and 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 the damage in the cells caused by metabolism and slows down cell aging in several ways. Carrots help to keep a dog’s coat healthy and shiny, thanks to the vitamin A and antioxidants. The 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.
Healthy Homemade Carrot Dog Treats
There are all kinds of healthy, home-made treats with carrots for dogs that you can make. Dogs really seem to love this one, and it is easy 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 together in a bowl, and mix well.
- Sprinkle rolling surface with flour so the dough doesn’t stick.
- Roll out dough to ¼” thick.
- Cut shapes with a cookie cutter, and place 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
There are all kinds of human foods that dogs can eat, and carrots are easily one of the best. They are loaded with nutrients that bring dogs loads of health benefits, and they taste great. You can give carrots to your dog raw or cooked, and they make an excellent addition to your dog’s healthy diet.