Plenty of dog owners enjoy sharing a little nibble of food with their furry friends, especially fruits and vegetables such as carrots. Maybe you have found yourself asking, can dogs eat carrots? Knowing the benefits and risks associated with carrots can ensure that your pet has a happy and healthy diet.
Are Carrots Safe for Dogs?
Yes, carrots are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. These orange, crunchy vegetables are a very nutritious treat to add to your dog’s diet. Carrots are one of many vegetables that can be found in many dog foods. Even the leaf is safe for your pet to eat. Theoretically, your dog can eat a carrot picked straight from the ground and be completely safe. The only reason your dog may not be able to eat carrots is if they are allergic to them. In which case, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or itchy skin. If you notice some of these signs in your pet, do not feed them anymore until you contact your veterinarian.
What are the Nutritional Benefits?
There are several nutritional benefits and reasons to add carrots to your furry friend’s diet. Each of these benefits can significantly help your dog and prevent health issues later in its life.
Keeping your dog’s teeth can be a difficult and often an expensive task. Carrots support dental health as they can gently scrape off the dogs’ teeth. This prevents plaque from building up and causing harm to your dog’s teeth and gums. It is recommended that you start dental maintenance when your dog is a puppy. If you have an older or adopted dog and notice some plaque buildup, you may want to consider taking them in for a professional cleaning at your vet or groomer.
Low Calories Treat
Carrots are also a great low-calorie and low-fat treat for pups. Baby carrots are about 4 calories making them the perfect treat for all pups. They can also provide crunchy satisfaction to those pups that may have a pouch or are working on their figure.
Bowel Movement Regularity
Carrots are a great source of soluble fiber for dogs. So, if your pup has loose stool, they may benefit from a couple of baby carrots or even a large one. Approximately 9 baby carrots contain 2 grams of fiber.
Carrots are rich in Beta Carotene which can help with eyesight. More specifically it is important in keeping your dog’s retina healthy. Do you remember when you were younger, and your parents would tell you that if you ate carrots, they would help your eyesight? Well, that’s because of the Beta Carotene in them! That’s not all Beta Carotene can do though as it also acts as an antioxidant that works to prevent diseases from occurring.
Carrots also contain a lot of vitamin A which can play a critical role in your dog’s diet. Vitamin A can help keep your sweet pet’s skin, coat, and immune system healthy. That is why it is required in most dogs’ foods.
What are the Potential Hazards of Carrots to my Dog?
No matter what food it is, dogs should always be given treats in moderation. Carrots should be given in addition to their dog meals. Too much Vitamin A can be toxic. This can lead to GI disturbances, stiffness in joints, paralysis, long bone fractures, and muscle weakness.
Carrots can also be a choking hazard if chunks of carrot are too large for the dog to swallow. If you are worried about your dog potentially choking on a raw carrot, there are other ways to incorporate carrots into your dog’s diet.
How can I feed my Dog Carrots?
While most dogs will eat carrots no problem, you may have a picky eater on your hands or health issues that prevent your dog from eating a raw carrot. Not to worry though, as there are several ways to feed your dog carrot including:
A raw carrot allows you to retain many of the rich vitamins and minerals found within the carrot. Many dogs also enjoy the crunchy texture that comes from chewing a raw carrot. Do not be alarmed if you see pieces of carrot in your dog’s stool, as dogs are not adapted to efficiently digest it.
Juiced & Mashed
Many humans enjoy mashed or juiced carrots. These are also safe dogs as long as they are plain and do not have any added ingredients.
Steamed & Cooked
Cooked carrots are another effective way to feed your dog carrots. Cooking or steaming the carrot will make it easier for your dog to digest but as with all foods, cooking may cause it to lose some of its nutritional value. This is a great option for older dogs or dogs who have a difficult time chewing.
Final Thoughts on Carrots
Ultimately, carrots are a great treat for you to share with your beloved pet. By doing so you will be adding a very nutritious and beneficial goody to their diet. You can also help other pets and inform their owners about the benefits when they ask, “can dogs eat carrots?”. Your dog will thank you for ensuring they have a happy and healthy life.
Written By: Jessica Pagel