Yes, dogs can eat carrots. Carrots are an excellent low-calorie snack that is high in fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. Plus, crunching on this orange root vegetable is great for your dog’s teeth. Carrots are included as an ingredient in many dog foods as well as plenty of carrot dog treats.
Benefits of Carrots for Dogs
Carrots offer dog owners an affordable and nutritious snack for their pets. In addition, this vegetable is perfect for rewarding good behavior without the calorie count associated with biscuits and other treats. Some vets even recommend cold or frozen carrots for teething puppies, as a way to relieve discomfort.
Large frozen carrots make cheap and edible chew toys. Furthermore, chewing on carrots can also help improve your dog’s dental health. More importantly, carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, among other vitamins.
Health Benefits of Carrots for Dogs
- Vision: Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A by the liver. Vitamin A helps support vision, including night vision. That’s because vitamin A travels through the bloodstream to the retina, where it nourishes the rods and cones. In turn, the rods and cones, which are sensitive to light, communicate with the brain what your dog is seeing.
- Heart health: Carrots are rich in soluble fibers, which can help manage blood cholesterol levels, benefitting the heart.
- Digestion: Carrots also contain a high amount of insoluble fiber, which plays a vital role in removing toxins from the colon and keeping bowel movements more regular.
- Skin and coat health: The vitamin A and antioxidant content within carrots help promote a healthy and shiny coat while boosting skin health.
Can Carrots Be Bad for Dogs?
When fed in moderation, carrots are a healthy, low-fat snack as well as a low-calorie treat for your dog. However, just like many other fruits and veggies, they can be high in natural sugar. Too much sugar, whether from artificial sugars or natural ones, can cause obesity and dental decay.
Carrots also contain high levels of fiber. If you add large amounts of fiber to your dog’s diet too quickly, it can result in gas and an upset stomach.
Therefore, you want to make are that you introduce carrots into your dog’s diet slowly and provide plenty of drinking water for him in order to prevent any blockages from developing.
If you suspect that your dog has eaten too many carrots and you begin to notice signs of digestive upset such as vomiting, or diarrhea, be sure to get in contact with your vet right away.
In general, when it comes to serving carrots to your dog, the same rules apply as with any other treat that you might give him: carrots should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric needs.
For context, an average-sized dog can safely consume 2 – 3 baby carrots each day. Just be sure that you chop them up into smaller pieces so that you avoid any choking hazards.
Before you begin introducing any new food into your dog’s diet, you should always consult with your dog’s veterinarian. That way they can give you more accurate information and recommendations for your dog based on his personal health and medical needs.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Carrots?
Dogs can eat cooked carrots, too. In fact, while some vegetables have more nutrients in their raw state, carrots provide more nutrients when cooked.
It’s important that the carrot isn’t too hot for your dog, or it could burn their mouth. And make sure to cut the cooked carrots into small, bite-size slices.
If you’re planning on feeding cooked carrots to your dog, don’t add any butter, oils, fats, seasonings, or spices. These are all unhealthy additions for your dog. And beware that garlic and onion are toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Carrots?
Frozen carrots are not good treat options for your pup. These pieces are choking hazards and can also damage a dog’s teeth.
Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake?
Sorry, but carrot cake for your dog is a no-no. The amount of sugar is way too much for them to handle, and they may get an upset stomach. There could also be ingredients in the carrot cake that are toxic to dogs, like xylitol or nutmeg.
What To Consider Before You Give Your Dog A Carrot
Before you share a carrot with your dog, there are a few cautions you should consider.
- Large chunks of carrots can be a choking hazard. Be sure to cut them up into bite-size pieces. (I’ll talk more about how to feed carrots to your dog in the next section.)
- If you do let your dog chew on a frozen carrot, be sure to supervise. If it’s too easy for her to break off large chunks, a bone may be a better choice.
- Carrots have a lot of natural sugars when compared to other vegetables but they’re also low on the glycemic index. That means moderation is key, especially with diabetic dogs.
- Dogs can get vitamin A toxicity. If you’re feeding your dog a pre-made diet with added vitamin A, don’t add too many vitamin-A-rich foods like carrots.
How to feed your dog carrots safely
The AKC recommends pet owners cut up carrots into smaller, safer bite-size slices that won’t pose a health risk to their dogs. Additionally, you should wash any fruits or vegetables you feed your furry friend, the same as you would for yourself.
BeChewy explores several ways to prepare carrots for your dog to enjoy, including carrot sticks, steamed carrots, and juiced carrots.
Check with your vet to make sure adding carrots to your canine’s diet is OK and healthy. Should any health concerns regarding carrots or other foods appear, contact your vet immediately.