We all love carrots. With their natural sweetness and ability to amalgamate into almost any dish, it’s hard to imagine a world in which the carrot is not the go-to vegetable for even the fussiest eater. Not to mention that they come packed with healthy vitamins and minerals that we need to be at our healthiest. But can dogs eat carrots? To find out this and more, keep reading.
Can Dog Eat Carrots
The short answer is that you dog can definitely eat carrots. In fact, there are actually plenty of benefits to be had by feeding your dogs carrots. As with all things, however, moderation is key when feeding carrots to you dog. Being so high in fiber, too many can certainly have some negative repercussions, such as diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress, for example.
Related Post: Best High Fiber Dog Food
The Nutritional Makeup and Health Benefits of Carrots
Before we start, let’s take a look at what it is that carrots have to offer our dogs. Just one cup of chopped carrots is said to consist of:
- 52 calories
- 26 grams (g) of carbohydrate
- 3 g of sugars
- 19 g of protein
- 31 g of fat
- 6 g of fiber
- 1069 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A
- 6 vitamin C
- 42 mg of calcium
- 38 mg of iron
- 15 mg of magnesium
- 45 mg of phosphorus
- 410 mg of potassium
- 88 mg of sodium
- 31 mg of zinc
- 24 mcg of folate
- 9 mcg of vitamin K
As you can see, carrots are low in calories while being high in nutritional value for your dogs. Very filling thanks to their high fiber content and therefore also fantastic for overall heart health and a good digestive system.
They’re also a fantastic source of Beta-Carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. This is then turned into a helpful little nutrient which improves eye-health, while encouraging growth and a healthy immune system. Finally, Beta-Carotene has the important role of keeping the liver, kidneys and lungs functioning properly, improving the overall health of your pooch.
Carrots are also perfect for teething pups. Freeze or refrigerate them before passing them to your dog as a tasty chew treat an you’ll soon notice that the cold vegetable will work wonders against their sore gums. These cheap and healthy chews will provide plenty of additional benefits while stopping your pup from tearing your furniture apart with their gums.
Related Post: Best Dog Treats
What Are the Risks of Giving Your Dogs Carrots
As with all things, there are always a few risks when trying new things with your dog, especially when it comes to food. The most important thing to remember is that all things should be given to your dog in moderation. Too much of a good thing can lead to some gastrointestinal problems and you’ll know if this is the case, due to the increased flatulence and diarrhea you might notice with your dog. The general rule of thumb with any food other than dog food is that the total amount of carrot should never be more than 10% of their overall daily intake.
You should also always consider the risks of giving your dog something, while unattended. This is especially true for small dogs, puppies and during their first time with their carrot. You’ll also need to keep an eye on them for a while after they first try their carrot treats. This way, you can watch out for any symptoms of allergies, such as frequent scratching, hair loss, red and inflamed skin, vomiting and diarrhea to name a few. If this should happen, you should stop giving your dog any carrots and speak to your vet to check for any other allergies and get further advice.
Finally, you’ll need to watch your dogs for any signs of choking, including high-pitched squeaking or whistling noises, blue gums and tongue, as well as signs of anxiety and panic. For this reason, we recommend giving young or smaller dogs small, bite-sized chunks which are more suitable for their mouth size and less likely to become stuck in the esophagus. Older dogs should be OK with complete, frozen carrots as they will likely eat their treat in the same way as any other chew but do be sure to observe them while they eat.
How To Prepare Carrots For Your Dog
Both frozen, raw and cooked carrots are all edible and easily digested for your dog. However, you should always be sure that your dog is given the right size of carrot for their needs. Younger dogs and smaller dogs will need smaller pieces, which will prevent the risk of choking, while older and larger dogs should be fine with full-sized carrots.
If you’re interested in giving your dogs cooked carrots, then feel free to follow this recipe:
- Chop your carrots up into bite-sized pieces. Strips or rounded slices are both suitable, as long as they’re unlikely to get caught in your dog’s throat during their meal.
- You shouldn’t need to skin your carrots, but you might want to chop the top end off to keep the sweeter taste.
- You can steam your carrots using a colander over boiling water or steamer until the carrots are soft (or a little al dente if you think your dog will prefer them this way).
- You can also simply boil your carrots until they are soft.
- Be sure to wait until the carrots have completely cooled before feeding them to your dog.
If your pup loves their new food, why not try out a simple but healthy meal for them? Simple get some chicken and rice (ensuring both are thoroughly cooked) and add in your carrots for a filling, healthy meal that your dog will be sure to love!