Question: Can dogs eat carrots? And are carrots good for dogs?
Answer: Has your dog ever told you that these orange sticks of heaven called carrots are one of their most favorite treats, ever? Well, now you know!
If your dog has ever been around a carrot before, you can immediately notice just how in love they are with this vegetable!
But, have you ever asked yourself if feeding your dog carrots is a smart thing to do? Can dogs eat carrots? And are carrots good for dogs to eat?
Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
YES, dogs can eat carrots! 🙂
Aside from the fact that dogs go absolutely nuts for carrots, they are really good treats you can give your furry friend every now and then and form a very healthy snack for them, as well as to spice things up in their diet from time to time and temporarily shift away from the same-old, same-old that they eat day in, day out.
Plus, carrots are one of the easiest treats you can ever give your dog. Just one trip to the market and you’re done! No need for complicated recipes, how to guides or whatever. 🙂
Besides the heavenly taste of carrots (not just my opinion, it’s your dog’s opinion too!), they’ll love you for giving them something crunchy to eat, and boy do dogs love their crunchy foods!
The only case that comes to mind where your dog shouldn’t eat carrots (besides being allergic to them, of course) is if your dog is diabetic. That is due to the high sugar content in the carrots, which would be harmful to your diabetic buddy.
How Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Carrots can be given to dogs in many forms, such as raw, cooked, steamed or boiled. Other dog owners like to prepare some all-natural carrot juice for themselves and their dog to drink, which is also completely fine for you to do, as long as you keep it natural and avoid adding sugar yourself (or any other controversial ingredients to make the carrot juice taste better).
Even though dogs love to eat raw carrots and it’s a joy for them to crunch away on them, if its the first time you’re giving your dog carrots, you might want to steam or boil them, to make the digestion process as easy as possible for your dog since it’s the first time they’re eating carrots.
If you have previous experience when it comes to feeding your dog raw carrots and have not noticed any problems with their digestive systems when eating carrots in their raw form, then that’s completely fine. Just play it safe the first time around if you haven’t tried this with your dog yet.
(Note: One fairly common issue as far as dogs eating raw carrots arises often, which is the lack of ability in dogs to properly digest the entirety of the raw carrot at times. This will often become apparent after some dogs eat raw carrots and pass them on in their stool in very apparent chunks, if you were to have a close look at your dog’s poop. If you feed your dog raw carrots and notice that this is the case when they eat raw carrots, you might want to consider cooking or steaming any carrots you feed them beforehand, as that will ensure proper digestion.)
Before giving your dog any carrots, you have to wash them carefully and thoroughly in order to remove any leftover chemicals on them.
If you choose to boil them, doing so for about 10 minutes is almost always enough, while if you choose to steam them you would go for anywhere from 3-6 minutes.
Ideally, the carrot should be cut into tiny pieces, so your dog can easily chew them and properly digest them.
If you give your dog large bits (or large sticks) of carrots, they will chew them up and leave a huge mess on the floor, and then there’s always the risk of choking, as larger carrot pieces have higher probability of getting stuck in your dog’s esophagus or digestive tract.
If you have an older dog prone with a sensitive mouth that’s easy to irritate with chew-able foods, you can cook and puree the carrots and then mix them in with your dog’s food. This way, the carrots they eat are soft and tender, and there’s no need to chew anything hard.
How Much Carrots Can Dogs Eat?
This issue must be addressed because carrots are one of those vegetables that have relatively high levels of sugar in them, which means things can easily go wrong and get out of hand if you overfeed your dog on carrots, even the slightest bit.
So, a good and safe portion size of carrots to feed your dog is 1-2 small-cut pieces every few days. When we say 1-2 small cut pieces of carrot, we mean 1-2 baby carrot sized pieces.
If you have baby carrots at home, then that’s also very good since it will save you time on having to do the slicing up yourself.
Since carrots are also very high in sugar (although this is the natural kind of sugar, which is good, and not added kind of sugar, which is bad), they should not be among the cornerstones of your dog’s diet.
Giving your dog 1-2 small-cut pieces every few days is just fine – that’ll only be around 4 calories per piece!
One problem many dog owners come across frequently, despite the fact that they mean well and are just trying to help out their dog, is vitamin A toxicity in dogs.
When some people hear that their dogs are vitamin A deficient, they try to take matters into their own hands and “make sure that their dogs are getting all the vitamin A they need”. This usually means giving their dogs a vitamin A supplement, as well as feeding them lots and lots of carrots throughout the day.
What happens here, you may ask? Well, for starters, if you don’t consult with your veterinarian about your dog’s vitamin A deficiency, and you give them vitamin A dosages on your own without their proper guidance, in addition to a whole lot of carrots all so you can “up their vitamin A intake” you risk having them develop vitamin A toxicity.
This is why if you suspect or know that your dog has vitamin A deficiency, you should always talk to your veterinarian about it so they can determine the best way to solve this problem, instead of you going and trying to fix it on your own, only to have your dog at a very high risk of taking in dangerously excessive amounts of vitamin A.
Carrots For Dogs: Are They Any Good?
So, “besides the same old, same old we’ve always been hearing ever since we were little kids, that carrots are good for our eyes, what more do these orange sticks have to offer? Do carrots even benefit our dogs the same way they benefit us in the first place?” you may ask.
- Are low in calories, which makes them an excellent choice for dog treats during training sessions for example
- Are high in dietary fiber (if you’re feeding your dog baby carrots, there’s almost 1 gram of fiber in 4 baby carrots – now that’s a very high concentrated number of dietary fiber for such a small amount of food!).
- Are rich in vitamins A, C, D, E and K, vitamins B1 and B6, as well as potassium
- Are good for your dog’s teeth, cleans them and prevents tooth damage, by fighting off plaque & tartar from forming and pushing food particles stuck in your dog’s teeth away (just like a toothbrush would do). Carrots also stimulate your dog’s gums and keeps harmful bacteria away from them. These two mechanisms require you to be feeding your dog raw carrots, however, as if you cook/steam (i.e soften up) the carrots before you feed them to your dog, the scraping aspect between the carrots and your dog’s teeth is gone, and so is any dental benefit.
- Improve your dog’s vision thanks to the high levels of beta-carotene contained in them
- Protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts, also thanks to the beta-carotene in them
- Reduce the risks of many cancers, such as lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer, thanks to the falcarinol and falcarindiol contained in carrots
- Contain antioxidants that help fight against the aging process, by reducing the damage done to cells as your dog ages
- Help protect your dog’s coat (fighting off dryness) and keep it shiny
- Prevent infections
- Fight heart disease
- Reduce cholesterol levels
- Helps flush out toxins from your dog’s body
- Helps keep the liver clean, toxin-free and optimally functioning
Can Puppies Eat Carrots? And Are Carrots Good For Puppies?
Now that we’ve covered everything there is to know about you feeding your fully mature adult (or senior) dog some carrots, it’s time to quickly talk about a couple of things you need to know about feeding your young, growing puppy some carrots.
First off, carrots are completely safe for your puppy to eat. From a safety/toxicity standpoint, all we said above concerning adult dogs eating carrots is also true for young, growing puppies.
The important note that you should know here in case you’ve got a new puppy at home that you can’t wait to take care of, nurture and watch grow over time is that there’s a special way that carrots could be fed to puppies that would tremendously help them out with growth.
What’s that, you ask? Frozen carrots! When your young puppy is in the process of teething, feeding them frozen carrots is a perfect way to help speed up the process and make it way less tiring, both for you and your pup.