Some nice, crunchy carrots can be a great snack — even for your dog. Ever wondered if dogs can eat carrots? Good news: they can! There are even some health benefits and fun in it for Fido, too. Let's take a look at some things about dogs and carrots that you should know.
Yes, your dog can have carrots — generally raw or steamed. These vegetables can be an excellent low-calorie snack for your dog, and they pack a lot of good nutrients. Those nutrients may support your dog's immune system, help their skin and coat, and keep their eyes healthy. In fact, some dog foods already have carrots in their recipe because carrots are often considered a superfood.
If you want to supplement your dog's diet with carrots, be sure to discuss it with your veterinarian first to make sure it will fit your dog’s needs.
Carrots can be good for your dog when given in moderation. Carrots may help improve your pup’s:
● Eyesight. Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, which may help your dog’s eyesight.
● Hydration levels. Carrots have a lot of water content, making it a great option to help improve your dog’s hydration.
● Digestive health. Carrots have a lot of fiber, an important component in regulating digestion. Be wary, though — too much fiber can lead to an upset stomach, including loose stools or diarrhea.
● Physical health. Carrots are loaded with antioxidants, chemicals that protect cells from damage.4 Plus, they're high in fiber and low in calories, making them a good option instead of your typical dog biscuits.
● Dental health. As your dog chews on the carrot, it helps brush away tartar and keeps their gums healthy, improving their dental health.4
● Mental state. Chewing helps relieve anxiety and boredom if you must leave your pet home alone, so a carrot can make for a quality chew toy.5
When are carrots bad for dogs? When you give them too many or aren’t mindful of the risk of choking hazard. It’s important to know how to feed them to your dog properly.
There are a lot of ways to feed carrots to your dog. Try these ideas and see which one your pup prefers:
● As a food topper: Add carrots to your dog's food as a tasty topper. For example, try grating raw carrots directly into your dog's bowl. You can also puree or juice carrots and mix them in with your dog's food.
● As a treat: Carrot chips or sticks work great as a reward for your dog. You can also get ready-to-eat baby carrots to have on hand for a quick treat.
● Frozen: A peeled, frozen carrot can take the place of a chew toy. Teething puppies may enjoy a frozen carrot on their sore gums, too. If you want to try frozen carrots, stay away from baby carrots because your dog can choke on them. Instead, stick to full-sized carrots or puree and freeze them into cubes.
Make sure you feed your dog clean carrots. Since carrots are roots, they spend their time growing underground, which exposes them to fertilizers, pesticides, and anything else that gets in the soil. Thoroughly wash and peel the carrots to remove anything harmful before giving them to your dog.
Raw carrots are safe for your dog but consider cooking the carrots if you worry about digestive issues. Don’t give your dog anything prepared for humans, as they often have seasonings or other ingredients that may be bad for dogs. If you want to cook the carrots, experts recommend lightly steaming them without any seasoning.
How many carrots you feed your dog depends on how big of a dog you have. For example, a Chihuahua won't be able to have as many as a Great Dane. A general rule of thumb is that treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake.3 So, if your dog needs 1,000 calories a day, you could feed up to 100 calories of carrots. Baby carrots have around 4 calories each.
Yes, your dog can have carrots daily if you follow your veterinarian's advice. Do not give them too many and to keep an eye on them when they’re eating them to make sure they aren’t choking or eating too fast. It’s always better to be safe.
Carrots are a nutritious treat you can give your dog. This orange vegetable provides dogs with many of the same health benefits people get from them. Be sure to follow your veterinarian's advice on how many carrots your dog should get each day.
Also, keep an eye on your dog as you try carrots out — you'll need to make sure they don't choke or swallow too big of a piece. It's always better to be safe because unexpected visits to the vet and emergencies can happen all too easily. Consider checking out a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance as a potential way to help cover those sudden costs.1,2