There’s a lot to like about the humble carrot. Not only is it nutritious but in moderation, it provides a healthy low-calorie treat for your dog.
What’s more, a carrot offers an alternative to the usual dental chews. Given whole, they can help towards keeping your dog’s teeth healthy and clean by gently scraping the teeth as your dog chews.
While most dogs tolerate carrots well, there are some cautions to be aware of. So, let’s look at the benefits and considerations of giving carrots to your dog.
Can dogs have carrots – the benefits
Crunchy, sweet and versatile, carrots are tasty and full of goodness. This bright orange root vegetable is rich in beta-carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A.
Vitamin A supports growth, immune function and good eyesight, which is why carrots have a reputation for helping us see in the dark.
Not only that, but carrots are an excellent source of Biotin, Vitamin K1, Potassium and Vitamin B6. All of which contribute to bone health, energy production and fat and protein absorption.
With a vast range of varieties available carrots provide a low calorie, high fibre addition to your dog’s diet.
With the rate of dog obesity increasing year on year, carrots can offer an alternative to higher calorie commercial treats.
Carrots are also useful in helping dogs with upset tummies. The high stomach-healthy fibre content not only helps to bulk up loose stools, but it can also keep your dog from getting constipated.
Can dogs have carrots – the risks
If your dog is elderly, has an existing health issue or suffers from digestive problems or allergies always be careful when offering any new food.
While not typical, it’s possible to experience an allergic reaction to eating carrots. If your dog has seasonal allergies and the carrot is uncooked, it increases the risk.
The symptoms of Oral allergy syndrome occur when the carrot is in the mouth and disappear once the carrot is removed or swallowed. Symptoms can include;
- Itchy mouth
- Swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue and throat
- Itchy Ears
While symptoms are usually mild and don’t need any treatment, more severe reactions may require antihistamine medication;
- Trouble breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- A cough
- Runny nose
However, many dogs enjoy carrots without experiencing any problems. If you’re unsure, cook the carrot first as it reduces the potential for a reaction.
Can I give my dog raw carrot?
Whole raw carrots offer your dog an excellent dental workout. Not only does the texture of the carrot provide your dog’s teeth scrubbing and scraping, but this rubbing action helps to prevent the build-up of tartar.
When frozen, whole carrots offer relief to teething puppies. Plus, raw chopped carrots can be added directly to your dog’s dinner or used in an interactive feeder.
While raw food is thought to be superior in nutritional value than its cooked counterpart, carrots dietary benefits increase when cooked.
Can I give my dog cooked carrot?
Cooking enables our bodies to absorb more of the beta-carotene available in carrots. While some other vegetables suffer from nutritional loss by being heated, the carrot fairs much better.
In fact, the cooked carrot has almost the same nutritional benefits as raw but is much easier to digest. Cooked carrot can be added to your dog’s regular food or pureed and frozen to provide your dog with a ‘pupsicle’ on a hot day.
Can dogs have carrots
Yes, they can. Carrots are an excellent alternative to high-calorie treats and offer a healthy alternative to dental chews.
Raw or cooked, many dogs enjoy snacking on this humble but nutrient-packed vegetable. In fact, many commercial foods contain carrot.
If you fancy giving your dog an even more excellent treat why not whip up a batch of these tasty treats from Genius Kitchen.
Low-fat carrot dog treats
1 medium banana
1 cup carrot, shredded
1⁄4 cup unsweetened apple juice
1⁄8 cup water more as needed
1 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle a little flour onto the surface you’re planning to use to roll out the dough.
In a medium bowl, mash the banana and mix in the shredded carrots.
To the carrot and banana, add the water and apple juice. Stir.
Add the oats and flour. Stir all of the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined.
Using your hands, knead the mixture until a dough forms. Dump the dough onto the lightly floured surface that you prepared earlier.
Roll out the dough until it’s about a half inch thick.
Using a cookie cutter (bone shapes are fun!) or the rim of a small glass, cut into 3″ pieces. Place the pieces onto your lightly sprayed baking sheet.
Bake, the dog, treats for 25 minutes.
Before “serving”, let them cool completely.
*Tip: If your dog likes a little more crunch to his treats, then turn off the oven and let the treats cool there overnight.