Can dogs have carrots? The simple answer is yes! There’s a lot to like about the humble carrot. Not only are they nutritious, but in moderation, carrots provide a healthy, low-calorie treat for your dog.
What’s more, a carrot offers an alternative to the usual dental chews. Given raw and whole, carrots are great for keeping your dog’s teeth healthy and clean by gently scraping tartar from their teeth as they chew. While most dogs tolerate carrots well, there are some cautions to be aware of. So, let’s look at the benefits and considerations of carrots for dogs.
Are carrots good for dogs – the benefits
Crunchy, sweet, and versatile, carrots are tasty and full of goodness. Packed full of vitamins and minerals and high in fiber, dogs can eat carrots in moderation. Like all fruits and vegetables, make sure you don’t feed your dog too much. While some vegetables like green beans are low calorie, carrots contain more sugar and, although generally good for dogs, should be kept as a treat only.
However, don’t let that put you off. Carrots are full of important vitamins and minerals, including beta carotene, which gets converted into Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, as well as Biotin and Potassium, all of which can contribute to your dog’s overall health.
With a vast range of varieties, available carrots provide a low-calorie, high fiber addition to your dog’s diet. What’s more, you can give your dog the whole carrot, including the top. With the rate of dog obesity increasing year on year, carrots offer an alternative to higher-calorie commercial treats.
Adding carrots to your dog’s diet can also help relieve upset tummies. The stomach-healthy fiber content not only helps to bulk up loose stools but can also keep your dog from getting constipated.
Carrots for dogs– the risks
While carrots are safe for dogs in moderation, 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.
Although it’s unusual to experience an allergic reaction to eating carrots, if your dog has seasonal allergies and you give your dog raw carrots, it may cause a reaction.
Oral allergy syndrome symptoms occur when the carrot is in the mouth and disappears 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 eat carrots without experiencing problems. If you’re unsure, it’s best to give your pet cooked carrots and offer small amounts until you know it’s safe.
Can dogs eat carrots raw?
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.
What’s more, when frozen, whole carrots offer relief to teething puppies. Plus, raw chopped carrots can be added directly to your dog’s food or used in an interactive feeder. While raw foods are often thought to be superior in nutritional value to their cooked counterpart, carrot’s dietary benefits increase when heated.
One note of caution when feeding your dog whole carrots is that if your dog is small or doesn’t chew thoroughly, large chunks pose a choking hazard. If in doubt, help your dog by cutting the carrot into smaller pieces or feed baby carrots instead.
Can dogs eat carrots cooked?
Cooking carrots enables more of the beta-carotene in carrots to be absorbed. 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, so dogs can eat carrots as part of their regular food or even pureed and frozen to provide your dog with a ‘pupsicle’ on a hot day.
Can dogs have carrots?
Yes, if you want your dogs to eat carrots, they can in moderation. Carrots are an excellent alternative to high-calorie treats and offer a healthy alternative to dental chews. Raw or cooked, many dogs like snacking on this humble but nutrient-packed vegetable. In fact, many commercial dog food products contain carrots.
If you want to get carrots into your dog’s diet, but you find they aren’t keen, why not whip up a batch of these tasty carrot treats from Genius Kitchen instead.
Low-fat carrot dog treats
- 1 medium banana
- 1 cup carrots, 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 carrots 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.