Are you wondering, "can dogs eat carrots?" Well yes, they surely can. Carrots pose no health risks for dogs that love to munch on these crunchy delights. But more so, carrots are great low-calorie treats for dogs. This allows you to feed carrots to your pooch without having to worry about obesity.
But that's not all, carrots for dogs also provide a rich blend of vitamins and minerals that are extremely beneficial for Fido. On top of this list is Vitamin A which is great for improving eyesight in dogs and humans. So, pull on those Lazy-Sunday-Pyjamas and bring along a bowl of carrots for you and your dog so you both can munch together on your veggies.
Reasons Why You Should Feed Carrots to Your Dog
We've already discovered that dogs can eat carrots. But in this section, we'll go into detail about all the health benefits that carrots have for dogs.
1. They are awesome treats
Considering the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention's 2018 report which claims that 55.8% of dogs in the US are overweight, every dog owner should reconsider his dog's eating habits. You can start bringing your dog towards a healthy lifestyle by feeding carrots for dogs as treats.
Carrots are extremely low in calories (as low as 3 calories per baby carrot) which makes them ideal as dog treats. They are also great for older dogs and ones that need to lose weight.
2. Natural cleaning action for teeth
Vets believe that owners should brush their dog's teeth every day. But if you own a dog, you’d know that most of them hate having their teeth brushed. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to compromise on your doggo’s oral hygiene.
Adding crunchy foods like carrots would help scrape the plaque buildup on your dog's teeth. However, vets still recommend that you brush your dog's teeth at least once a week.
3. Carrots have beta-carotene
What's beta-carotene, you ask? Well, Beta-carotene synthesizes Vitamin A. That alone should be able to justify how important Beta-carotene is for your dog.
4. A healthy amount of Vitamin A itself
Not only do carrots contain beta-carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A, but they also contain the vitamin itself.
Vitamin A is absolutely vital for the body. Here are a few functions that it helps with:
- Eyesight (lycopene and lutein in carrots also help the eyes by saving them against harmful UVB radiations)
- Skeletal system
- Reproductive system
5. Carrots as antioxidants
Carrots contain antioxidants. This helps them convert harmful oxidizing agents in the body to less harmful substances. This alone can save the body from deadly diseases like cancer.
6. Vitamin C
Everybody knows carrots contain Vitamin A which is great for your eyes. Half of us even heard that from our parents. But did you know that carrots contain small amounts of Vitamin C as well?
With that said, Vitamin C helps reduce the chances of inflammation, hip dysplasia and arthritis in dogs and also has a strengthening effect on the immune system.
7. Lots of dietary fiber
Carrots contain loads of fiber which improves the digestibility of food. However, it might also be dangerous for dogs that suffer from upset tummies.
When Should You Not Feed Carrots to Your Dog?
Can dogs eat carrots all the time? Even though carrots are a healthy snack for dogs, you'll still have to keep a keen eye on them to notice how they're reacting to the extra fiber in this food.
You see, fiber increases the speed of digestion in dogs. This can lead to diarrhea and loose stools which, I'm sure, both you and your dog won't appreciate.
So, when you feed carrots to your dog, take it slow and let it adjust to this new food. Not every dog's stomach is built to sustain a carrot attack.
Also, make sure that when you start feeding carrots to your dog, you provide lots of water as well. This water would help improve digestion and reduce the chances of smelly accidents.
How Many Carrots Can a Dog Have?
Dogs can have 2-3 baby carrots daily. A lot of readers often ask us, "Is it ok to give your dog carrots every day?" As a general rule, it is. Unless your veterinarian tells you otherwise, feeding carrots every day to your dog would not cause any problems.
But it's important to understand that excess of anything is bad and carrots are no exception. How many carrots a dog can have depends highly on its size and breed as well. So, notice how your dog reacts to the introduction of carrots in its diet. If you notice that a lot of the carrot passes undigested through your dog's system, then it's probably because he isn't coping well with the extra fiber in this veggie.
How to Feed Carrots to Your Dog
Now that we have completely answered the question, "can dogs eat carrots?", we're going to teach you the different ways in which you can incorporate carrot into your dog's diet.
Generally, both raw and cooked carrots for dogs work fine. Raw carrots make for great crunchy treats. However, cells in raw carrots contain cellulose which can't be digested by dogs. But if you lightly steam the carrots, it would be a lot easier for dogs to digest them.
Here are some ways you can feed carrots to your dog:
- Shredded and sprinkled on top of your dog's food
- Carrot sticks
- Lightly steamed
- Juice (will cause the carrot to lose its fiber but retain Vitamin A)
- Whole frozen (great for teeth)
- Diced chunks (to avoid choking hazards)
So, there you have it, folks. To sum it all up, dogs can eat carrots regularly as healthy treats. However, give your dog some time to adjust to the extra fiber in carrots. Carrots for dogs can improve their health to a great extent and help in reducing excess weight as well.