Can Dogs Eat Carrots? A Complete Guide for Pet Owners
Carrots are the base of sauces, stews, and salads, and are a great crunchy snack too. So it’s normal that many pup parents ask themselves the question: can dogs eat carrots?
Are they healthy for dogs? Are there any negatives? What about raw carrots?
Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about feeding your dog carrots.
In Short – Can Dogs Have Carrots?
The simple answer is yes. Carrots are both safe and nutritious for dogs to eat. They’re low in calories, non-toxic, and packed full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
However, like all treats, carrots should be given in moderation. They should not replace your dog’s regular food but can be used as a supplement or a low-calorie, healthy reward for good behavior.
There are also a couple of things you should know before feeding your pup carrots so that you do it safely and in the best way for your pooch.
Are Carrots Good for Dogs?
One of the best things about carrots is that the entire vegetable is safe for dogs to eat – from the orange bit to the leafy greens. Most dogs (at least all dogs we’ve ever had) love the crunch and flavor of carrots too. It’s a great veg to keep them entertained and works really well as a treat.
These veggies are also full of nutrients that can benefit your dog’s overall health, especially eye health.
The nutrients include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Beta carotene (the body converts this into vitamin A)
The high fiber content in carrots will help to keep your pooch regular, and the other nutrients will promote healthy skin and coat. The hard, crunchy texture of carrots also helps to clean your dog’s teeth and improves oral health. It shouldn’t, however, replace teeth cleaning.
Can Carrots Be Bad for Dogs?
The reason why dogs and humans love carrots is because of their sweet taste. So yes, they do contain quite a lot of natural sugar. Whilst OK in moderation, sugar can lead to some health issues in dogs including tooth decay and weight gain.
It’s important that you only give your dog carrots (or any other human-food treat) occasionally. Feeding your pup a balanced diet of canine food is really important.
Furthermore, because of their hard nature, carrots can also be a choking hazard if not prepared properly.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Carrots?
Absolutely! Raw carrots are a great treat to give your pooch. As well as being tasty and an interesting texture for dogs, they can also help maintain a dog’s dental health. The act of biting and chewing on hard, raw carrots can help clean your dog’s teeth and promote healthy gums.
Raw carrots can be a choking hazard, though. So always cut them up into bite-sized pieces for your pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Carrots?
Yes! Cooking carrots makes them softer, meaning they’re easier to chew and digest. It can also enhance their nutritional value, which is why they’re often an ingredient in fresh dog food too.
Cooking carrots is a good way to add them to your pup’s regular dog food and they’re easier to digest for older dogs as well as puppies.
Can Dogs Eat Baby Carrots?
Baby carrots are just smaller, peeled carrots. So, yes, dogs can eat baby carrots. They have the same health benefits as ‘adult’ carrots and can be added to your dog’s normal food or given as a special treat. They’re convenient to serve and dogs go crazy for them!
Just remember to keep an eye on your dog pup whilst they’re eating to avoid any potential choking hazards.
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Carrots?
Frozen carrots are a great treat to give your pooch, especially on a warm summer’s day. They can help to cool your pup down and take a while longer to eat (or lick). You can freeze baby carrots individually, or cut up chunks of carrots and freeze them.
Pureeing carrots and freezing them inside a puzzle toy is another great way to keep your dog entertained whilst they attempt to lick it out!
Small pieces of frozen carrot can also be great for teething puppies. It helps to numb the gum and is also something tasty!
Can Dogs Eat Canned Carrots?
Dogs can eat canned carrots but it’s important you choose a brand that doesn’t contain extra salt or additives. You should also avoid any canned carrots that contain onions or garlic, as these are toxic to dogs.
Plain canned carrots can be a good addition to your dog’s diet, but just ensure they don’t contain added salt and you only feed them in moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Peas and Carrots?
Peas and carrots quite often go hand in hand. Whether in a can or a frozen bag of veggies, they’re a great storecupboard essential to have. Dogs can eat peas, so it’s no problem to feed your pups peas and carrots together. They’ll love the diversity in their food and they’re full of extra goodness for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Carrots and Celery?
It’s safe to feed celery to dogs. It has a high water content which can help to keep them hydrated and also has a couple of health benefits. Whether you cook carrots and celery and feed them to your pooch, or keep them raw, they can be a great addition to your dog’s diet and add some variation.
Can Dogs Eat Carrots Every Day?
While carrots are healthy, it’s not recommended that dogs eat carrots every day. Carrots contain sugar and should be considered a treat, not a staple in your dog’s diet. Overconsumption of carrots can lead to an excess intake of sugar and possibly disrupt the balance of your dog’s diet.
How To Feed Carrots to Dogs
There are lots of nutritional benefits to feeding your pup carrots and lots of ways you can feed them to your pooch. Here are a couple of our favorites.
- Simple carrot sticks. Dogs will love the crunch of a simple carrot stick. Just make sure it’s the right size for them so there’s no risk of choking.
- Pureed. Pureeing fruits and veggies is a great way to add extra nutrients to their diet. You can then spread it on a lick mat or freeze it in a toy for extra stimulation. Another great thing about carrots is that they mix well with other veggies – try pureeing it with zucchini or broccoli too!
- Added to their food. Raw or cooked chunks of carrot can be added to your pup’s regular meals. It adds nutrients as well as a change in color and texture.
- Avoid additives. Salt, additives, and some flavorings are bad and even toxic to dogs. Only feed pups plain carrots.
Introducing Carrtos to Your Dog
Whenever you introduce something new into your pooch’s diet, it’s important to chat with your vet first. Whilst many fruits and vegetables are safe for pups, your vet will be able to say whether they’re good for individual dogs or not.
Carrots do contain high levels of natural sugar, which may be a problem for some dogs, for example, those with diabetes.
If your vet says it’s OK, start by giving your pup a small piece of carrot. Monitor them for any signs of reaction. If they seem fine, you can increase the amount slowly over time.
Conclusion – Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Carrots can be a healthy, low-calorie treat for your dog in moderation. They help with general health, including eye health (although we can’t promise they’ll make your dog see in the dark), and are a delicious snack. Whether raw or cooked, they offer several health benefits and most dogs find them delicious. However, like all treats, they should not replace a balanced diet.
They also need to be prepared correctly and cut small enough so that they can’t be a choking hazard. Always consult with your vet before making any significant changes to your dog’s diet.