There are many fruits and vegetables that can make for tasty treats for both you and your dog, including carrots.
Dogs are naturally carnivorous – so even though dogs may not necessarily need vegetables, they can be used as a supplement to a meat-based diet.
Read on to find out more about the potential benefits of feeding your dog carrots, and how to do so safely.
Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Yes, your dog can eat carrots. Because of their nutrient-dense properties, raw and cooked carrots can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. Every part of the carrot can be good for dogs, including the leafy greens at the top. Many dogs love the flavor of a carrot, especially when enjoyed as a crunchy treat.
However, carrots should not be used as a full meal substitute from your dog’s primary food. Carrots contain higher amounts of natural sugar than other vegetables, so while they are safe for dogs to eat, they should be enjoyed in moderation. Too high of a sugar intake could cause weight gain, which could lead to other health issues later in your pup’s life. It also could cause an upset tummy if introduced too quickly. quill dog
How To Serve Carrots To Dogs
Carrots can be given alone as treats or added to their food. Just remember to cut them first into sticks or bite-sized chunks to avoid choking especially in small dogs.
Give a carrot to your dog outside or else it makes a pile of small carrot chunks that need to be cleaned up.
Here are 5 reasons why carrots make great dog treats.
5. Aids Digestion
Carrots are high in soluble fiber so it can help in your dog’s digestion, especially if they are constipated. There is 1 gram of fiber in 4 baby carrots. Cooked carrots are especially helpful for digestion as the cooking process breaks down the carrot’s tough cellular walls. This allows for greater absorption of vitamins and nutrients.
Better digestion means a healthier stomach as toxins from your dog’s body is being flushed out. Good digestion also makes their liver healthy and toxin-free.
When introducing carrots to your dog’s diet, go slow at first, as with anything that you are adding to their diet. You may want to boil or steam carrots the first time to help with digestion. Also, don’t give carrots to them in large amounts quickly as it may upset their stomach. Some dogs have difficulty digesting carrots so always watch your dog for any issues.
4. Healthy Teeth
Dog’s oral health is very important to his overall health. Just like humans, dog’s teeth are plagued with plaque. And food can sometimes get stuck in-between their teeth. While it’s important to brush your dog’s teeth, it usually is not part of our daily routine. Luckily for us, crunching on raw carrots is an easy way to keep their canine teeth healthy.
Chewing hard raw carrots can help scrape tartar and plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth. Dogs will also enjoy the sweet taste of carrots. Munching on carrots can also keep bored dogs entertained.
3. Light Snacks
Dogs love treats. However, giving too many unhealthy treats can be harmful to your dog’s health as the sugar and/or carbohydrates may lead to obesity in the long run. In March 2015, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that 53 percent of dogs in America are overweight.
Carrots are an excellent alternative to unhealthy dog treats or snacks. Your dog can munch on carrots anytime and you don’t have to worry about them gaining weight since carrots are low in fat and calories.
2. Better Eyesight
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant, and precursor to Vitamin A which is good for the eyes. It will help prevent eyesight degeneration. Carrots also contain lycopene and lutein, protective phytonutrients for the eyes against UVB radiation, and damage from free radicals. Beta carotene also protects the eyes against macular degeneration and senile cataracts.
1. Better Overall Health
Packed with vitamins and nutrients, carrots can help build a stronger immune system. Potassium, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1, and B6 can be found in carrots. These nutrients play a key role in your dog’s health.
Potassium helps lower blood pressure. It is also beneficial for heart and kidney disorders, enhancing muscle strength, and can even help relieve stress and anxiety.
Vitamin A gives healthier eyesight.
Vitamin C is best for fighting infections and boosting the immune system. It also helps in the development and repair of all body tissues, thus helping in wound healing as well as maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth.
Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron in the body.
Vitamin D is important for calcium and phosphorus absorption, which is essential for your dog’s bones and teeth health.
Vitamin E keeps your dog’s skin and coats healthy. Research also shows that Vitamin E can help protect from cataracts.
Vitamin K plays a big role in blood clotting. It also helps build strong bones and prevents heart diseases.
Vitamin B1 helps maintain a healthy nervous system and improves cardiovascular functioning.
Vitamin B6 converts food into energy and helps the body metabolize fats and proteins.
Carrots contain antioxidants that help fight the aging process and reduce cell damage. Research also shows the falcarinol and falcarinol that carrots contain can help fight cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer.