Can Dogs Eat Carrots? Benefits of Giving Carrots to your Dog

If you’re looking for an alternative snack for your pooch, you may ask yourself, can dogs eat carrots? The short answer is yes; dogs can eat carrots!

Carrots have many nutritional benefits and will allow your doggo to have a low-calorie, healthy snack.

Pet owner preparing natural food for her dog

To learn more about what carrots can do for your pup, keep reading. 

Do note that while a veterinary technician wrote this article, it should not substitute for medical advice. If your dog ate carrots and has an adverse reaction, please immediately seek professional assistance or a DVM vet.

What are the health benefits of carrots for your dog?

Golden Retriever dog with sunglasses biting a carrot
Meet Mateo, a Golden Retriever dog that loves eating carrots – Image source

Carrots are an excellent human food to give your dog. They’ll get many health benefits from eating this nutritious treat.

There are so many reasons you should start feeding your doggo carrots. Let’s go over a few.

Carrots Nutritional Facts

One reason is that carrots help support your dog’s dental health. So whether you got your dog used to teeth brushing at a young age or not, carrots can undoubtedly help.

Frozen carrot sticks will scrape away at plaque and tartar buildup, essentially cleaning your doggo’s teeth. If you have a teething puppy at home, then chewing raw carrots will help with that too.

In other words, you can give a carrot to your pooch as a chew toy, and it’ll help your dog’s teeth.

In addition, carrots are a low-fat, low-calorie treat. If your pup has diabetes or suffers from obesity, then this will undoubtedly be a tasty treat for your dog’s diet.

Another reason carrots have health benefits is that it’s rich in soluble fiber. If your doggo has loose stools, then adding carrots to their diet will help.

Carrots are also rich in beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant and a precursor to vitamin A.

Speaking of vitamins, carrots are packed with other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

For example, carrots contain vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, lycopene, and lutein. 

According to the USDA, one cup of chopped, raw carrots has 53 calories, 1.19 grams of protein, 12.3 grams of carbohydrates, 3.58 grams of dietary fiber, 21400 IU of vitamin A, 10,600 mcg of beta-carotene, 410 mg of potassium, and 16.9 mcg of vitamin K.

As you can see, your doggo will get plenty of nutrition from snacking on a carrot.

Fun Facts about Carrots

Did you know that carrots are hailed as a miracle food? They are loaded with vitamins that just one carrot can provide you with more than 200% of your daily vitamin A requirement.

Carrot’s origins were said to be somewhere in Central Asia 5000 years ago. Back then, the edible carrots had white, purple, black, and red colors. 

The orange carrots we have now were created in Northern Europe through selective breeding. 

There are over 100 varieties of carrots today. But not all carrots are loaded with the same nutrients. A few wild carrots and white carrot varieties have low levels of Vitamin E.

And just like with any other food, overeating carrot has a side effect. You can get carotenemia, a condition that changes a person’s skin color. 

The good news is that carotenemia doesn’t harm any vital organs and does not require medical treatment. 

How to prepare carrots for your dog

Red Cockapoo dog eating his favorite carrot snack
A Red Cockapoo puppy eating his favorite carrot snack – Image source

Since we now know the many health benefits of carrots, let’s talk about how you should prepare and feed carrots to your doggie.

Raw carrots or cooked, frozen, or canned?

Dog owners can add carrots in many different ways to dog food.

You can feed raw or cooked carrots to your doggie, and they’ll still get the nutrients they need. If teething, raw will be better for them to chew.

Take a look at this adorable video of a German Shepherd puppy eating a raw carrot:

If giving your pooch whole carrots, it’s best to chop it up into bite-size chunks to avoid a choking hazard, especially in smaller dogs. Small pieces will make excellent dog treats.

You can also freeze whole carrots, especially for teething puppies. However, do not freeze baby carrots as that can be a choking hazard.

You can still give baby carrots to your pup as long as you supervise them while eating. It would still be best to chop up the carrot into smaller pieces just in case.

Dogs can also have steamed or boiled carrots. This is easier for your pup to digest and ensure they get all the nutrients they need from the veggie.

When it comes to buying carrots, it’s best to stay away from canned carrots. This can typically have added ingredients like more sodium, which is bad for your pooch. 

If you see carrots of other colors, such as yellow, red, or purple, you can try giving those to your dog as well. There aren’t too many differences between the colored carrots, but they may have different vitamins and minerals.

Organic carrots are always the way to go. These do not have any pesticides on them and will still make a great snack.

How many carrots can you feed your dog?

Carrots should be fed to your doggie in moderation. While they make a great snack, they can be high in sugar.

Do not give your dog more than one whole carrot each day. You can feed no more than three baby carrots to your doggo.

When is carrot harmful to dogs?

Bullmastiff dog loves to eat carrot
A Bullmastiff dog seriously eating a carrot

Just like anything else, too many carrots can cause an upset tummy for your doggie. This is typically due to the frequency or serving size of carrots given.

For example, large amounts of carrots may cause diarrhea, especially since carrots are high in fiber.

Carrots are also high in natural sugar. Too many carrots can cause weight gain, which can then lead to other health issues.

What are good carrot serving ideas for dogs?

Schnoodle dog eating a yummy carrot
Hey, I’m Jimmy the Schnoodle dog. I love carrots – Image source

There are many ways you can serve this tasty treat to your pup.

For one, you can add carrots to your dog’s food for a complete and balanced diet, grate or shred carrots for added nutrition and flavor as a food topper.

Also, you can juice carrots for high vitamin A content. It will lose its fiber but will still be nutritious for your doggie.

Finally, you can feed carrots by steaming and mashing them into a puree.

You can easily do this by boiling 2-3 cups of water, place sliced carrots into the steamer over the boiling water, and let it sit for about 8-10 minutes while covered. Then you can drain the water and serve.

Alternatively, you can boil carrots for your pooch until the carrots are tender. You can then serve as is or serve pureed.

Can dogs eat carrots as treats?

Yes, carrots make a tasty treat, especially since they’re low-calorie. You can even make your dog treat with carrot as an ingredient if you want to give your pooch something special.

This simple carrot recipe will be a snack your doggie will surely love.

What you need:

  • 8 ounce of washed, unpeeled carrots, 
  • Two tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 6 ounce (1½ cups) of oat or whole wheat flour 
  • Optional: one teaspoon of maple syrup or honey

To make the treats:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Chop the carrots coarsely and steam them until soft. 
  3. Allow them to cool a little before mashing or pureeing it in a food processor.
  4. Add the peanut butter and optional maple syrup or honey. Pulse the processor and mix again. 
  5. Add the flour gradually, mixing until it’s absorbed.
  6. Gather the dough, cover it and allow it to chill for at least one hour in the fridge. 
  7. You can then remove the dough and divide it into equal sections. Shape each one into a log, either one inch or two inches in size. Slice the chilled logs into individual cookies.
  8. Bake the cookies for about 30 to 45 minutes. 

When it’s done, you can place them on a rack to cool. The treats can stay at room temperature in an airtight container for up to five days or frozen to be saved for another time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Cockapoo dog chewing carrot outdoor
On picnic Cockapoo dog chewing a carrot – Image source

Can 8-week old puppies have carrots?

Yes, this will provide your puppy with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Just be sure to chop up the carrots into small pieces to avoid a choking hazard.

Can dogs with pancreatitis eat carrots?

Dogs can eat veggies such as carrots or green beans with pancreatitis since they’re low in fat. But be sure to consult with your vet first.

Can dogs eat pickled carrots?

Your dog cannot eat pickled carrots. This may cause your dog to become dehydrated and sick. This is because pickled food often contains sodium, onions, garlic, and other food not safe for dogs to consume.

Consult with your vet before introducing new food into your dog’s diet

Golden Retriever biting a peeled carrot
Meet Aspin, a Golden Retriever dog biting a peeled carrot – Image source

So, are carrots good for dogs? Absolutely.

Carrots are wholesome veggies that are packed with nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. They’ll boost your doggie’s immune system and makes for a low-calorie, low-fat snack.

You can give carrots to your dog in many different ways and use them to help with teething.

However, with all of these health benefits, you still need to be careful with carrots. Too many can make your pup sick. In addition, they can also be a choking hazard to puppies and smaller dog breeds.

Always talk to your vet before trying new foods with your pooch.

Does your doggo enjoy carrots? Let us know in the comments below!

Further reading: what other vegetables can dogs eat?

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