Carrots are crunchy, tasty, slightly sweet, and pair perfectly with everything from hummus to delicious dips. There’s plenty to love about these yummy, snackable veggies, and plenty of people who consider them a healthy, go-to treat. So it’s only natural to wonder, “Can dogs eat carrots, too?”
Though most canines are more likely to salivate over a juicy, protein-packed steak than a tray of crudites, all dogs are omnivorous, meaning they can eat both meat and plants. And, in fact, a meat-only diet would end up doing more harm to your dog’s health than good.
But does that mean you should be supplementing your pup’s daily diet with carrots? Let’s find out what the experts have to say about canines and carrots!
Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Yes, dogs can absolutely eat carrots. Not only are they non-toxic, but they also hold many nutritional benefits our dogs can enjoy, too.
In fact, carrots are one of the top human foods nutritionists and veterinarians recommend sharing with your dog. They’re especially good as snacks for obese dogs because they provide plenty of crunch without as many calories as traditional biscuit treats.
But what about different types of carrots or styles of preparation? Here are some more answers about carrots and dogs that get right to the root of this colorful root vegetable.
Can Puppies Eat Carrots?
Yes! Keep in mind that since puppies are growing, they require more protein, fat, and certain nutrients than adult dogs. Because of this, pet parents should be careful not to feed too many carrots to their puppies – consider them a special treat, not a mainstay or the majority of their diet.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Carrots?
Yes! Raw carrots and cooked carrots are both very nutritious for dogs. And for dogs who like to chew, chomping on raw carrots can provide a satisfying crunch. Carrot skin contains additional nutrients that are good for your dog, so there’s no need to break out the peeler. You can let your pup chow down on carrots, peels included!
Can Dogs Have Baby Carrots?
Yes! Baby carrots are an easy way for pet parents to control portions while minimizing chopping and prep work. And even though baby carrots have had their skin peeled off, they are still very nutritious. Depending on your dog’s size, so baby carrots may still need to be chopped or sliced to prevent choking.
Can Dogs Eat Peas and Carrots?
Yes! Peas and carrots are a classic pairing, so it’s great news that this nutrient-dense duo is safe for dogs, too. Together, peas and carrots provide a variety of nutrients, textures, and tastes dogs love. And to make things easier, many pet parents reach for a handful of frozen peas and carrots for a refreshing summertime dog treat. Frozen vegetables are a great alternative to fresh and just as nutritious.
Are Carrots Good for Dogs?
Carrots contain a host of nutritional benefits for dogs, as well as potential health benefits. The vibrant orange veggies are rich in beta-carotene, a pigment that your dog’s body converts into vitamin A to help promote strong bones, good eyesight, night vision, and a healthy coat.
Carrots also supply your dog with vitamins K and C, as well as essential minerals including potassium and calcium. Keeping the peel on the carrot provides additional vitamin C and niacin. But if you prefer the convenience of baby carrots, there’s no need to worry. Carrots still pack a nutritional wallop in terms of vitamins and minerals, even without the peel.
Carrots are a great source of fiber, too. They provide dogs with both soluble and insoluble fiber, each of which plays a different role in your dog’s health. Soluble fiber helps lower glucose levels, reduce cholesterol, and slow digestion so your dog feels full longer. Insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation, remove toxins from the colon, and encourage regular, normal poop.
Are Carrots Bad for Dogs?
Carrots could be bad for your dog if you feed them too much. Though they’re packed with beneficial vitamins and nutrients, sweet-tasting carrots contain plenty of natural sugars, too. But just because carrots are naturally sweet doesn’t mean your dog should eat them with abandon. Like any other treat, the calories can add up quickly.
Carrots are also high in oxalates, a natural compound found in many plants. If your dog has bladder stones made of oxalates (or is prone to forming them), feeding carrots would not be a good choice.
Finally, carrots can present a choking hazard. So it’s always best to offer your dog smaller, bite-sized chunks of carrot instead of larger pieces they could swallow whole or get lodged in their windpipe.
Dogs and Carrots: Feeding Tips
While carrots have many health benefits, it’s all too easy to go overboard with this natural snack. So be sure to factor in the calories they add to your dog’s diet, just like you would for any commercial dog treat.
So how many carrots can a dog eat? Only 10 percent of your dog’s daily calories should come from treats. On average, a baby carrot contains about 4 calories. So for every 10 pounds of doggy weight, your dog can eat 5 baby carrots each day. Of course, if you are offering your pup any other treats, you would need to reduce that amount accordingly.
When it comes to preparing carrots for dogs to enjoy, pet parents have plenty of pup-safe options.
Raw carrots are easy to prep (especially if you leave the skin on) and provide lots of crunch. But in terms of nutritional benefit, cooked carrots are equivalent to raw. Cooking carrots helps break down the veggie’s tough cell walls so a dog’s body can more easily absorb the nutrients locked within.
Just remember that excessive boiling could cause some vitamins and minerals to leech out of the carrots and into the water, so steaming is best.
And if you’re tempted to share some carrots off your own plate with your pup, keep in mind that carrots can be harmful to dogs if they are part of “people food.”
Carrots are often cooked with additives like oil and salt, which can be detrimental to dogs when consumed in excess. Or, they may be part of a recipe that includes seasonings like garlic or onion, which are toxic to dogs.
Carrot-based baked goods such as carrot cake should also be avoided due to high levels of sugar and fat, which could contribute to dog obesity and serious health issues like diabetes. In addition, some recipes contain added raisins which are highly toxic to dogs.
To ensure your dog gets the biggest nutritional boost out of carrots, remember to keep your prep simple and offer them to your pup in moderation. That’s the key to unlocking the benefits of carrots for dogs.