Can Dogs Eat Carrots?


People use carrots in recipes, include them in lunches and eat them as snacks. But should the versatile vegetable find its way into your dog’s bowl? Keep reading to find out if dogs can eat carrots.   

Can dogs have carrots?

Yes, dogs can have carrots. They make a good, natural treat for dogs. And generally, dogs like the flavor, too. Explore dog food products with carrots as an ingredient. 

Are carrots good for dogs?

Carrots are packed with Vitamin A and beta Carotene, which can be good for humans. Because carrots are just a treat in your dog’s complete and balanced diet, it’s unlikely to have huge health benefits. That said, carrots are good for dogs to snack on, since many dogs find them tasty and healthy.

Can dogs have carrots that are raw and cooked?

Yes, dogs can eat carrots that are raw or cooked. Sometimes the texture of carrots can be confusing to dogs. They don’t always recognize the vegetable needs to be crunched. If that’s the case with your dog, you can change the texture by cooking them. But will cooking alter the nutrients in carrots? It depends on how you prepare them. “Steaming or cooking minimally in a microwave shouldn’t cause a major change in vitamins and minerals in carrots,” Purina Senior Nutritionist Jan Dempsey says. “But don’t boil the vegetable, since boiling tends to leach out nutrients. Just know that however you fix them, carrots are not bad for dogs.”

How should carrots for dogs be prepped and served?

Carrots for dogs don’t need a lot of preparation. All parts of a carrot, including the green tops, are fine for them to eat. But how you should serve carrots depends on your dog. Some dogs can eat a baby carrot whole, while others should have them cut into slices.

The serving size that’s best varies, too. “Carrots tend to have a high sugar content, which is why their taste are so attractive to animals and humans,” Dempsey explains. “So, the same rules apply to serving carrots as they do with any other treat.” That means carrots should make up no more than 10 percent of a dog’s daily calories. You can discuss how many calories your dog should get each day with your veterinarian, and base the portion of treats off of that.

Are carrots bad for dogs’ teeth?

Carrots for dogs aren’t like bones. They don’t really provide the dental benefits other hard treats do. Unlike other abrasive foods, carrots won’t clean your dog’s teeth while he eats. And though a dog will crunch on them, “carrots aren’t that hard for a dog to chew. After all, dogs have a lot more jaw pressure than humans do,” says Dempsey.

Carrots also have a lot of naturally occurring sugars that aren’t beneficial to a dog’s dental health. So, go ahead and treat your best friend to carrots, but do so in moderation.

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