We love carrots in all kinds of foods, from hearty stews to delicious carrot cake. Ever wonder if your pup can eat these wonderful veggies? Yes! Dogs can eat carrots, and they make healthy snacks. With lots of potential ways to give your dog this delicious treat, you may be wondering which one is best.
We spoke to Dr. Lindsey Bullen, DVM, DACVIM (Nutrition), and Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist® to better understand carrots’ nutritional benefits and how best to prepare them.
Are Carrots Good For Dogs?
If you feed your dog commercially available dog food, they probably receive all the nutrients and vitamins they need to stay healthy. While adding a carrot to your dog’s diet is unlikely to cause many health-boosting effects, they are still a fantastic low-calorie treat. Dr. Bullen says carrots can be an excellent snack for dogs who are overweight and in need of a low-calorie alternative to the fatty treats found in stores.
Additionally, pet parents might assume carrots are great for their dog’s dental health due to the crunch. However, this is unlikely to be the case. Currently, no studies prove that carrots help with a dog’s oral hygiene.
“While they can provide a nice crunch (because they are predominantly water), they are not abrasive enough to truly benefit and reduce dental calculus.” Dr. Bullen explains.
Can Dogs Eat The Whole Carrot?
Yes, dogs can eat the whole carrot. The entire carrot is safe for dogs, from the leafy greens at the top to the skin all the way around.
As the carrot is exposed to pesticides and bacteria, it’s best to wash, peel and trim the carrot before you give it to your dog and keep them safe.
How Many Carrots Can My Dog Eat?
“For any foods given in addition to a complete and balanced diet, we recommend that no more the 10% of the calories be provided that way.” Dr. Marge Chandler, DVM, DACVIM (Nutrition), and Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist®.
Even though carrots are a vegetable, treating them the same way you would a traditional dog treat is still recommended.
Which Carrot Prep Methods Are Safe For Dogs?
Dr. Bullen explains that all the preparation methods below are safe for dogs to enjoy. However, she notes extra care should be taken when frying the carrots. Use dog-safe oil and avoid giving fried carrots to fat-intolerant dogs.
The prep methods below are all nutritionally equal, except boiling. Dr. Bullen explains that boiling tends to remove some of the micronutrients, but this shouldn’t be a concern if your dog is already on a healthy balanced diet.
|Carrot Prep Method
|Is It Dog-Safe?
|Yes – but you must use dog-safe oil and not give it to fat-intolerant dogs
Potential Risks & Considerations of Carrots for Dogs
When feeding your dog carrots, it’s a good idea to consider the size of the pieces you give them. Dr. Bullen recommends cutting the carrots into small pieces to keep your dog from choking or other GI obstructions.
Though having an allergy to carrots is not common in dogs, it is something to watch out for. If you notice any of the above symptoms, visit the vet, and stop feeding your dog carrots immediately.
7 Go-To Carrot Recipes For Dogs
There are so many mouth-watering carrot recipes for you and your dog to explore. From homemade frozen dog treats to dog-friendly cookies, you’ll find something your dog will love.
- Frozen apple carrot cubes: A delicious summer treat with only three ingredients!
- Carrot-shaped cookies: They can be enjoyed all year round but are a fun novelty for Easter.
- Veggie ice-lick: The ultimate treat for hot weather – your dog will love licking this refreshing treat.
- Chicken pot pie treats: Perfect if you have any leftover plain veggies.
- Two-Ingredient Baby Food Dog Treats: Super quick, super delicious.
- Food topper: For those dog parents who don’t have time to make these fun recipes, you can add carrots as a food topper instead. Cut into small pieces and sprinkle over your dog’s food.
- Turdoggen: A doggy spin on the delicious veggie turducken.
What Other Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
There are many other safe and delicious vegetables for your dog, including the following.
Just read up on each one before you give them to your dog. In some cases, some parts of the vegetable may be safe, whereas other parts aren’t.