Can dogs eat carrots and are carrots good for dogs to eat? The answer is yes on both counts! The crunchy orange vegetable isn’t just a nutritious snack for humans, it’s also a healthy treat for dogs. Carrots can be a part of your dog’s nutritious, balanced diet. Here’s exactly why carrots are good for dogs most of the time - as well as a few potential risks associated with feeding your dogs carrots.
Benefits of Carrots for Dogs
Low in calories, high in fiber, and big on taste (most dogs like them!), carrots are a great swap out for other higher calorie treats like peanut butter. As a rich source of micronutrients, carrots work well as a component of a dog’s everyday food too.
Carrots are high in vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, and carotenoids. In Natural Dog Care, Bruce Fogel, DVM, MRCVS, explains, “Vitamin A serves many roles including maintaining healthy eyesight.” In fact, in severe cases, vitamin A deficiency can lead to vision impairment and even blindness. The vitamin K in carrots is “needed for blood coagulation,” according to Fogel. Potassium is necessary to keep muscles strong and functioning well, while carotenoids promote heart health in dogs.
So, as you can see, there are many benefits associated with feeding carrots to dogs. That's why Ollie mixes carrots into a number of its recipes including Chicken Goodness, Healthy Turkey Feast, and Hearty Beef Eats. Ollie's vet-designed mix of superfoods, including carrots, is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.
What Kinds of Carrots Are Best for Dogs?
Dogs can eat carrots either raw or cooked, but here’s a quick guide to which kinds of carrots are best for your dog’s diet.
Raw Carrots for Dogs
Uncooked carrots are an easy, healthy snack for dogs. Remember to wash carrots first to remove any pesticides, which can be harmful to dogs. If you’re mixing raw carrots into your dog’s food or if you have a small dog, be careful to chop the carrots up into small pieces to avoid any risk of choking.
While most dogs can digest carrots without any problems, some dogs do have difficulty digesting. After feeding your dog a raw carrot, check his stool to make sure there aren’t large, undigested chunks, which might suggest an issue he's having with the veggie.
Baby Carrots for Dogs
Dogs can eat baby carrots in the same way they can eat larger raw carrots! Baby carrots take some of the chopping work out of your hands. If you have a very small dog, however, cut the baby carrots in halves or thirds.
Carrot Tops for Dogs
Yes, dogs can even eat the leafy green carrot tops! Again, make sure to wash them and cut them into bite-sized bits.
Cooked Carrots for Dogs
Cooked carrots lower the risk of choking for dogs and may be easier for them to digest than raw carrots. Cooked carrots can be mixed into your dog’s food for an extra vitamin boost. As all carrots are high in fiber, the only real risk is over-eating. Too much fiber in a dog’s diet can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. It’s best to ask your veterinarian what the recommended amount of carrots is for your particular pup.
Frozen Carrots for Dogs
Some veterinarians recommend freezing whole carrots and giving them to puppies as a way to relieve teething pain while also providing some vitamins and minerals. Frozen carrots also act as a low-cost object for dogs to chew on, especially for dogs that chew aggressively. If you do feed your dog a frozen treat frozen treat like carrots, leave them whole rather than cutting them up into bits, to prevent choking. Never give your dog or puppy frozen baby carrots.