Are Carrots Good for Dogs? Health Benefits of Feeding Raw & Cooked Carrots

by the Sarah Carroll

Let's set the stage. Your dog has been behaving exceptionally well all day. He didn't pull on his leash during your walk, went potty in the "approved" locations, and played nice with the neighbor's dog. He deserves to be rewarded. You walk into your kitchen to grab his dog treats from the cabinet, but much to your dismay, you see an empty shelf. You're disappointed, but not nearly as disappointed as Spot. He looks up at you with those puppy dog eyes (see Exhibit A) and his eyes are saying, "treats puhleeze". All dog owners and non-dog owners alike know that it's impossible to say no to those eyes, but what do you do? You quickly open up your refrigerator looking for a way out, maybe you can find human food to give him. In the back corner of your crisper, you spy a speck of orange and find yourself wondering, "Are carrots good for dogs? Can dogs even have carrots?" The answer is yes, carrots are safe for dogs. While people food can be bad for dogs in many scenarios, you can rest assured knowing that dogs and carrots go together like pandas & bamboo, koalas & eucalyptus leaves, sea otters & get the point.


Why Are Carrots Good For Dogs?

1) Vitamin A: Healthy Dog Vitamin

First and foremost, a huge benefit of feeding your pet carrots is the presence of Vitamin A. Although the "A" doesn’t stand for awesome, this vitamin does contain a host of awesome nutritional benefits for your dog. Beyond promoting excellent eye health, Vitamin A strengthens your dog’s immune system and supports coat and skin health. Everyone loves a soft coat!

Note: Please keep in mind that with any fat-soluble vitamin, like Vitamin A, it is possible in rare cases for it to build up to a toxic level. Like everything in life, moderation is key! Make sure to consult with your veterinarian if you are considering supplementing your dog's diet regularly with large amounts of Vitamin A.

2) Regularity: Curing Canine Constipation and Benefits of Fiber

Carrots are remarkably high in soluble fiber! 1.5 ounces of baby carrots (approximately 4.5 carrots) have 1 gram of fiber! While fiber is not an essential nutrient for your dog, fiber will help your dog’s digestive system. As a nutrient, fiber in your dog’s diet will increase bulk and water in intestinal contents. Plainly, this means that if your dog’s stools are loose, fiber will help them firm up and improve overall bowel movements. Note: Whenever adding additional fiber to a dog's diet, make sure to provide plenty of fresh water to assist the fiber through the digestive tract. Also, it's recommended to slowly introduce fiber into a dog's diet so Spot's system can gradually become accustomed to the change. Otherwise, uncomfortable gas and an upset stomach could occur.


3) Low in Fat & Calories: A Healthy Homemade Dog Treat

If your dog is having weight problems, carrots provide an excellent meal supplement that can help to curb your dog’s appetite. Carrots are a healthy dog treat with low calories and almost no fat. One 0.4 ounce baby carrot has approximately 4 calories, making raw carrots an incredibly healthy option to complement your dog's diet. If you’re looking for an easy way to help your dog cut the calories and shed the pounds, consult with your vet about adding these vegetables to his diet.


4) Dog Dental Health: Naturally Clean Your Dog's Teeth

Most dog owners (at some point in time) wonder, "how do I clean my dog's teeth?" Brushing, that's how! There are ways to clean your dog's teeth without brushing though, you can fight the plaque and tartar buildup by taking advantage of your dog's natural inclination to chew. This is where carrots come into play. When acting as a dog chew, the rough texture of a carrot scrapes against the surface of your dog's teeth and helps to dislodge unwanted buildup and polish those pearly whites. Note: If you are looking for an extra strength teeth-cleaning dog chew, look no further than Pawstruck Daily Dental Chew is a specially designed dental dog treat formulated to clean teeth and kill bad breath. They are all natural and only 9 ingredients!


5) Beta-Carotene: Improve Your Dog's Coat Color & Eyesight

Your mom was right! That old wives tale (pun intended) that carrots improve eyesight is true after all. Carrots are high in a carotenoid called beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and precursor to the production of Vitamin A. While they won't be curing blindness anytime soon, carrots will help to reduce eyesight degeneration later in life. 


Why Do Dogs Like Carrots?

In comparison to what you eat, your dog's diet is relatively bland. On top of that, Spot probably gets the same exact food and dog treats week after week. Many dogs find the sweet taste and crunchy texture of a raw baby carrot a welcome change to their normal routine.


Can Puppies Eat Carrots?

If you have a puppy, congratulations! As a new dog owner, you are probably doing a ton of Googling trying to learn everything there is to know about raising your pup. Lucky for you, when it comes to whether or not carrots are good for puppies, the answer is yes!. Just like adult dogs, puppies can have carrots. In fact, you can even try freezing your carrots. The frozen carrots will feel great for teething puppies.


Can Dogs Eat Cooked Carrots?

Yes they can! Cooked carrots are safe for your dog and puppy. Just make sure not to add any spices, salt, or sugar when cooking. Cooked carrots for dogs aren't your only alternative either. Carrot juice can also be given in moderation. Just like the cooked variation, make sure there isn't anything added to the juice that could be unsafe or unhealthy for your dog.


Wait, What About Fruits? Can Dogs Eat Fruits?

It depends! Make sure to do the proper research to find out which fruits are safe for your dog. If you're thinking about feeding your dog apples, make sure to read our guide on the health benefits of apples for dogs.  


Now You Know Everything There is to Know About Feeding Carrots to Your Dog

To celebrate, here is a hilarious "Dog vs. Flying Carrots" video. Enjoy!
Remember: All data, information, and advice reflect the views of the authors alone and in no way reflect those of Everything is provided on an as-is basis and every situation is different. Always consult a veterinarian with health-related questions.

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