The Top 5 Reasons to Include Carrots In Your Dog’s Diet

Benefits of including carrots in your dogs diet redbarn pet products

Imagine…you had a busy month and forgot to stock up on Redbarn Natural Bully Sticks.

Your dog is sniffing around, looking for a yummy treat, but you’re fresh out! 

While waiting for that glorious shipment to arrive or for your spouse to return from the local pet store, you notice your pup is becoming more and more anxious. If they are a young puppy, he or she might even be experiencing teething pain. 

No one likes to see their dog suffering! 

To buy yourself more time, you open up your fridge to see if there’s any people-food you can safely share with your hungry, and possibly teething, pup. Your eyes lock on the vegetable crisper where you hope to find a healthy option. 

What’s that you see? Fresh, bright orange carrots! 

You may pick them up and wonder, “Are carrots good for my dog? Are carrots safe for me to feed my dog?”

While some of the vegetables we love are unsafe to feed our dogs, carrots are a perfectly safe and nutritious treat for your dog. 

Top 5 Reasons to Feed Carrots to Your Dogs

5) Carrots support your dog’s dental health! 

As loving pet parents, one of the challenges we all face is keeping our dog’s teeth clean. 

When it comes to doggie dental health, it’s recommended you start dental maintenance when they are young puppies. Most dogs learn to tolerate a daily brushing of their teeth— and if you’re lucky, some dogs even enjoy it! 

Redbarn Pet Products Carrots for Dogs Dental Health via Pixbbay

(Source: Pixabay)

“If you adopted an older dog or did not start brushing proactively, take a closer look. You may be surprised to find plaque buildup on your pup’s teeth. If your dog currently has a buildup of plaque, you’ll want to take him for professional cleaning,” advises Steve Doerr, Research and Development Scientist at Redbarn Pet Products. “After a professional cleaning, it’s recommended that you add tough chews to your dogs routine to prevent further buildup from occurring.

Frozen carrots can help support dental health by gently scraping the teeth and preventing plaque buildup. Mechanical scraping of the teeth and massaging of the gums by chewing on tough chews is one of the ways to give your dog’s teeth a gentle, daily cleaning.”

It’s important to note that dogs cannot metabolize the nutrients of raw carrots. 

 “Each cell of a carrot is protected by a thin wall of cellulose. If you do feed your dog raw carrot, you may notice that the chunks of carrot your dog chewed up will pass through him looking the same they did going in as they do on the way out,” Steve said. “To fully reap the nutritional benefits of carrots, you must lightly cook or steam fresh carrots. Most dogs love cooked carrots as much as the raw crunchy ones. The healthiest way to cook carrots is to lightly steam them, which enhances their flavor while retaining most of the nutrients.”

4) Carrots are a low calorie, low-fat treat for dogs.  

If your pup is diabetic, has a tummy pooch, or is working on their figure, carrots can provide dogs with low-calorie satisfaction for sweet and crunchy cravings between feedings.  Carrots are low calorie and low fat—with only about four calories per baby carrot— making them a healthy treat option.

3) Carrots can help canines with bowel movement regularity. 

Carrots are high in soluble fiber. Just nine baby carrots (about 3oz), contains 2 grams of fiber. If your dog has loose stools, he may benefit by adding carrots to his diet. The added fiber may help to add some bulk to his stools.

“You’ll want to be cautious when adding them to their diet in large amounts too quickly —start slow. They may cause some gas and intestinal upset if they are not use to the additional fiber. Always be sure to provide plenty of fresh water to assist the fiber through the digestive system comfortably, and to prevent blockages.” Steve advises. 

2) Carrots are rich in beta-carotene.

When you were a kid, did your parents tell you to eat carrots because they would improve your eyesight?  The reasoning behind that parental nugget of wisdom is pretty spot-on.

“Beta-Carotene is a carotenoid that is an antioxidant and a precursor to Vitamin A. Carrots have a wall of cellulose that isn’t digestible by dogs, it’s best to cook the carrots to reap the full nutritional benefits for your dog,” says Steve.  

And that’s a perfect transition to our final nutritional benefit of carrots. 

Salsaboy Eating a Carrot: Are carrots good for dogs? Can dogs eat carrots?

(Source: Salsaboy, Flickr)

1) Carrots are rich in Vitamin A. 

Vitamins support many critical roles in your dog’s diet and are essential for growth and health maintenance. Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, providing a host of nutritional benefits to your dog.  Beyond supporting eye health, it also assists in supporting a thriving immune system and healthy skin and coat.

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for dogs and is a required additive to all commercially produced dog foods, so it is almost unheard of for dogs to have a Vitamin A deficiency. 

Because Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can build up in the body and become toxic.  

Please be careful to not over-do it with any item that contains Vitamin A.  If you have any questions regarding how much Vitamin A is appropriate for your dog, please consult your vet before moving forward with any supplements.

5 Ways Pet Parents Can Safely Feed Carrots to Their Dog

Most dogs will happily eat carrots, but if you happen to have a fussy eater, there are still ways to get carrots into their diet. 

1. Complete and Balanced Meals with Carrot 

Just like all treats, carrots are meant to compliment a complete and balanced diet. 

“You can find carrots mixed into balanced meals for added nutrition and palatability, (that means taste!) for your dog to enjoy. Every recipe in Redbarn’s canned food line is grain-free and features natural ingredients,” Steve said. “Our canned food also has added functional ingredients like Dandelion Greens, Green Lipped Mussels, Brewer’s Yeast and Salmon Oil. These functional ingredients help cater to your dog’s particular health needs.”

2. Grate or shred carrots for your dog!

Pet parents can easily add grated carrots on top of their dogs already prepared food for an extra boost of flavor and nutrition. Be sure to wash your carrots thoroughly before grating or preparing them for your pet.

3. Juice carrots for your dog!

Carrot juice is a refreshing and delicious treat many humans enjoy. But did you know some dogs like the taste of vegetable juices, too? Most dogs enjoy the sweet sate of carrot juice, and it’s a healthy option to share with your pup. 

(Source: Pixabay)

Carrot juice is very high in Vitamin A, but the carrot will lose its high fiber content through the process of juicing. You can add some pulp back into their juice before feeding it to your dog to retain its full nutrition. 

“If you want to feed carrot juice to your dog, look for 100% carrot juice at your local bodega or if you have the time, juice the carrots yourself,” Steve says. “If you happen to have leftover carrot juice, make sure to discard it after 48 hours. Carrot juice, and most vegetable juices for that matter do not store well even when refrigerated.” 

4. Steam and mash carrots for your dog! 

You can steam carrots for your dog and mash them into a paste, or blend for a tasty carrot puree. Add this puree to your dog’s food in moderation.

How to Steam and Mash Carrots for Dogs 

  • Boils 2-3 inches of water in a saucepan. 
  • Slice the carrots into strips or batons and place them in a steamer basket over boiling water.
  • Cover the saucepan.
  • Steam the carrots for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Drain the carrots into a colander.

5. Freeze carrots for your dog! 

For teething puppies, whole frozen carrots can do wonders to help relieve discomfort. 

It’s important not to freeze and feed baby carrots, as they can pose a choking hazard. 

Whole frozen carrots can also offer your pup vitamins and minerals. But, do not feed more than one whole carrot a day. 

Pro-tip:  Break down carrots into flakes or a fine mush before freezing into cubes! This makes the carrots easier for your pups to digest. 

According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 53.9 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. With that extra weight comes a greater risk that your dog will develop certain diseases, such as diabetes or respiratory problems. Treats, including carrots, should be fed responsibly and should NOT make up more than 10 percent of your pets’ diet.

 

Additional Credits:

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-carrots/

https://petobesityprevention.org/

https://www.dogster.com/dog-food/can-dogs-eat-carrots-are-carrots-good-for-dogs

http://www.redbarninc.com/blog/essentials-of-pet-nutrition-dogs/

 

Do you have any other “people foods” that you’d like us to research for you and your pup? Comment Below! 

 

There are 50 comments

    1. Micheal May

      Both of my dogs love the raw carrots for treats! We’ve had to double our amount of carrots on the shopping list and might have to increase that!

  1. MrRoger

    OK, I think I will ditch the dental sticks after reading this! I didn’t know raw carrots are good for my dog. Thanks for sharing this good read! It is annoying how come the vet doesn’t tell me these things and try to sell products to me, though.

  2. Sonny

    Thank you for your advice. Gemma gets NO people but deserves a treat many times. I thought carrots would be good but of course wanted some sound advice. Appreciate it.
    Sonny & Gemma ,

  3. Charlie

    I have two dogs,Tobie and Duncan, and my vet suggested green beans and carrots for between meals snacks. I thought it would be an effort to change their “treats” from store bought dog treats to fresh, raw carrots. I am in awe of their love for carrots. A yorkie and a shih tsu are really pleased with the new treats.

  4. Chelsea

    My dogs are loving carrots, kiwi fruit and are obsessed with apples at the moment I’m so happy no more buying shit dog treats anymore

    1. Chelsee from Redbarn

      Hi Cathleen, your veterinarian will be able to give you the best information about what would be the right amount for your dog given the rest of their diet and exercise levels. As long as carrots aren’t being used in place of a meal, one to two carrots a day should be fine. If your dog isn’t used to having carrots, be sure to introduce them slowly– too much fiber at once can cause a stomach upset.

  5. mags mc

    Our two dogs a pug and shih poo absolutely love carrots its a real treat. Once we mention carrot they run to the fridge. I buy the little snack packs and they are so handy to have in fridge.

    1. Chelsee from Redbarn

      Snack packs are a great idea– those would be great for car trips or anytime people are out and about with their dogs!

  6. Kris

    My dog favorites snacks is carrot! and cheese, but I stop giving him a cheese because even low fat cheese, my dog became overweight.

    No body sell baby carrots in my country, so I give him a “young” carrots and I remove the center parts.

    Cheap and healthy snacks for dogs, I can get 2 pound of great quality carrots for $1.

  7. Tess

    Our West Highland Terrier LOVES carrots. I think she would choose a carrot over a filet mignon steak. Baby carrots make a great treat, but I think regular-size carrots (raw) are more beneficial for teeth cleaning. I give her about 1/3 of a large carrot as a treat, and I slice off the nub at the end. They’re more like a chew than the baby carrots; she spends more time chomping on it. Since I switched from baby carrots to regular-size, her breath is much improved. Win win!

  8. Mary

    Started making Klydes food and added shredded organic carrots and organic broccoli along with cooked dried pinto and green beans to cooked chicken. I always taste the veggies first as a bitter one will not taste good even to my 120 lb 3ft tall chessy mix. It’s amazing how much money I’m saving.

  9. Mary

    Took Klyde to the vet today and he lost 4 lbs in the three weeks he’s been on the home made food. 20 more to go. Am going to add hemp oil for omega 3 & 6. I put coconut oil in my coffee and will also give some to Klyde. Will also add egg and liver to his food and the vitamins should be taken care of. His chewies are now carrots! Good bye pet stores.

  10. Carla Lindsay

    Our dogs loves carrots! We’ve been giving them baby carrots as snacks or a reward for years. They’re cheap and natural, very good for your dog. Can’t go wrong with them.

  11. Kelly McCallum

    My 17 month old labrador absolutely loves carrots, i used to give him denta stix for teeth cleaning, until i read the ingredients. I changed him to carrots best move I’ve ever made. He also gets home cooked breast of chicken (skinless) and unseasoned along with my 5 year old kitty which is also good for him as long as you shred it up first

    1. Chelsee from Redbarn

      Hi Gwen, when it comes to getting specialized advice about your dog’s diet you will always want to consult with your vet. That said, it should generally be fine to give your puppy a carrot every day.

  12. Patricia Andresen

    Our Chloe will do anything for a carrot especially a peanut butter dipped baby carrot. She loves the treat and I love how healthy and inexpensive they are

  13. Mark wilkinson

    I give my 2 GSD a carrot every day after their evening meal they love them, and I have had no problems with their stools , they also have a small amount of natural yoghurt mixed with their morning feed , dried food James well beloved their coats are shiney and haven’t had one visit to the vets in 3 years . Also celery and frozen peanut butter and banana in a Kong when I eave them alone for a couple of hours

    1. Chelsee from Redbarn

      Hi Diana, generally speaking, unpeeled carrots should be fine (but you’ll want to wash them). Baked Potato skins should also be fine, so long as there isn’t anything like butter or seasoning on them. Dog’s should only be given potato that has been cooked.

  14. Hans Gasser

    My two Cocker Spaniels five and nine years old have been eating a carrot each, forthe last three years.Their built ln clock for the carrot is never wrong in fact they focus on eating the carrot, that they love soo much. Their stool is perfect, and they’re absolutely healthy.
    I can only recommend carrots.
    A carrot a day keeps the Vet.away.

  15. Caroline Kennedy

    Thank so much for the advice regarding raw carrot for dogs
    I have a black Labrador girl who has been spayed and therefore seems to want food ALL day long
    We all now managing her weight quite well with good quality food and lots of exercise and agility training but she loves to have a snack/ chew during the day
    This is such a great idea to add to the list of healthy options.
    Thanks
    Daisy

  16. StephanieRMontgomery

    The article is very informative. Awesome Post! My Dogs love apples and carrots! I always add these foods on their diet, Thanks for posting it really helps to the pet lovers community. with them. It’s great to see an article on this.

  17. Neil Middleton

    I started lightly boiling chopped carrots and adding the juice and carrots to my two Viszla’s dry food leave to cool and they go daft for it finished in minutes then stand licking the bowel they love it

  18. Gwendolyn villavaso

    Since I put my dog on a diet he won’t drink water. I give him carrots , pease, wet dog food once a day. And I walk him a mile a day. He is over weight . How can I make him drink water?

    1. Darion Barlow

      Hi Gwendolyn,

      One way to help pets that aren’t getting a sufficient amount of water is to put them on a wet food diet. Wet food can help hydrate your pet and can assist in maintaining a healthy weight. Check the Benefits of Wet Food for Cats and Dogs to learn more!It is always best to consult your veterinarian should you have more specific questions about your pet’s health.

      Best,
      Darion at Redbarn Pet Products

  19. Karen B

    My 3 year old mini schnauzer has been eating raw baby carrots since he was a puppy. I give one to him as a treat after he eats his regular food. He loves crunching on them. I guessed they would be good for his teeth, glad to hear they are!

  20. Leigh

    For treats or food toper i switch between raw and half cooked carrons drain some water and add honey. They love it. Top the Food with a dash of water and sliced carrots. Hum.

  21. Barb

    First time trying boiled carrots for my dogs. They just loved them they wanted more
    I usually bake chicken in water for supper and I give them salmon once week
    I love my babies and want them to live a long life

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