Carrots for Dogs: What You Need to Know

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Guess what’s a cool vegetable to give to your dog? Plus, compared to many commercial dog treats, they’re usually more affordable.

The answer… Carrots!

But while loaded with benefits, are carrots safe for dogs?

That’s what you’re about to find out!

In this article, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of carrots.  Let’s look into some concerns dog parents have and alternatives to carrots.

This way, you’ll know whether you’re on the right track in giving carrots to dogs.

What should I know about carrots for dogs?

Fact #1 – For some people, a piece of carrot (daucus carota) is the perfect health food.

And you can understand where they’re coming from when they say this. The nutritional value of carrots is no secret. 

But some dog parents? They’re new to the discussions about carrots for dogs — and perhaps paranoid about it being a safe food.

I believe that’s the case because when I entertained thought of giving carrots to my pretty dog, Cathy, I had the same concern. And I had these questions:

  • Are carrots okay for dogs?
  • Will my dog get sick if I feed carrots to them?

So let’s get around to them with yes or no answers:

  • Are carrots okay for dogs? Yes!
  • Will my dog get sick if I feed carrots to them? No.

And this time, let’s elaborate on the subject.

For one, carrots are okay  — and safe — for dogs because they contain high amounts of beta-carotene. And beta-carotene helps make vitamin A (retinol), an essential vitamin for dogs.

Thus, carrots are good for your dog’s vision, skin and hair, bone development, and more.

They’re also rich sources of:

  • Fiber – It aids in digestion, regulates bowel movement, lowers cholesterol, and maintains healthy weight.
  • Potassium – It improves bone strength, muscle strength, and blood pressure. 
  • Vitamin K – It prevents abnormal blood clots and contains antibacterial properties.

And since carrots contain important nutrients, you’re doing a favor to your dog’s health if you include it in their regular meals.

Here is a list of diseases that dogs can avoid with a nutritious diet:

  • Obesity – Over-feeding is usually the primary cause. If your dog is obese, their digestive, respiratory, and other organ systems function abnormally.
  • PancreatitisThis mostly refers to the inflammation of your dog’s pancreas caused by something they shouldn’t have ingested. Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
  • Leaky gut syndrome – This happens when your dog’s gut is permeable and can’t absorb nutrients properly. Symptoms include unusually foul poop and frequent farts. 

The Good & The Bad

Fact #2 – Feeding carrots to dogs can be good. 

Although, these vegetables are like a double-edged sword. 

Sure, they can be good for your four-legged friends. Sadly, they also come with undesirable effects.

Why carrots for dogs is good

Carrots have a crunchy texture. Because of this, dogs adore munching on them.

They also help clean plaque from their teeth! 

And if you freeze these carrots and give them to dogs with gum problems, did you know you can provide relief for sore gums? 

Why carrots for dogs is bad

A drawback is that these carrots have high sugar content. For one, a small carrot (50 grams) contains 2.35 grams of sugar. 

The result? An increase in your dog’s chances of developing disorders related to high sugar. The list includes oral health problems, heart diseases, and diabetes.

Alternative to Carrots

Fact #3 – Pet parents like to give treats to their dogs.

The bit about the high sugar content in carrots, though, can be a deal breaker. 

The workaround is to give carrots moderately. 1-2 times weekly, coupled with daily exercise and other healthy eating habits.

That, and you may look at other options, too. Here are great vegetable alternatives to carrots:

  • Parsley – Chopped parsley smells divine and can freshen your dog’s breath. And like carrots, they’re also rich in beta-carotene and potassium.
  • Green beans – They’re low-calorie vegetables and are high in omega-3. Incorporating green beans in meals = plus points to your dog’s heart health.
  • Pumpkin – Pumpkin contains loads of fiber. Small chunks of pumpkin, thus, results in a happy and healthy stomach for your dog.

Final Thoughts

Remember, the digestive system of dogs doesn’t break down food the way the digestive system of humans does. So even if you give carrots in moderation, you’re still inviting another health hazard.

The solution, therefore, is to steam or puree carrots beforehand. Doing so makes the carrots easier to break down — and turns them into healthier dog food options!

Thanks for reading. Want to raise concerns, ask questions, and leave a comment? Go ahead.

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