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Can My Dog Eat Carrots?

close up of a golden retriever dog standing outside, holding onto a carrot

With all the news in recent years about recalls pertaining to commercial dog treats, many dog owners are seeking safer, all-natural alternatives. A great choice is to provide your dog with fresh fruits and vegetables, however, it’s important to educate yourself on which options are safe! Today we’re going to dig into the question: Can my dog eat carrots?

The good news is that there are a number of health benefits associated with feeding your dog carrots, just as there are when providing the crunchy, orange vegetable to the rest of your family! For this reason, it’s not uncommon to see carrots used in pet foods to boost the nutritional value.

 

Health Benefits of Carrots

What do carrots have to offer nutritionally? A high source of soluble fibre, they help your dog maintain a healthy, optimized digestive system. If your dog is struggling with constipation or loose stools, carrots can help to firm up their stool and improve bowel movements. By ensuring that your dog has a regular source of soluble fibre in their diet, you can then work to prevent these issues moving forward.

They are also a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin K. These work to boost your dog’s immune system, regulate blood calcium levels and improve coat and skin health.

Growing up, we all heard that we should eat our carrots to improve our eyesight, but did you realize that benefit also carries over to your dog as well? High in beta-carotene, carrots work to help reduce eyesight degeneration as your dog gets older.

If you have a young pup that is currently teething, try freezing a carrot to provide your dog with a cost-effective, all-natural teething chew. This is a great way to give your pup relief from teething pain.

 

Carrot-Related Concerns

Depending on the age of your dog and their individual dietary concerns, there are some potential complications to consider.

When feeding carrots to your dog, especially to younger puppies or those who have a tendency to scarf down their food and treats, it is very important to consider the potential choking hazards. You should always monitor your dog when eating any food or treats so that you can react quickly if something were to happen. Cutting the carrots down into carrot sticks or bite-sized chunks will also help to reduce this risk.

For older dogs or those with a sensitive stomach, carrots can be difficult to digest. The cells in carrots are surrounded by cellulose which is challenging for a dog’s system to metabolize. Some dogs are more than able to overcome this and never experience complications, however, for others, this can lead to stomach irritation and uncomfortable levels of gas. The best way to overcome this is to break down the vegetable’s cellular walls by cooking the carrot in some way. This can range from cooking and pureeing carrots before adding them to your dog’s food through to simply steaming carrots before giving them to your pup.

close up of a golden retriever dog standing outside, holding onto a carrot with the title can my dog eat carrots?

Conclusion? Can my dog eat carrots? In short, the answer is yes, definitely! Just make sure you do your research and make changes, as necessary, for your dog’s unique needs.

 

Check out this recipe for banana carrot dog treats from The Pet Collective:

About Author

Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her ‘pack’ which includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.

36 Comments

  • Mike
    February 14, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    My 7 dogs eat carrots all the time. One dog loves lettuce but he’s a weirdo.

    Reply
    • Britt
      February 14, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      Carrots are a must in our house! Lettuce can be a great low calorie snack for your pup, just be cautious how much you give at any time as it’s harder for them to digest.

      Reply
  • Nicole
    February 14, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    Love this article! Our dog is 15 and he loves carrots!!!

    Reply
    • Britt
      February 14, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      That’s adorable 🙂 Our oldest dog is 12 and she’s not giving up her carrots any time soon… She knows the sound of the vegetable crisper drawer. If you plan on going in there for anything for yourself, you better be pulling out a carrot too haha

      Reply
  • Cindy
    February 14, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Great info! I’ve heard carrots are an okay chew treat for dogs. You just gave the pros and a couple of things to watch out for. I no longer have a dog but everyone else in my extended family does. I’ll share your info!

    Reply
    • Britt
      February 15, 2020 at 7:58 pm

      Ours LOVE their carrots and I was so disappointed when my older girl started having a harder time with them. When I discovered that it was as easy as steaming them first, I was relieved. Better yet, with our new instant pot, steaming them is SO quick and I can do a whole bag of carrots at a time, storing them in a container that the dogs have learned to recognize in our fridge lol

      Reply
  • Ana
    February 14, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks for the info! I didn’t know dogs can eat carrots. I’ve actually been looking into more foods they can eat so I can get aware from the commercial dog food. My vet mentioned his dog “only eats what he eats” and that’s left me wondering why I don’t do the same. I appreciate the insight.

    Reply
    • Britt
      February 15, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      If you check the ingredients of a lot of the higher-end dog foods, they include more human foods than anything else. I think it’s great to see that the industry is making that shift, but the way I look at it, why invest in expensive dog treats when I can simply treat them to something healthy from my fridge at home? There are many great options, I’ll be sharing some more moving forward, but my pups LOVE their carrots. They easily top the list around our house.

      Reply
    • Taylor oldman
      April 10, 2020 at 3:40 am

      My yorkipoo dog will not eat raw carrots but he just loves cooked carrots. I chopped them up to little pieces and hand them out to him as treats. 👍🥰 it is healthy and veterinarian recommended.

      Reply
      • Britt
        April 11, 2020 at 1:41 am

        They have so many benefits!

        Reply
  • Patty
    February 14, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    When we run out of chew sticks, we give our dogs carrot sticks! 🙂

    Reply
    • Britt
      February 14, 2020 at 5:59 pm

      My one dog has a list of allergies a mile long, so carrots have become the safe alternative to most commercial chew sticks for us.

      Reply
  • Sarah
    February 15, 2020 at 1:14 am

    The question should really be “Will my dog eat carrots?” LOL! My dogs never eat carrots and always spit them out, especially when I add them to their homemade dog food. Every single time they have their chicken, egg, and rice meals I always see the carrots laying on the side of their dish. I wish there were a way to get our little four-legged angels to eat them. Wonderful blog, BTW.

    Reply
    • Britt
      February 15, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Thank you!
      If you’re looking to add it for the purposes of nutrition, have you tried steaming and pureeing them? A friend of mine has to go that route and when it’s mixed into her dog’s meals he loves them. I’m not sure if it’s a texture thing, but he has NO interest in eating an actual carrot otherwise lol

      Reply
  • Andrea
    February 15, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    Out dogs are 10 and they love carrots. I buy them the snack baby carrots as a treat.

    Reply
    • Britt
      February 15, 2020 at 7:54 pm

      It’s such a simple treat and yet FAR healthier than many of the commercial treat options currently on the market.

      Reply
  • Deanna Leduc
    March 7, 2020 at 1:46 am

    I love this so much! Growing up, my dog LOVED carrots.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 7, 2020 at 5:49 am

      We come home with a bag of groceries and my dogs are instantly shoving the heads in the bags to try to find out if we picked up carrots hahaha

      Reply
  • Samantha
    March 7, 2020 at 1:57 am

    I always give my dog the carrot peelings with his food. He loves them.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 7, 2020 at 5:49 am

      I’m not sure what it is about carrots, but mine go wild for them lol

      Reply
  • littlemisadvencha
    April 10, 2020 at 7:48 am

    Wow. I never thought of my dogs wanting carrots. I must give this one a try!

    Reply
    • Britt
      April 11, 2020 at 1:39 am

      Ours LOVE them!

      Reply
  • Arugba Stanley
    April 10, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    wow, this is very useful information – normally I just give raw carrots to dogs, I didn’t know some dogs can be sensitive to it in terms of digestion. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Britt
      April 11, 2020 at 1:00 am

      It’s definitely something to keep your eyes open for. Ours were fine with raw carrots until they started to get older, so it’s not something that every dog is instantly dealing with. As long as you’re aware, you’ll be able to take note of when it’s time to make a change and start steaming them, if necessary.

      Reply
  • Monidipa
    April 10, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Carrots offer dog owners an affordable and nutritious snack for their pets. … Large frozen carrots make cheap and edible chew toys. Furthermore, chewing on carrots can also help improve your dog’s dental health. More importantly, carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, among other vitamins.

    Reply
    • Britt
      April 11, 2020 at 12:58 am

      Yes, they are a great snack. Ours love them!

      Reply
  • Tia McKinzie
    April 11, 2020 at 2:50 am

    Such a great dog treat! We give them to my grandmas dogs all the time. I would much rather give the dogs carrots over the store bought dog treats!

    Reply
    • Britt
      April 11, 2020 at 8:26 pm

      Yes! In our case, Dav girl is allergic to SO much that it’s just safer. Even if she wasn’t, though, after doing some research into the ingredients included in commercial dog treats, I’d pick veggies without question.

      Reply
  • Aleks
    April 11, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    I love, love, love this post! I have a Labrador, he’s 14 now & it’s always good to learn more about potential snacks for him! I love him to death, his age also made me be more careful!

    Reply
    • Britt
      April 11, 2020 at 9:55 pm

      Dav girl is 12 now and we do have to steam her carrots (raw makes it too hard on her digestive system at this point) but she LOVES them and they are a healthy option!

      Reply
  • Lyosha
    May 29, 2020 at 5:39 am

    My pups are crazy about carrots and love it so much! When we cook with carrots they never leave kitchen (we never give them food we cook so they mostly ignore cooking time)

    Reply
    • Britt
      May 29, 2020 at 11:27 pm

      It’s the same in our house – they know the sound of the vegetable crisper and come running the second we pull carrots out of the fridge.

      Reply
  • the joyous living
    June 19, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    my dog loves his carrots!! especially on a hot day. scheduled a repin 🙂

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 20, 2020 at 5:06 pm

      Thank you! Ours go CRAZY over them! If I open the vegetable crisper in the fridge, they instantly come running.

      Reply
  • The Joyous Living
    March 4, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    my dog is OBSESSED with carrots. LOL. i even made him a mini carrot cake for his gotcha day this year.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 4, 2021 at 1:39 pm

      Right? My dogs go WILD every time that we open the vegetable crisper lol

      Reply

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