Are Carrots Good for Dogs?
Are Carrots Bad for Dogs?
If you are wondering, “Are carrots bad for dogs?” the answer is “absolutely not.” In fact, feeding dogs carrots is an excellent way to give them tasty, nutritious treats. Vegetables like carrots are healthier treats for dogs than some commercially prepared dog treats, and most dogs love them.
Here are Dr. Feinman's top tips and guidelines for incorporating human foods like carrots into your dog’s daily diet.
Are Carrots Good for Dogs?
What are the benefits to your pet of eating carrots? For starters, they are a healthy, crunchy treat that can help promote good dental health and act as an alternative to rawhide because they are completely digestible. They furnish a satisfying chew, help clean teeth, and taste good.
Carrots are low in calories and fat but high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For overweight dogs, they can be an important weight management aid. In fact, the Companion Animal Behavior Program manual for the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine recommends that “carrots or plain rice cakes can be used as low calorie substitutes for dog treats.”1 Speaking of dog treats, why not use baby carrots while you are training your dog for obedience or agility sports?
Carrots Are Healthy Dog Treats
How Often Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
So, since we know carrots are safe for dogs to eat, how many should they eat and how should they be prepared? According to Dr. Jeff Feinman, a certified veterinary homeopath, giving Fido two to three baby carrots to nibble on daily is acceptable.
As with humans, the best advice on quantity is to err on the side of moderation and consider the size of the dog. Obviously, a giant breed like a Bernese Mountain Dog or Great Dane could digest more carrots than a tiny Maltese could.
However, during our interview time, Dr. Jeff stressed that because of the way dogs digest their food, Fido would not get any nutritional benefit from eating them in that fashion.
According to him, raw carrots must be grated or steamed so dogs can digest them properly and absorb the nutrients. In fact, any hard, fibrous food is harder for them to digest so you should break these foods up for them mechanically by grating them or putting them through your food processor.
A quick way to incorporate carrots into your dog’s regular feeding plan is by topping his dog food or raw food diet with some grated or steamed carrots.
Feed Your Best Friend Better
What Shouldn't My Dog Eat?
Carrots may be safe for dogs to eat, but what about some other human foods?
In general, owners should avoid feeding dogs leftover foods, which are high in fat, sugar or sodium.
Furthermore, they should be aware of highly toxic foods (for dogs) such as onions, grapes, macadamia nuts, or chocolate.
Dogs and humans metabolize and digest foods and drugs in different ways. The safest rule of thumb is to check with your veterinarian before you change your dog’s diet or use any type of medication.
For more information on natural pet care, please visit www.homevet.com.
Do you have some tips or other information on carrots for dogs that you would like to share? Just drop me a note in the comments section below. Feedback from my readers is always welcome and appreciated.
How to Make Healthy Banana and Carrot Dog Treats
1 - UC Davis Veterinary Medicine, “Companion Animal Behavior Program,” accessed 10/19/2010
Telephone interview, Dr. Jeff Feinman, BA, VMD, CVH, Home Vet, 10/01/2010
8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog, Shawn Messonnier, DVM
Las Vegas Review Journal, “Scrap the Scraps: Common foods can be pooch poison,” Corey Levitan, 10/19/2010, accessed 10/19/2010
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2011 Donna Cosmato