Are Carrots Good for Dogs? - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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Are Carrots Good for Dogs?

Donna shares insider tips about your pets gained through exclusive interviews with industry experts.

Can your best friend can eat carrots? Find out here.

Can your best friend can eat carrots? Find out here.

Are Carrots Bad for Dogs?

If you're 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.

Dogs Can Eat Carrots!

In this article, we'll look at certified veterinary homeopath Dr. Jeff Feinman's top tips and guidelines for incorporating human foods like carrots into your dog’s daily diet. We'll answer these questions:

  1. Why Are Carrots Healthy for Dogs?
  2. How Often Should Dogs Eat Carrots?
  3. Can Dogs Eat Raw Carrots?
  4. What Foods Can Dogs Not Eat?
Juiced carrots are easier for your dog to digest

Juiced carrots are easier for your dog to digest

Carrots Are Healthy Dog Treats

What are the benefits to your pet of eating carrots? For starters, they are a healthy, crunchy treat that can:

  • help clean teeth and promote good dental health
  • act as an alternative to rawhide because they are completely digestible
  • furnish a satisfying chew
  • 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?

Make sure you choose a healthy diet for your pup.

Make sure you choose a healthy diet for your pup.

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.

Can dogs eat carrots? Just watch me devour this bad boy!

Can dogs eat carrots? Just watch me devour this bad boy!

Can Dogs Eat Raw Carrots?

They can, but 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 Dr. Jeff, 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.

What Foods Should My Dog Not 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, dog owners should be aware of highly toxic foods (for dogs):

  • onions
  • grapes
  • macadamia nuts
  • 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 Dr. Jeff's site.

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.

Video: Healthy Foods to Feed Your Dog

Resources

  1. UC Davis Veterinary Medicine, “Companion Animal Behavior Program,” accessed 10/19/2010
  2. Telephone interview, Dr. Jeff Feinman, BA, VMD, CVH, Home Vet, 10/01/2010
  3. 8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog, Shawn Messonnier, DVM
  4. Las Vegas Review Journal, “Scrap the Scraps: Common foods can be pooch poison,” Corey Levitan, 10/19/2010, accessed 10/19/2010

Video: How to Make Healthy Banana and Carrot Dog Treats

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

Comments

Jon on February 02, 2020:

It says “are carrots bad for your dog?”

Then goes on to say “no way”.

;)

Jennifer on April 15, 2018:

My dog has trouble with her anal glands she is a puggle. Would the carrots help this and if so how much do I feed her

John on March 30, 2018:

You say absolutely not but then go on to say how good they are for them. What are you trying to say. Are you sure you know what your talking about.

Tasha Abbott on July 13, 2017:

Is it hard for the dogs to digest. Our pup loves carrots as a treat, but wonder how much is too much?

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on May 17, 2017:

I was always told that dogs can not digest raw carrots, just give them cooked or part cooked ones only. Our blue heeler used to swallow everything hole he hardly ever chewed things so avoided this type of food altogether.

fathertobobo on April 14, 2017:

I understand dogs would absorb more nutrients from cooked carrots the same way humans absorb more from cooked food too. But I thought dogs also benefit from raw whole carrots for the teeth and gum cleaning as well.

Christopher on December 02, 2016:

Hello there, I found this most helpful! Although baby carrots might not be the best for for or human because they are rolled in a bleatch mixture to keep them crisp orange and "fresh". Your best bet is to get regular careers peal them and slice them into smaller Carrot sticks . My puppy Jacob LOVES them :)

Hope you found this note helpful.

htodd from United States on May 20, 2012:

I don't think so ..carrots are good for Rabbits ..But dogs can eat too ..

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on February 26, 2012:

Hi MT! I'm glad Zeus likes the cooked carrots. Mine won't eat them raw, either, but according to Dr. Jeff, it's better for them to eat them after they are cooked, so I'm okay with her finickiness on that issue:)

Shasta Matova from USA on February 25, 2012:

I tried this Donna. Zeus won't eat raw carrots but will carrots that have been cooked with pot roast!

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on December 22, 2011:

Hello Insane Mundane and thank you for the comment on pet health and nutrition. I'm fortunate that our vet is forward thinking and was more than willing to work with us to plan a balanced diet for our fur babies. I'm a big fan of natural and organic foods for everyone...not just humans:)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Feedback is so important, and helps me finetune my writing for future works. I appreciate you:)

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on December 22, 2011:

Hi Just Ask Susan, and thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment on this pet health hub:)

It sounds like your dogs are more accepting of vegetables than my big boy was, but he would eat his carrots and green beans.

My Chihuahua, on the other hand, will only eat peas and carrots and only if she feels like it on that particular day. She makes Morris the finicky cat look like a gourmand with her fussy ways:)

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on December 22, 2011:

Hi JayneWisdom! It sounds like your fur baby is blessed with an exceptional fur parent! Good for you for taking the time to do all that for your special needs pooch. I prepared a lot of Lost Boy's meals for him when he was alive because of his food allergies, so I respect and applaud your willingness to go that extra mile.

Thank you, as well, for being willing to take time to leave me some feedback on this hub about feeding carrots to dogs. That means so much to me:)

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on December 22, 2011:

Hi Debbie, thanks for the vote of support:)I was glad to find from Dr. Jeff that I could use vegetables as a healthy treat as I had a dog at that time that needed to take off some weight to ease the pain on his joints.

This worked great, and he lost 10 pounds. He stayed at that healthy weight until the very end:)

On another note, I want to extend my sincere gratitude for your loyalty and encouragement this year. It has really been a bright spot in my day to read your feedback on my work.

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on December 22, 2011:

Hi Millionaire Tips! Actually, that's a really good question about the choking hazard. I'll see if I can get in touch with Dr. Jeff to get his opinion on it, and I'm glad you brought that point up.

Our Lost Boy loved carrots but preferred them cooked, so I just added them to his feed. I'd give a trailer full of canned carrots to have him back with us :(

Thanks for your ongoing support this year of my writing. I'm looking forward to 2012 and reading your insightful hubs:)

Insane Mundane from Earth on December 22, 2011:

I'm glad that I stumbled upon this hub. It is good to know that I'm not the only one who realizes that the so-called "human food" is, for the most part, better for your dogs or animals than the synthesized crap that many people buy at the market. Yeah, I know, this post was about whether or not carrots are good for dogs, but still, this topic runs much deeper than that...

At any rate, my dog is nearly 14 years old, and has ate about everything a common Vet would oppose (including massive amounts of chicken bones). I rest my case... Thanks for providing this excellent info; cheers!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 22, 2011:

My 2 Newfoundland dogs love carrots and zucchini. They also really like the stocky part of broccoli.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on December 21, 2011:

I feed my miniature Schnauzer (who is allergic to wheat, corn, beef, chicken, milk, eggs and must be on a low-fat diet due to a tendency toward pancreatitis) home-cooked food. The protein is cooked lean grassfed ground bison, to which I add cooked basmati rice or sweet potatoes (since the recent alert about arsenic in brown rice), organic carrots, organic green beans. Before serving, I stir in a spoonful of organic cooked pumpkin or 1/4 chopped apple. Twice a week she gets her favorite treat: part of my breakfast banana. She's really thriving on this regimen and loves her food!

Once daily she gets a chewable multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Because her food is wet rather than dry, her teeth must be brushed (which is good because brushing not only freshens her breath, it keeps plaque from forming). She also chews on a Nylabone dinosaur.

Can you tell I love my dog? : )

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on December 21, 2011:

Great HUB,. I did not know Dogs could eat carrots.. My son and his wife feeds their dogs vegetables the vet told them exactly what to feed them with rice and meat. they love veggies..I am so amazed.

I voted up and awesome

Debbie

Shasta Matova from USA on December 21, 2011:

This is good to know. I wondered if carrots would be a choking hazard - not sure how much chewing my dog actually does. I don't know if he will eat raw grated carrots, but he loves the carrots that are part of a meat meal.