You’ve just brought home that cute, beautiful little puppy and he ignites your house with a loveliness that makes every day brighter. Now that you have fallen in love (this happens very quickly) the responsibilities of being an owner start piling up. Ensuring the pup receives the proper shots, diet, exercise, and lifestyle are all facets of being an owner that are on your mind.
When it comes to diet, it can be quite tricky to decide just what to feed your canine. For one, the opinions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ foods seem to vary expert to expert, and each dog (generally) has a specific pallet. You’ve probably heard that chocolate is a huge a no no, but perhaps you’re wondering what sort of healthy ‘human food’ your dog can actually eat. Maybe somewhere along the way you heard that carrots are unhealthy for him, or maybe you heard they’re a wonderful snack that should be integrated into his diet.
If you heard the latter, then you heard correctly. The thing is, your dog might not like them.
Are Carrots Harmful When Added To a Dog’s Diet?
No, they are absolutely not harmful. Beyond their nutritional value, carrots are great for a dog’s dental hygiene, a better alternative to rawhide and some chewing products, and better yet a canine can digest them easily. Similar to our anatomy, they are beneficial because they aren’t fatty, they’re loaded with vitamins, healthy minerals, and antioxidants.
Some experts even advocate using carrots as a substitute for meals when a dog is struggling with obesity. If your dog takes to carrots, you can also use baby ones sparingly and utilize them as treats, rewarding them with a healthier substance during training sessions.
Can Dogs Eat Lots of Carrots?
The short answer here is no. However, that answer is to err on the side of caution. It is good to integrate carrots into your dog’s diet in moderation, then also consider the type of dog you’re feeding. This is commonsensical but a Great Dane will be capable of eating a larger volume of carrots than say, a Chihuahua. Thus the proportions should be relative.
How Should Carrots Be Cooked?
Whenever you’re feeding your dog carrots it is important to think—whatever form they’re in—how easily will they be digested? Naturally, your canine is capable of digesting carrots, but a hard raw one will be harder on the stomach. It is commonly thought that steamed carrots (to soften the vegetable and also saturate it with water) are the best option when feeding your canine.
However, they can also be cooked or raw, but be sure to watch for the actual size of the carrot you’re administering. If your pup has a tendency to choke on his food, or if he has a narrower airway, then be sure to chop up the carrot into bite-sized pieces and monitor him as he eats his meal. Some canines will be fully capable of chewing on a fully raw carrot, while for others it is best to ensure their portions can be easily swallowed whole.
What Are the Benefits of Carrots?
As stated before, carrots are high in all the dietary essentials and low in the negatives. They are slightly high in natural sugars but again these are vegetable-based. The regularity of eating carrots will provide your dog with ample fiber. This is particularly beneficial to a canine that has loose or irregular stools, as the fiber will help the digesting and processing of food.
Beta-Carotene is a healthy and essential antioxidant that all dogs benefit from. Do note: the way in which your dog digests carrots makes it impossible to absorb this antioxidant if the carrot is not cooked. In order for them to experience the highest nutritional value from the carrot, cook it before administering.
Vitamin A is another nutritional benefactor of carrots. Not only does it benefit eyesight but it also strengthens the immune system, makes way for healthier skin, and helps with digestion. Nearly every dog food includes this vitamin, as it is essential for your dog’s health. Carrots are loaded with it.
Carrots Are a Great Addition To a Dog’s Diet
So long as you administer them moderately, cook them appropriately, and monitor the portions (and administer them according to the size of your dog) then there is no reason why carrots should not be included in your canine’s diet. They are a healthy snack and a perfect alternative for so many unhealthy ones out there.