Plenty of pet owners love sharing a little nibble of their food with their furry friend from time to time. We get it; we do too! Still, it’s essential to make sure before you do that your dog can eat what you’re giving them.
Ensuring your dog gets not only the correct amount of food, but the correct food itself is essential. After all, your dog has to get certain nutrients in order to have a healthful diet. That might seem daunting or overwhelming, but don’t worry! We’re here to help.
You might be wondering if your dog can eat carrots or if they offer any nutritional value for your canine friend. Luckily, we’ll answer that question and more - so you can feel confident that what you’re giving your pup is not only delicious but also healthy.
Background on Carrots
A carrot is a type of vegetable that is renowned for being packed full of several vitamins and minerals. They’re also high in fiber and are a solid source of antioxidants. This is part of why they’re such a popular snack for humans - they’re healthy! That being said, it’s always important to recall that what’s good for you might not be good for your pooch and to feed them accordingly.
Carrots are a root vegetable, which means that they grow under the ground at a plant’s base. Other root vegetables include beets and parsnips, to name a few. They typically feature green leaves on top, and the root is often orange, though there are several variations to carrots, some of which aren’t the traditional orange.
Can My Dog Eat a Carrot?
If you enjoy carrots and want to share the goodness with your furry friend, we have some great news for you. It turns out that, yes, your dog can eat carrots. We’ll add that we think it’s important to make sure the carrot you give your pet is digestible and won’t cause them to choke - that is, be careful about which form of carrot you give your pet. Miniature carrots might pose a choking hazard to some dogs.
Aside from that warning, are several reasons why your dog can chomp on a carrot or two. Let’s run through those now.
Why Carrots Can Be Beneficial for Dogs
We know why carrots are good for human beings, but what about for dogs? You might be intrigued to realize a lot of the reasons carrots are beneficial for pups are similar as for humans. Some of these reasons include:
- Carrots are high in fiber.
- They have beta-carotene, which will produce vitamin A.
- They’re great for your canine’s teeth.
- They’re a low-calorie treat.
Carrots are high in fiber.
Same as it is with humans, fiber is important for a dog’s digestive tract. It's often overlooked as unimportant, but the truth is that including it in your dog’s diet can actually prove extremely beneficial. Your dog can only acquire fiber through plant-based ingredients, such as carrots, green beans, or sweet potatoes. That’s why it’s crucial to be diligent about what you’re feeding your furry friend.
As we mentioned, incorporating fiber into your dog’s diet is essential because it assists with digestion. Oftentimes, fiber actually gets fermented into fatty acids by all those good bacteria naturally found inside of your dog’s intestine. This fatty acid actually can work to prevent the overgrowth of any potentially bad bacteria.
Side note: it can also help the colon recover from an injury, should one occur. Fiber is also known for being able to potentially help reduce diarrhea and constipation, if your dog is suffering from either of those ailments. Finally, fiber can also help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Pretty amazing how versatile it is, huh?
They have beta-carotene.
Let’s talk about beta-carotene. When your dog consumes a food that contains this, it gets absorbed by their intestine and then transported to their liver. In the liver, it is combined with fats in their diet, then converted into vitamin A. It gets stored until their body requires it.
When your dog does need that vitamin A, it will be released through their bloodstream and then, travel to the retina of their eye. You’ve possibly heard of the retina before at your eye doctor appointment. Dogs have them too, and it’s just as important to nourish your pup’s retina as it is your own.
Beta-Carotene and the Retina
In order to understand why it’s so important to take care of the retina, let’s talk a little about this important body part itself. The retina is required for normal eyesight. It’s located in the back of the eyeball, and composed of millions of cells that are called rods and cones. The cells are - you guessed it - sensitive to light. They put vitamin A to use to tell your brain through the optic nerve what it’s seeing.
The rods, in particular, are important in low-light situations, such as nighttime. They’re also more sensitive to lower levels of vitamin A. If you think your dog is having a difficult time seeing in the dark, try to give them some more carrots - this could potentially support their eyesight as it will increase their beta-carotene intake.
That’s not all beta-carotene can do, however! It also works as an antioxidant in your pet’s body. An antioxidant works to prevent disease and infection from occurring. So clearly, making sure your pup is getting enough of this is important for a whole slew of reasons.
They’re great for your canine’s teeth.
Again, just like their humans, dogs can actually get plaque build up on their teeth. Luckily, there’s an au naturel way to remove some of that (so no, it doesn’t require brushing your dog's teeth!). The solution? You guessed it. Carrots.
Of course, carrots won’t likely remove all of the plaque from your pet’s teeth, but they can do a pretty considerable job at it. Carrots manage to be both tooth-friendly and naturally abrasive, which means they’re the perfect veggie to do the trick. In addition to this, another huge benefit of feeding your dog some carrots is that it will help massage your pup’s gums. This can help squash any potential gum irritation and ensure they’re keeping their teeth - and the surrounding area alike - clean.
They’re a low-calorie treat.
If you’re looking for a healthy treat to give your pet that they’ll enjoy, carrots might be exactly what you’re looking for. These vegetables aren’t high in calories, which means that they could be the right fit for your pet.
What Else Should I Know?
Of course, there are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering giving your pet carrots. Let’s run through those briefly now.
First, as we mentioned, it’s essential that you make sure the carrot you give your pet is digestible. Carrots can be small and therefore, pose a choking hazard for your pet (depending on their size). Make sure they’re either cut into smaller bits or the right size for your pet.
(You can also eliminate this problem entirely by simply giving your pet food that already has carrots mixed in.)
Next, we do want to note that it is vital to give your dog carrots in moderation! This means that if your dog gets too much vitamin A built up in their body over time, they could potentially experience distress. Like all ‘snacks,’ it’s essential that you keep in mind how much of what that you’re feeding your pet!
Lastly, it is possible for your pet to have an allergy to carrots, though it is pretty uncommon. If you notice that your dog appears to be in distress or is exhibiting symptoms after feeding them a carrot, reach out to your veterinarian to seek advice.
Feeding your dog the best food they can get is essential to helping support them on their journey to living a healthful life.
Here at Sundays for Dogs, we’re all about that - and that’s why we create food that’s why we create human-grade food without the hassle.
Because of all the benefits carrots can offer your pet, we’re proud to incorporate carrots in our food. It’s part of our commitment to using ingredients you’ve heard of, so you can be confident in what you’re feeding your furry friend.
So whether you feed your dog carrots raw as a snack or your pet enjoys them on their Sundays for Dogs food, you can be sure that what they’re having is healthy and delicious.