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Can Dogs Eat Carrots? Are Carrots Good for Dogs?

Can dogs eat carrots? If carrots aren't toxic to dogs, are carrots good for dogs? And are there any dos and don'ts when it comes to carrots for dogs?
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All pup parents know that there are some vegetables that dogs can eat, and some veggies that are best avoided. Carrots are healthy for humans, but can dogs eat carrots? If dogs can eat carrots, are carrots good for dogs? And is there anything you should keep in mind when feeding carrots to your dog? Let’s find out!

First, Can Dogs Eat Carrots?

A dog eating carrots.
Can dogs eat carrots? Let’s take a look. Photography ©PK-Photos | E+ / Getty Images.

The short answer to “Can dogs eat carrots?” is good news. The better news is that not only can dogs eat carrots, but carrots are actually very healthy for dogs. Experts everywhere say carrots are amazing, healthy snacks for our canine friends. Dr. Evan Antin of Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California, agrees. “Carrots are great,” he says. “I feed them to my [dog] Henry every day! They offer a low-calorie source of extra food for hungry dogs, are high in fiber and also help to slow down the progression of dental disease.”

Let’s examine some specifics about carrots for dogs next.

Can Dogs Eat Carrots for Health Benefits?

Now that we’ve answered, “Can dogs eat carrots?” let’s look at some of the benefits for dogs eating carrots. Carrots for dogs are a great source of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin A. While everything in carrots is great, vitamin A is crucial in maintaining overall health, for both dogs and humans. For dogs, vitamin A is essential for bone growth, reproduction, cellular differentiation and a good immune response. That’s according to the study “Safety evaluation of vitamin A in growing dogs,” published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Carrots are also great for keeping a dog’s eyes healthy and his vision sharp. According to the Dogster article, 7 Foods That Will Naturally Support Your Dog’s Vision, when your dog eats carrots, he’s “getting a serious boost of beta-carotene, potassium, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. Better yet, carrots are loaded with lycopene and lutein — essential phytonutrients that may help protect eyes from free-radical damage and UVB radiation.”

Can Dogs Eat Carrots for Better Dental Health?

Veterinarians recommend you brush your dog’s teeth daily, but that isn’t always easy for pet parents to do. Some dogs just don’t want their teeth touched, so experts recommend you try to brush your dog’s teeth at least once or week, or a minimum of once a month.

However, when you can’t brush your dog’s teeth, carrots will help polish your dog’s pearly whites and combat plaque build-up. As author Julia Szabo writes in the Dogster article, A Dog Dental Care Guide for Lazy Pet Owners, “If your dog will eat veggies (I’m lucky; my health-nut hounds love munching out on veggies), by all means hand out treats of raw or lightly steamed carrots.”

On the plus side, while your dog is chewing on carrots and cleaning his teeth, he’s also eating a food that helps his teeth stay healthy from the inside, too.

Can Dogs Eat Carrots As Treats?

It’s so easy to overdo it on giving out treats to your dog. In fact, you only have to look at the stats. The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention 2016 clinical survey found that 53.9 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. With that extra weight comes a greater risk that your dog will develop certain diseases, such as diabetes or respiratory problems.

That’s why it’s refreshing that your dog can eat carrots as a low-fat alternative to regular dog treats.

How to Feed Carrots to Your Dog

A dog with a carrot veggie treat on his nose.
Does how your dog eats carrots matter? Photography ©bzanchi | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Now that we’ve established some guidelines and answers for “Can dogs eat carrots?” let’s look at how to feed your dog carrots. How you feed carrots to your dog largely depends on your dog’s breed and your own personal preferences. For smaller dogs, you’ll want to give them sliced or baby carrots, so they can break the carrots apart easily without choking on them. I usually give whole carrots to my German Shepherd Dogs, which they break apart in pieces or wrap their paws around to chew on, like sticks.

Can dogs eat carrots that are cooked or raw? That depends. Dr. Antin recommends feeding raw, peeled carrots to dogs, while other experts recommend feeding cooked carrots so your dog is able to get properly digest the nutrition from them. Studies have shown that humans who eat cooked, pureed carrots better absorb beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A.

Tell us: Does your dog like carrots? How does he eat them?

This piece was originally published in 2018.

Find out more answers to your “Can dogs eat…” questions on Dogster.com:

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78 thoughts on “Can Dogs Eat Carrots? Are Carrots Good for Dogs?”

  1. My King Charles Spaniel has carrots as a treat. Just small pieces, given to her when she obeys ‘training’ commands along with a couple of small pieces of celery,. She also has small pieces in her food.

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  5. Apart from carrots, other vegetables and fruits about which dog owners get confused are banana, apple, pineapple, coconut and peanuts.

    I always tell my clients from my 10-year experience with dogs that there is no definite answer. There are a lot of factors that decide what fruit and vegetable would cause harm than good to the dog.

    It is up to the dog owner to think and decide what kind of food item is suitable for his dog. This requires some experiments with dogs and food items and some straight symptoms.

    Thanks
    Phil Carton

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  8. Our 10 year old spayed female Golden Retriever Jessie absolutely loves carrots especually raw ones that she digs out of the garden!!Our 10 year old s

  9. I cut up baby carrots for my two pugs and microwave them just a bit as they have had a lot of teeth removed and have a hard time chewing them. Just enough that they still have some crunch to them. Took a bit to get them onto carrots, but now they love them as a snackie!

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