Welcome to the Healthy Vegetable Series - Episode 2: Carrots
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A. They have been a part of our human diet for their health benefits. But can man’s best friend also enjoy the benefits it offers? Are carrots good for dogs?
Yes! Both raw and cooked carrots can be given to dogs and are good for their health. Why should you give carrots to your dogs, you may ask?
5 Reasons Why Carrots Are Good For Your Dog
Carrots are beneficial to your dog’s health. In summary, it helps give them:
- Healthy teeth and bones
- Better digestion
- Good eyesight
- Stronger immune system
- Reduced risk of heart disease and cancer
Carrots offer all of these health benefits because they are packed with nutrients. They are rich in:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
How to Serve Carrots to Dogs
Carrots can be given alone as treats or added to their food. Just remember to cut them first into sticks or bite-sized chunks to avoid choking especially in small dogs.
Give a carrot to your dog outside or else it makes a pile of small carrot chunks that need cleaned up.
Try this dog food recipe with carrots and other healthy vegetables. Your best friend will surely love it.
DIY Homemade Dog Food Recipe With Carrots
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 pounds ground turkey
- 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 zucchini, shredded
- 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
- Cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks.
- Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
- Let cool completely.
Recipe Source: Damn Delicious
Here’s a Deeper Look Into the Benefits of Carrots for Your Dog’s Health
Dog’s oral health is very important to his overall health. Just like humans, dogs teeth are plagued with plaque. And food can sometimes get stuck in-between their teeth. While it's important to brush your dog’s teeth, it usually is not part of our daily routine. Luckily for us, crunching on raw carrots is an easy way to keep their canine teeth healthy.
Chewing hard raw carrots can help scrape tartar and plaque built-up on your dog’s teeth. Dogs will also enjoy the sweet taste of carrots. Munching on carrots can also keep bored dogs entertained.
Dogs love treats. However, giving too many unhealthy treats can be harmful to your dog’s health as the sugar and/or carbohydrates may lead to obesity in the long run. In March 2015, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that 53 percent of dogs in America are overweight.
Carrots are an excellent alternative to unhealthy dog treats or snacks. Your dog can munch on carrots anytime and you don’t have to worry about them gaining weight since carrots are low in fat and calories.
Carrots are high in soluble fiber so it can help in your dog’s digestion, especially if they are constipated. There is 1 gram of fiber in 4 baby carrots. Cooked carrots are especially helpful for digestion as the cooking process breaks down the carrot’s tough cellular walls. This allows greater absorption of vitamins and nutrients.
Better digestion means a healthier stomach as toxins from your dog’s body are being flushed out. Good digestion also makes their liver healthy and toxin-free.
When introducing carrots to your dog’s diet, go slow at first, as with anything that you are adding to their diet. You may want to boil or steam carrots the first time to help with digestion. Also, don’t give carrots to them in large amounts quickly as it may upset their stomach. Some dogs have difficulty digesting carrots so always watch your dog for any issues.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant and precursor to Vitamin A which is good for the eyes. It will help prevent eyesight degeneration. Carrots also contain lycopene and lutein, protective phytonutrients for the eyes against UVB radiation and damage from free radicals. Beta carotene also protects the eyes against macular degeneration and senile cataracts.
Better Overall Health
Packed with vitamins and nutrients, carrots can help build stronger immune system. Potassium, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1 and B6 can be found in carrots. These nutrients play a key role in your dog’s health.
Potassium helps lower blood pressure. It is also beneficial for heart and kidney disorders, enhancing muscle strength, and can even help relieve stress and anxiety.
Vitamin A gives healthier eye sight.
Vitamin C is best for fighting infections and boosting the immune system. It also helps in the development and repair of all body tissues, thus helping in wound healing as well as maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth.
Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron in the body.
Vitamin D is important for calcium and phosphorus absorption, which is essential for your dog’s bones and teeth health.
Vitamin E keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Research also shows that Vitamin E can help protect from cataracts.
Vitamin K plays a big role in blood clotting. It also helps build strong bones and prevents heart diseases.
Vitamin B1 helps maintain a healthy nervous system and improves cardiovascular functioning.
Vitamin B6 converts food into energy and helps the body metabolize fats and proteins.
Carrots contain antioxidants that helps fight the aging process and reduce cell damage. Research also shows the falcarinol and falcarindiols that carrots contain can help fight cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer.
Great Soothing Treat for Teething Puppies
Puppies that are teething want to chew on everything. A great tip is to give your puppy a cold carrot to chew on. The coldness helps sooth their teeth and it provides something different for them to chew on. Just be sure to watch them for choking.
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Things to Watch When Giving Your Dogs Carrots:
Lots of fiber
Vegetables are high in fiber which may cause some digestive problems. To prevent these problems, introduce carrots to your dog's diet slowly. Make sure your dog has plenty of water. It also helps to cook the carrots first or steam them so they can be digested easier.
Although raw carrots are perfect for cleaning your dog's teeth, they may cause choking. Ensure that you cut the carrots into an appropriate size for your dog. Always monitor and watch your dog closely when they are eating a large raw carrot.
Instead of giving your dog commercial dog treats and snacks, try giving them a healthier alternative like carrots. They are not only fun to eat, they are also rich in nutrients that your dog's need from the puppy stage to the senior age.
There may be some precautions when giving carrots to small dogs or dogs with health issues. It is best to ask your vet first. But in general, are carrots good for dogs? Absolutely! Carrots provide a natural way to clean your dog's teeth. And its nutrients prove that it could be a super food for your dog.
Do you feed your dog carrots?
If so, let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear your experience.