Carrots are one of the more popular vegetables. They are known for their Vitamin A content which helps improve eyesight. The same effect is experienced by dogs. Vitamin A in carrots can help prevent eye problems which are common in pugs and bulldogs.
Does This Mean Dogs Can Eat Carrots?
Yes, dogs can definitely eat carrots. Just like humans, healthy foods should be a part of a dog’s diet. However, dogs don’t need as many. For example, if a person is required to allot a third of their normal food intake to fruits and vegetables, dogs should only get around 10-15%. This is because dogs have a different digestive system, smaller stomachs, and different nutrient requirements.
Nonetheless, carrots are great for a dog’s health. They offer a number of health benefits and they’re crunchy enough to be the perfect treat for teething puppies.
6 Benefits of Feeding Carrots to Your Dogs
You already know by now that carrots give a lot of benefits both to humans and animals. If you incorporate carrots into your dog’s meal plan, then here are just some of the benefits you will get:
- It improves your dog’s dental health.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the things that is easier said than done. Obviously, you love your dog but sometimes your dog itself doesn’t want to get its teeth brushed. Because of that, you tend to postpone brushing to the next day.
Your dog’s teeth should be brushed every day. Like people, dogs can also get plaque from the acid that builds up from the food they eat. This is why if you’ve looked at your dog’s teeth closely, you will notice some stains on them.
One of the ways that you can care for your dog’s dental health is by feeding them carrots. These are rich in vitamins and minerals that keep dogs’ bones and teeth strong and healthy. To add to that, chewing carrots help produce more saliva, polishing your dog’s teeth in the process.
- It is perfect for teething.
Another good reason for you to feed carrots is its crunchiness. Other than reinforcing saliva production, carrots are great for puppies and adult dogs to snack on.
During their toddler phase, dogs tend to bite into different things. This stage is when their teeth are starting to grow and they are irritable. Giving them carrot treats will help them calm down and sharpen those teeth while avoiding any toy or furniture to be ruined in your home.
- It’s low in calories and fat.
You wouldn’t think that dogs should be on a diet but too much of commercial dog food and human food combined can increase your dog’s weight. When your dog is obese or overweight, it will be hard for them to jump and run around.
The best way to avoid making them overweight is to feed them low fat and low-calorie food. Carrots just so happen to be these things. Now, you don’t have to worry about them consuming a lot of calories.
- It’s rich in lycopene and lutein.
Even if carrots are low in fat and calories, that doesn’t mean that they lack nutrients. In fact, carrots are rich in lycopene and lutein which are two important nutrients that help protect your dog from free radicals. These nutrients also help improve eyesight.
- It’s good for the eyes.
You remember how your parents would always urge you to eat your carrots because they’re good for the eyes? The same thing happens for dogs. If you want them to live a long life with no eye problems, then you have to give them carrots every day.
Carrots are rich in Vitamin A which is responsible for a stronger immune system, bones, and eyes. Together with calcium, fiber, and beta-carotene, carrots are proven to be a superfood that your dogs are sure to love.
- Maintains regular bowel movement.
And lastly, you will love to know that carrots help improve your dog’s bowel movement. Indigestion and constipation are common in dogs because sometimes, their food intake can get out of hand. But when you give them carrots daily, these instances will lessen. Say goodbye to seeing your dogs in an awkward position in an attempt to excrete all the food waste in their bodies.
How to Feed Carrots to Your Dog
If you haven’t given carrots to your dog, then you might be dying to do so now. But don’t rush just yet, since there are things you need to do before throwing a full carrot to your dog.
First is that you shouldn’t throw a whole carrot to your dog. It looks like a bone but you don’t want your dog to choke on a carrot (or anything at all). Rinse the carrots in cold water and remove the skin. Depending on your dog and its appetite, you can either grate the carrots, chop them, or turn them into a drink.
If you have a small dog, it’s better to give them smaller carrots or baby carrots. In this way, you can just chop it a few times and you can have the ideal bite sizes perfect for small dogs. For bigger dogs, you can give bigger chunks. But if it’s your first time to feed your dogs some carrots, you might want to observe if the chunks are big for them.
The next thing you have to decide on is if you’re going to cook it or not. Since you shouldn’t give your dog food with a lot of spices and oils, the best cooking method is steaming. By just steaming it, you can still make the carrots softer and you also kill the bacteria that weren’t washed away.
Most pet owners forget that they should introduce different food gradually. Just like children, you have to familiarize your dog with new food. To do this, you can shred or grate carrots and put them on top of their usual dog food. In this way, you can see if they love or hate the carrots.
Overall, carrots are great for your dog’s health. If you want to keep them healthy and strong, adding them to their daily meals will go a long way.