Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Colorful, crunchy and tasty to boot. Who doesn’t love a good carrot? They’re an excellent low-fat alternative to the carb-heavy biscuit snack for dogs and they’re chock-full of great nutrients that you probably never even knew he needed.
So, the short answer to the question “can dogs eat carrots”, is a resounding “yes”. Both the raw and cooked version are a great dietary supplement and provide him with important nutrients such as vitamin A and beta-carotene. Did you know that A is an essential vitamin that helps your dog’s bone growth, immunity system and vision while beta-carotene is both a known anti-oxidant and carotenoid that helps promote night vision? They are. Remember that the next time Rover starts barking at “nothing” in the dark, because its quite likely the carrots are at work and he’s spotted something you can’t yet see.
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Now, there’s no handier snack than a bag of those sweet, mini carrots packed in your pocket for walks or grabbed from the fridge when a good boy deserves something tasty. You toss them up and watch as your dog leaps and snatches them out of the air, wolfing them down. But if you take a look at the size and shape of these little tidbits, you’ll realize they’re actually the ideal dimension for a choking hazard. An enthusiastic dog (name one that isn’t when a treat is being launched his way) can easily catch and choke on this small yet solid treat. Unlike biscuits that can dissolve when moist, a mini carrot retains its shape until chewed and broken down. Think about how often you’ve seen your pooch practically inhale something tasty without so much as a single chew. Right?
But they’re still a great treat with tremendous nutritional value, so how can you dole them out safely? The American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests cutting larger carrots into strips, slices or even dicing them up. I’m thinking for large dogs, a large whole carrot that is handed to them so they can chew down like a bone, would be a tasty treat. And for quick snacks-on-the-go, mini carrots could be broken in half to help prevent choking. And just as you would if you were eating them yourself, always wash the whole carrots to remove dirt and pesticides.
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Now, while we’ve all been taught that raw is better than cooked, when it comes to carrots the cooked version is a great source of fibre and it still retains its nutritional value. Some say that the softened format actually helps with nutritional absorption. Other fruits and vegetables that offer up those important carotenoids for eye health include blueberries and mashed pumpkin (not the pie filling) that can help with eye inflammation.
As with any human food that is being used as a treat, it should never exceed more than 10% of your dog’s dietary intake. Its important your pooch is on a nutritionally balanced diet before he is introduced to extra snacks or treats – regardless of how healthy they are.
More by Mary Simpson