Benefits of carrots to dogs
Carrots are tasty, crunchy, and highly nutritious and are an excellent source of:
- vitamin K
- antioxidants, and
Carrots also have numerous health benefits and are a brilliant weight loss friendly snack!
Everybody knows that carrots are very high in vitamin A, and therefore if you feed them to your dog, you will be supplementing his diet with this much-needed vitamin.
Vitamin A assists in numerous areas, such as:
- bone growth
- cellular differentiation
- a healthy immune response.
Vitamin A is also famous for strengthening eyesight in humans, and it is the same for dogs. When you feed your puppy carrots, they will help in keeping their vision sharp and their eyes healthy. The following minerals found in carrots are known to boost eye health:
- magnesium, and
Additionally, they are loaded with lutein and lycopene which are all essential phytonutrients that help protect the eyes from UVB radiation and free-radical damage.
Carrots and canine dental health
According to veterinarians, you should brush your dog’s teeth daily, but this is not as easy as it sounds, as dogs usually don’t like their teeth being messed with. Alternatively, experts advise trying get it done at least once a week, or once a month.
However, if you are entirely unable to brush your dog’s teeth, then carrots are a great option. Carrots will help in polishing those pearly whites and also combat the build-up of plague, keeping your dog’s teeth healthy.
An added benefit to this is as he is busy munching on the deliciously crunchy carrots, he is also eating a portion of food that helps with the inside of his teeth as well as the gums.
Carrots as a low fat treats
Because you love your puppy so much, it is easy to overdo it when it comes to treats. According to a survey done by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, at least 53.9% of dogs are either obese or overweight.
With the extra weight, there comes a significant risk to your dog’s health and diseases such as diabetes and other respiratory related problems. To combat this, you can offer your puppy a healthy alternative of carrots compared to the traditional treats that are high in fat and sugars.
Should I feed cooked or raw carrots?
Wait, can dogs eat cooked carrots? Or should you strictly stick to feeding raw?
Dogs can either eat raw or cooked carrots. Sometimes the texture may be confusing, but they do not always recognize the need for crunched veggies. You can change the texture for him now and then by offering either cooked or raw.
But can cooking alter the nutritional content?
Well, this depends on how you cook them. If you steam the carrots in a microwave, this does not alter the nutrients or change the content of minerals and vitamins in the carrots. However, boiling any vegetable tends to leach out its nutrients and make them tasteless.
Best way to prep carrots before feeding
Carrots do not require a lot of preparation. All the parts of the carrot, including the green leafy top, are good for the dog. How you serve it, however, depends on your dog. A baby carrot can be eaten whole by some dogs, while others will require them to be cut into small pieces for them to consume.
Carrots have a high sugar content, which is why their taste is alluring to dogs as well as humans. Moderation is always crucial, so do not give your dog too many carrots as this may interfere with their digestion and cause stomach upsets among other problems.
Offer them a few at a time to start with, and always observe your puppy to see how the new addition to their diet will react with them. If they cause any allergic reactions especially diarrhea or vomiting, discontinue immediately and take the dog to the vet.
RECIPE: Carrot treats idea for owners
An alternative to feeding your pup plain carrots, be it raw or cooked, is to spend a little time preparing these delicious carroty treats.
Apple Carrot Dog Biscuits
This recipe makes 20-24 small cookies.
- Two and a half cups of whole wheat flour
- A half cup of oats
- One tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)
- 1 cored and grated apple.
- Half a cup of peeled and grated carrots
- 1 large egg – beaten
- A third cup of vegetable oil
- A quarter to half cup of water – apples add moisture to the mixture so only add water if it is necessary.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Grease your cookie sheet
- Core and then grate the apples
- Peel and grate the carrots
- In a large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, and oats and mix. These are the dry ingredients.
- In another bowl, add the beaten egg, apple, carrots, oil, and These are the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Roll the dough carefully and then cut it into desired shapes using a small cookie cutter.
- Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the biscuits are firm.
- Cool the biscuits and feed them to your puppy. Keep the leftovers in an airtight container so they can retain their crunchiness.
Pro note: Don’t leave them laying around in reachable places, they will “disappear.”
Final thoughts on feeding carrots to dogs
Carrots are great for your dog as we have outlined above, but always remember to consult your veterinarian before introducing anything new to your dogs’ diet, and discontinue if it doesn’t agree with your puppy’s delicate digestive system.