Can dogs eat carrots? How to serve this healthy treat
These crunchy orange vegetables (botanical name: Daucus carota) are full of healthy vitamins, secondary plant compounds and some minerals. With only about 35 kcal/100g, they are also low in calories. They contain hardly any fat, but a lot of water and, despite their slightly sweet taste, hardly any fructose. But are carrots as healthy for dogs as they are for humans?
Yes or No?
Yes, dogs are allowed to eat carrots. They are even very suitable for dog nutrition. Most dogs like carrots very much both cooked and raw. They can also provide a very natural dental cleaning and brief activity for your dog.
What exactly makes carrots healthy for dogs, what should you look out for and what is the best way to feed them?
6 very good reasons why carrots are healthy for your dog
Carrots protect the cells and the immune systemCarrots are among the absolute top suppliers of carotenoids, which are a powerful antioxidant. Beta carotene is contained in carrots at around 9,000 µg per 100g. By comparison, beetroot contains only 10 µg per 100g. They also contain some vitamin E, which is also an antioxidant, and zinc, for a strong immune system.
Carrots support skin and nervesCarrots contain quite a high concentration of B vitamins. B vitamins strengthen the nerves and support energy metabolism. Vitamin B6 is present in fairly high levels and can help prevent vascular damage and takes over functions in the nervous and immune systems.
Carrots are good for the eyesVitamin B2 is found in high concentrations in carrots and is important for proteins in the lens of the eye. Dogs can form vitamin A from beta-carotene, which is very important for the visual process in particular. Beta carotene is the precursor of vitamin A (retinol). Dogs can make vitamin A from beta carotene. Vitamin A is the "eye vitamin" because it supports the eye in the visual process, so that impulses are given from light energy via the nerves to the brain for vision.
Carrots are low in calories and good chewing snacksKarotten enthalten nur 35kcal pro 100g und sind damit herrlich kalorienarm. Gekocht, leicht gedämpft oder fein püriert sind sie ein sehr gesundes Nahrungsmittel für Hunde. Roh oder gefroren sind sie ein natürlicher Kau-Snack für Hunde, der die Zähne reinigt.
Carrots are rich in fibre and regulate intestinal activityThe orange vegetables contain the dietary fibre pectin, which is good for intestinal activity. Pectin swells in the gastrointestinal tract. When eaten raw, the yellow vegetables end up in the faeces almost exactly as they entered the mouth, but they clean the intestines quite well. As Moro carrot soup they are very good remedies against diarrhoea.
Carrots contain many other nutrients and vitaminsCarrots contain calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Calcium and phosphorus are good for bone formation, magnesium is good for relaxed muscles. Potassium and sodium are present in quite high amounts and regulate the water content of the cells and the acid-base balance as alkalisers. The important trace elements iron and zinc are good for the blood - as is the contained folic acid - and a functioning immune system. Vitamins B1, B2 and B6 support the nerves and skin.
There are no disadvantages to feeding carrots to dogs, but here's what you should look out for
Your dog can choke on carrot pieces
If you give your dog raw carrots in large pieces, it may choke on them, which can lead to shortness of breath. Therefore, it is not a good idea to give whole pieces to greedy dogs and certainly not to throw them to the dog.
What is the best way to feed carrots to your dog?
Always serve carrots with fat
Beta-carotene is fat-soluble and should always be fed together with fat. This can be, for example, a dash of high-quality oil in the feed or other animal fat.
Raw or cooked?
Vegetables should be fed to your dog very finely chopped or gently cooked so that your dog can break down and utilise the healthy ingredients. Raw carrots can be pureed or finely grated and mixed into the food for better utilisation. If you cook the carrots, a vitamin-preserving cooking method such as steaming or boiling at not too high a temperature in a little water is recommended.
Should carrots for dogs be peeled?
It is best to feed carrots that are organically grown, as they are not sprayed or fertilised and therefore contain no harmful substances and an optimum of vitamins and nutrients. The vitamins and nutrients are in and directly under the skin. Organic carrots can simply be washed and do not need to be peeled for feeding.
If you cannot feed organic carrots, you should rinse them well first and peel them before further processing.
Carrot as a healthy snack
Raw carrots (organic with peel) or even frozen raw or cooked carrots are wonderful healthy and low-calorie snacks for your dogs to chew on. They are almost the "vegetable bones" that are good for cleaning your dog's teeth. On top of that, your dog will be a little busy nibbling up the carrot. It's almost a shame that your dog can't really utilise the wonderful vitamins and nutrients like this, but it's a very natural, healthy, low calorie and also inexpensive snack. What more could you want?
Help for teething puppies
You can give cold or frozen carrots to your teething puppy to nibble on. This cools the sensitive gums caused by teething and helps your puppy.
How many carrots can my dog eat?
To give you an idea of how much carrot your dog can eat per day, we use average BARF calculations:
- The daily food portion of a dog is about 3% of body weight.
- In BARF feeding, the vegetable part of the diet should make up about 20% of the total amount.
- Two-thirds of this is vegetables and one-third fruit. Around 13% of the daily portion would therefore be vegetables.
Example calculation: An adult dog of 10kg would therefore receive a vegetable portion of approx. 40g per day. Carrot can be a part of this with other vegetables. So we are talking about maybe 15-20g of carrot a day for a dog weighing 10kg.
Note: BARF rations should be calculated individually for your dog according to age, breed, size, exercise, state of health and tolerances. The above rough calculation of the carrot portion is only intended to give you a feeling for how much or basically how little vegetable your dog should get.
Carrots can help with diarrhoea
Cooked for a long time, carrots support an ailing gastrointestinal tract with Moro soup. Click here for the simple and very effective recipe: Moro carrot soup.
Test slowly at first
Carrots are usually very well tolerated by most dogs and are easy on the stomach. Nevertheless, I would like to give a general hint at this point: If you have a sensitive dog, it is best to ask your vet beforehand whether you can feed your dog carrots. They know your dog and its individual needs and weaknesses best. As with almost any food, there is a risk that your dog may be allergic to carrots. It is therefore advisable to test them in very small quantities at the beginning. If your dog shows allergic reactions such as swelling, breathing problems, rashes, itching, coughing or other allergy symptoms, you should of course stop giving him carrots and contact a vet.
Did you know?
What is the best way to store it, where does it actually come from?
The valuable beta-carotene is sensitive to light and air
In order to preserve the valuable beta-carotene in the carrots after harvesting (or even after purchasing), there is something to keep in mind. Beta-carotene is sensitive to light and air. Therefore, it is best to store it in a dark refrigerator or cupboard and only process it directly before feeding.
Origin: Asia and Southern Europe
The carrot originally grew in Southern Europe and Asia, where it was used as a medicinal plant. It came in different colours: white carrots came from the area around the Mediterranean, yellow and also red-purple carrots from Afghanistan. As early as 2000 years ago, it was used as a medicinal plant in ancient Rome and Greece. It was not until the 12th century that red-purple carrots came to Spain and Italy via Iran and later also to rest of Europe. The yellow-orange carrot prevailed over the red-purple carrot.
Conclusion on feeding carrots to dogs
Carrots are one of the best vegetables for your dog. You should include them in your dog's daily diet. The healthy vitamins and nutrients are best utilised when the carrot is pureed or gently cooked. Add a little oil and the good ingredients can be absorbed by your dog. They are also excellent as a vegetable chewing snack.
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