Can Dogs Eat Carrots?

Written by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker
safe for pets
Dog Eating Carrot

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  • Carrots contain fiber, which may help curb your dog’s hunger and lessen their risk of obesity. They also contain vitamin A, which may help reduce their risk of eye problems
  • Carrots can be steamed and pureed before being fed to dogs. If you intend to serve them raw, be sure to wash, peel and then cut them into small cubes
  • Cats may reap the same health benefits as dogs when fed carrots

Steamed or raw carrots can be enjoyed as a delicious snack, and they’re much healthier than cookies and potato chips. You can indulge in them any time of the day, especially if you’re the type who loves small meals. But if you ever find yourself wondering if your furry friend will love munching on them as much as you do, there’s some good news: Yes, carrots are OK for dogs. To learn more about feeding your pets with carrots, read further.

Are Carrots Good for Dogs?

According to WebMD, vegetables such as carrots are not really needed in a dog’s diet (not required), but they are a good source of essential nutrients.1 One example is fiber, which can help satiate your dog’s hunger, resulting in a lower risk of obesity.2

A study found that feeding dogs fresh carrots may help increase the vitamin A content in their liver and kidneys.3 However, remember that while this nutrient may help reduce their risk of blindness, just like people too much vitamin A may be toxic for dogs,4 so carrots in moderation is a great addition to you and your dog’s diet.

Frozen carrots may also be beneficial for teething puppies, and can be a cheaper alternative to chew toys. These may help ease their teething pain and enhance dental health.5 Frozen carrots may be especially helpful for older dogs who are not used to regular brushing of teeth,6 obviously making sure the chewed pieces don’t become a choking hazard.

Are Carrots Bad for Dogs?

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, steaming healthy veggies (including carrots) before feeding is recommended. Also, remember to cut the carrots into small bite-sized chunks to help reduce the risk of choking.7 Carrots can be healthy treats for dogs, but it is recommended that you choose organic varieties to ensure that they do not contain pesticide residue.8 Treats, whatever kind they may be, should also not exceed 10 percent of your dog’s diet.9

Can Dogs Eat Raw Carrots?

Raw carrots are generally safe for dogs, but it’s better to cut them into bite-sized pieces so they can be easy to chew, unless you trust your dog’s ability to bite off only what they can chew. Wash the carrots thoroughly and peel them first to remove dirt and pesticides,10 and for easier digestion.11

Can Cats Eat Carrots?

Carrots are safe for cats to eat, but they are not considered a major source of nutrients for them. Cats have a limited ability to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A — a nutrient that helps maintain good vision. Feeding carrots to your cat likely won’t improve their eyesight, but it may help suppress cataracts and other eye diseases.12

Make This Healthy and Delightful Carrot Dog Recipe Today

Commercial pet foods contain ingredients such as meat and vegetables, including carrots,13 but I would recommend whipping up your own homemade pet food to ensure your pets are safe from toxic chemicals and additives. For snack time, reward your pets with this healthy treat recipe by Petplan that they will surely enjoy:14

Carrot Sorbet for Dogs Recipe

Ingredients:

Carrots, banana, apple or blueberries, diced Water or bone broth (for cats)

Procedures:

  1. Fill half of the ice cube tray with water or broth.
  2. Add the carrots and fruits to the tray and then freeze.

This recipe is perfect to keep your pets busy, as it takes a while to lick the ice cube treats until they’re gone. This treat isn’t appropriate for dogs that swallow ice cubes whole. Here are other ways of feeding carrots to your dogs:15

  • After washing and peeling them, grate a carrot and use as toppings for their meals.
  • After cooking, mash and mix a little bit into their dinner.
  • Slice carrots into chips and dry them. Dried carrot slices may be given occasionally as healthy treats for your dogs.
  • For convenient snacking, prewashed and precut baby carrots may be given as they are16 (pending your dog will chew them).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Carrots for Dogs and Cats

Q: Are carrots safe for dogs?

A: Carrots are safe for dogs, provided that they are given in moderate amounts and in ways that prevent your pet from choking.

Q: Can dogs eat cooked carrots?

A: Yes. Dogs can eat cooked carrots, but they should not exceed 10 percent of their diets.

Q: Can dogs eat baby carrots?

A: Yes, pending your dog chews them (they can be a choking hazard for some dogs). Baby carrots contain more water, iron and folate, fewer calories, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin C,17,18 so some people prefer to feed these instead.

Q: What are the benefits of carrots for dogs?

A: Carrots have fiber that may help dogs feel full and lessen their risk of obesity. Vitamin A in carrots helps lessen their risk of eye problems.

Q: Are carrots good for cats?

A: Carrots are OK for cats to eat, if they’ll eat them (most won’t). But they’re not a major source of nutrients for cats. Eating carrots also will not help enhance their eyesight, although it may help suppress eye conditions such as cataracts.