Can Dogs Eat Carrots? Effects of Carrots for Dogs as a Dog Food

can dogs eat carrots

Dogs can eat carrots safely. Dogs can consume small amounts of carrots without being negatively affected. In addition to healthy vitamins and minerals, carrots are also packed with fiber to benefit dogs’ digestive systems. Some dog food brands even list carrots as an ingredient. Dog owners can feed their dogs this low-calorie, tasty treat safely. Carrots are root plants, low in calories when compared to commercially available treats.

What are the Benefits of Carrots for Dogs?

The benefits of carrots for dogs are listed below:

  • Heart Health: As a source of vitamin B3, carrots provide various nutrients and are particularly beneficial for dogs’ heart health. They contain oleic acid, a compound good for heart health and a potent anti-inflammatory. Potassium also helps regulate the heart rate of dogs.
  • Improved Digestion: Fiber regulates the dog’s digestive process, maintaining gut health and decreasing high blood sugar and heart disease risk. With its 95% water content and fiber content, carrots support a dog’s digestion and promote a healthy and regular physical condition.
  • Prevent High Cholesterol: Carrots contain high levels of soluble fiber, which extracts cholesterol from a dog’s body.
  • Healthy Coat: Carrots burst with vitamin E and omega fatty acids. Water is distributed throughout the dog’s body and hair via fatty acids. The fat-soluble Vitamin E helps bring out the luster in a dog’s coat.
  • Prevent Inflammation: Omega-3 fatty acids in carrots help reduce the effects of arthritis and other types of inflammation in dogs.
  • Healthy Skin: Vitamin E, vitamin A, and fatty acids work together to keep a dog’s skin healthy.
  • Vision: Beta-carotene in carrots, is an antioxidant that, coupled with vitamin A, promotes healthy vision in dogs.
  • Improved Nutrient Absorption: Carrots help dogs get optimal nutrition out of all the food they eat.
  • Bone Density: Vitamin K and vitamin A give dogs stronger bones.
  • Dental health: Keeping your dog’s teeth healthy may be as easy as chewing on a crunchy carrot, which helps remove tartar and prevents plaque buildup in the mouth that causes periodontitis.

How Can Carrots Harm Dogs?

The harm carrots can cause to dogs are listed below:

  • Toxicity: Dogs can usually eat carrots safely if they are moderately consumed, but excessive amounts can be toxic. A buildup of vitamin A can lead to distressing symptoms over time, including liver damage, eye disorders, and bone pain.
  • Gastrointestinal and weight issues: Although carrots are low in calories, they are high in natural sugars and fiber, which could cause mild to extreme digestive distress, in dogs, including stomach upset, blockages, gas, and diarrhea. The sugar content could cause weight gain if dogs eat too many carrot treats.
  • Choking Hazard: Although dogs can eat carrots safely, they pose a high choking risk to dogs. Carrots should always be cut into pieces safe for the size of the dog. Large chunks or even whole baby carrots could cause esophagus obstructions, especially in puppies or small breed dogs.

When Can a Dog Eat Carrots?

Dogs can eat carrots at any time, regardless of the time of day, and at any age.

Carrots are one of the healthiest sources of nutrition for dogs. Compared to other vegetables dogs can eat, carrots contain more significant amounts of protein and fewer sugars. High-quality proteins in carrots help build healthy dogs’ bodies and maintain and repair cells, hormones, and enzymes. Carrot chunks form perfect treats while training a dog. Bedtime is a good time for carrot treats for all dogs because carrots contain tryptophan. It is an essential amino acid that increases the brain’s production of the super sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Carrots further provide several sleep-promoting nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, and biotin to improve a dog’s sleep patterns.

How Many Carrots Can a Dog Eat per Day

The number of carrot treats a dog can have per day depends on the dog’s size, age, and overall health condition. The general rule is that smaller dogs should eat fewer carrot treats than a large dog and that carrot treats should not exceed 10% of the puppy’s daily calorie intake. 

How to calculate a safe daily portion of carrots for a dog

Approximate Daily Caloric Needs for Average Dogs

Dog’s Weight

Total Calories per day – including treats 

Allowed Calories of all Treats per day (10 % of daily calories)

10 lbs.

200 to 275 calories

20 to 27 calories

20 lbs

325 to 400 calories

32 to 40 calories

50 lbs

700 to 900 calories

70 to 90 calories

70 lbs

900 to 1050 calories

90 to 105 calories

90 lbs

1100 to 1350 calories

110 to 135 calories

One 2 ½ ounce carrot contains 30 calories

Using this table could help dog owners determine how to ensure treats are healthy additives for their dogs and not just ways to spoil a dog and possibly cause weight gain or other health problems.

Carrots are packed with nutrients that can benefit a dog, and giving them to the dog for the first time requires caution. Test the dog’s reaction, and if the dog has no adverse reactions, carrot treats might be beneficial for a dog’s health.

Which Nutrients in Carrots are Beneficial for Dogs’ Health?

A few reasons why this crunchy root vegetable makes a nutritional dog treat include its many health benefits listed below:

  • Fiber: Carrots have a lot of fiber which helps your dog’s digestive system to keep moving along. Feeding carrots in slices could ease the digestive process of smaller dogs. 
  • Vitamin K: This is a vitamin powerhouse that improves bone density and provides a host of other benefits. If your dog is active, bone strength can keep him active longer. Bone density decreases as dogs age and carrot treats could slow the decline of mobility. 
  • Vitamin C: Carrots boost the immune system of your dog and provide anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin C is produced naturally in a dog’s body, but that ability decreases as they age. It’s also a water-soluble vitamin, so it passes in their urine if they receive too much.
  • Synthesized Vitamin C: A dog’s liver synthesizes vitamin C naturally, but the process could be jeopardized if the dog has high activity or anxiety levels. If the liver is not doing that job properly, carrot treats could give the puppy’s liver the necessary boost of vitamin C to support liver synthesis.
  • Minerals and Vitamins: Carrots contain magnesium, sodium, chromium potassium, and several others that all work together to strengthen your dog’s immune and nervous systems. Besides potassium and biotin, carrots contain vitamins A, B6, C, D, and K1.
  • Folic Acid: Helps produce and maintain healthy cells, especially for pregnant dogs.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids help with reducing inflammation in dogs.
  • Vitamin A: Carrots contain high levels of beta-carotene, which promotes dogs’ eyesight and healthy vision. Once beta-carotene enters the dog’s body, it changes into vitamin A to support a dog’s cell function, immune and reproductive system. Vitamin A deficiency may cause xerophthalmia, a progressive eye condition. Night blindness can be caused by xerophthalmia, as well as difficulty seeing in low light conditions.
  • Beta-carotene: Beta-carotene in carrots reduces the possibility of cataracts and other eye problems in dogs by providing protection from the sun. Dogs can also get lutein from yellow carrots, which is beneficial for their eyes.
  • Lycopene and beta carotene: These carotenoids are antioxidants that are invaluable for a dog’s health. When dogs eat carrots, these powerful antioxidants help prevent cell damage by free radicals. Lycopene and beta carotene are also believed to reduce stroke and heart disease risks in dogs.
  • Potassium: A dog’s heart and kidney functions will benefit from the potassium in carrots. Further benefits of potassium include regulated fluid levels, bone density, and muscle development. In case a dog lacks the necessary amount of electrolytes provided by potassium, hypokalemia will develop, resulting in symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss, muscle pain, lethargy, and appetite loss.

The nutrients of Carrots such as Fiber, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C, the vegetables like carrots are beneficial for dogs. To learn more about vegetable nutrients read the related article about what dogs can eat

A nutritional profile of one 2.5 ounce carrot containing 30 calories is listed below:

  • Calories: 30
  • Protein: 0.7 g
  • Sugar: 3.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 49.7 mg
  • Water 88%
  • Carbs 10%

What is the Fiber Ratio in Carrots?

The fiber ratio in carrots shows why it is such a good source of fiber. They provide almost 4 grams of fiber per cup or 2 grams in one 2.5-ounce carrot. Typically, carrots are thought of as high-fiber foods. With around 5 grams of fiber per cup, boiled carrots provide even more fiber. However, an 8-ounce serving of carrot juice contains only 1 gram of fiber.

Is Fiber Beneficial for Dogs?

The Fiber in carrots is beneficial for dogs because it boosts bowel regularity and helps produce firm, formed stools by increasing bulk and absorbing excess water. Additionally, fiber helps keep your dog’s intestinal pH healthy, which keeps undesirable bacteria from growing.

What Nutrients in Carrots are Harmful to Dogs’ Health?

Carrots cannot cause any significant harm to dogs’ health, and most canines tolerate them well.

Any potential harm to a dog would be linked to the matters listed below:

  • Safety: Never feed a dog a new type of human food without checking with the vet that it would be safe for the specific dog’s unique constitution.
  • Moderation: Dogs do best on diets that are 100% balanced. Although carrots are regarded as a superfood, they must be seen as treats when given to dogs. The owner must consider the dog’s breed, age, size, and lifestyle, and then the number of carrots treats must never exceed 10% of a dog’s daily diet.
  • Choking and blockage risk: Carrots pose choking hazards if they are not cut into smaller chunks.
  • Toxicity: Carrots are generally safe for dogs when eaten in moderation, but they can be toxic in excess. With time, a buildup of vitamin A can cause distressing symptoms, such as liver damage, eye disorders, and bone pain.
  • Chemical hazards: Herbicides and pesticides on store-bought carrots could adversely affect a dog. Buying carrots that are sustainably raised is safest. A thorough rinse to remove chemical residues, manure, dirt, and germs is essential.

Can Carrots Affect a Dog’s Mood?

Yes, carrots can affect a dog’s mood. Carrots contain high levels of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that dogs cannot produce themselves. When dogs eat carrots, the tryptophan will promote serotonin production. Serotonin is a mood-boosting hormone or neurotransmitter primarily responsible for happiness and feelings of well-being.

Can Baby Dogs (Puppies) Eat Carrots?

Yes, puppies can eat carrots, but in small portions. Their immune systems are still developing, and puppies are more susceptible to gastrointestinal issues. Their developing bodies require a diet tailored to their needs. Thus, it’s best to give puppies baby carrots because they are easier to digest. Wait until the puppies’ bodies mature before offering chunks of larger carrots as treats. Larger carrots would be more digestible if they were boiled before giving them to a puppy. Young dogs can also benefit from the extra fiber, minerals, and vitamins in carrots.

Can Old Dogs Eat Carrots?

Yes, older dogs can eat carrots. The vitamin K in carrots is especially helpful for older dogs who have started to lose bone density and have limited mobility as a result. Several of the nutrients in carrots are particularly beneficial for senior dogs.

Vitamin C in carrots optimizes the immune systems of dogs and reduces inflammation risks. Additional vitamin C benefits for old dogs include fighting some cancers and slowing down cognitive decline. As dogs get older, they tend to have a more difficult time producing an adequate amount of Vitamin C on their own. This is where carrots can help.

Senior dogs can further benefit from the vitamin A in carrots treats. Many older dogs experience macular degeneration, which affects the retina’s central area. Aging dogs could experience mild vision impairment, night blindness, and even complete loss of vision. However, vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant in carrots that could prevent or slow down macular degeneration in old dogs.

Can Different Dog Breeds Eat Different Amounts of Carrots?

All dog breeds can eat carrots in amounts to suit their size and health condition. Too many carrots could cause gastrointestinal problems in any breed of dog. 

A small Affenpinscher dog that seldom weighs more than 10 pounds can have a 2-ounce carrot, which is about 27 calories per day.

Basset Hounds weighing about 50 pounds can eat about three 2 ½ ounce carrots per day, totaling 80 to 90 calories.

A Newfoundland dog weighing about 90 pounds can safely eat four 2 ½ ounce carrots per day, which is 120 to 135 calories.

For Which Dog Breeds are Carrots More Beneficial?

Carrots are beneficial for all dog breeds. Carrots are one of the healthiest sources of nutrition for dogs. However, certain breeds can benefit from the potassium in carrots. Insufficient levels of potassium in dogs could cause arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Dog breeds with short snouts are particularly susceptible to arrhythmia. They include Shih Tzus, Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boxers. All dogs risk arrhythmia as they age.

For Which Dog Breeds are Carrots Less Beneficial?

Carrots are not less beneficial for some dog breeds. They are only less beneficial if dog owners feed their dogs too many carrot treats.

Which Carrot Recipes and Parts can be Eaten Safely by Dogs?

Dogs can eat all parts of carrots, and dog owners can use any recipes to create healthy dog treats, as long as they avoid unhealthy additives. A dog is most at risk from carrots if it over consumes carrot treats or chokes on too large pieces.

Can Dogs Eat Baby Carrots Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat baby carrots. To avoid choking hazards, use small pieces of carrot in order to feed 1-2 baby carrots to an average-sized puppy per day.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Carrots Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat raw carrots safely. Dogs benefit from raw carrots because they are nutritious and add nutrients to their diets. Carrots are generally safe to feed to dogs as long as they are chopped up into small pieces before feeding. It will avoid choking, especially for small dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Carrots Safely?

Yes, cooked carrots are safe for your dog. There’s less risk of intestinal blockages or choking hazards if the cooked carrots are cut into pieces. They will be easier to chew, especially for old dogs whose teeth are no longer as strong as the teeth of younger dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat carrot cake safely. However, only if the cake was baked with the health of the dog in mind. Treats of carrot cake given to a dog should be small and only occasionally because wheat flour, sugar, and other additives could upset dogs’ stomachs. Furthermore, too many carrot cake treats can cause weight gain and, ultimately, obesity.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Carrots Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat canned carrots safely. For a dog, opt for canned carrots that are low- or no-sodium and packed in water rather than oil or broth. To significantly cut down a dog’s salt consumption, drain and rinse canned carrots in water before feeding them to the dog.

Can Dogs Eat Carrot Greens Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat white carrots safely. Due to their vitamin A content, carrot greens are effective at boosting dogs’ eyesight. Carrot tops have high chlorophyll content that may help heal a dog’s skin and rid its body of toxins. Potassium-rich carrot greens lower dogs’ blood pressure and keep it in check. Dogs’ kidneys further benefit from the detoxifying properties of carrot greens.

Can Dogs Eat White Carrots Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat white carrots safely. There are multiple varieties that can vary in color, one of which is white, and they are all safe. White carrots make very good low-calorie treats that benefit overweight dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Carrot Muffins Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat carrot muffins safely. However, the obesity problem among dogs is on the rise. Dogs who are fed carrot muffins and other treats can gain weight and become obese. Dogs can lose their teeth due to dental disease caused by sugary foods, such as carrot muffins. Sugary foods are likely to appeal to dogs, but that does not mean they are healthy.

Can Dogs Drink Carrot Juice Safely?

Yes, dogs can enjoy carrot juice safely. A dog can benefit from moderate amounts of carrot juice since it is low in fat, encourages regular bowel movements, helps the teeth, and is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A.

Which Dog Food Brands Add Carrots to their Dog Foods?

Several dog food brands include carrots in their recipes to provide health benefits to dogs. Examples are listed below:

  1. Beneful Baked Delights Snackers Dog Treats
  2. Applaws Taste Toppers Chicken, Carrots, Apple and Quinoa Broth Wet Dog Food
  3. Beyond Chicken, Carrot & Pea Recipe Ground Entrée Wet Dog Food

Can Eating Carrots Cause Diseases in Dogs?

Yes, carrots can cause adverse health to dogs, not necessarily diseases. The common adverse reactions are listed below:

  • Puppies are prone to stomach upsets if carrots are not gradually introduced. Young dogs’ immune systems take time to develop, and they could experience gastrointestinal problems.
  • Giving a dog too many carrot treats could lead to Vitamin A toxicosis due to too much vitamin A. The dog could experience joint stiffness, GI disturbances, muscle weakness, paralysis, and long bone fractures. 
  • Raw carrots that are not thoroughly rinsed to make sure they are pesticide and herbicide-free before giving it to the dog could expose the dog to bacteria and severe illness.

Allergies: Rarely, dogs have allergic reactions to carrots. When that happens, the dog owner should immediately stop giving the dog carrots since severe allergies can lead to anaphylaxis and possible death. Hives, swelling, and breathing difficulties could lead to anaphylaxis.

Other less severe symptoms of carrots allergy are listed below:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itching
  • Skin rash
  • Gas,
  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea

To ensure a dog’s safety, owners must introduce carrots gradually and be vigilant for any reactions. Furthermore, carrots should be regarded as occasional treats and not form part of a dog’s overall diet.

Can Dogs Eat Carrots When Sick?

Yes, dogs can eat carrots when they are sick. It might be best to boil the carrots to ease the digestion process. That could avoid causing additional gastrointestinal issues.

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Carrots?

Yes, anemic dogs can eat carrots. Although carrots are very nutritious, they are very iron-rich. A dog with anemia needs iron, and the vitamin C content acts as active iron absorbers. That means the high level of vitamin C carrots contains increases the iron absorption rate.

Vitamin B9 in Carrots further benefits dogs with anemia.

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Carrots?

Yes, dogs with kidney disease can eat carrots. Carrots are a kidney-friendly superfood because they are a rich source of vitamin A, C, K, and calcium, folate, potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants. If a dog’s potassium level is at the correct level, the heart, kidney, and other systems in the dog’s body would be healthy.

Fruits like oranges and tomatoes have potassium levels high enough to cause a buildup in the blood and harm a dog’s kidneys and heart. In contrast, the potassium level in carrots is low enough to benefit dogs with kidney disease.

Can Dogs Eat Carrots to Help With Diarrhea?

Yes, dogs can eat carrots to help with diarrhea. Carrots are a good fiber source that helps regulate dogs’ bowel movements and contribute to a healthy digestive system. Adding some carrots to a dog’s diet can help to increase the firmness of its stools.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Carrots?

Yes, a nursing dog can eat carrots. However, it might not be the best choice for a treat.

Carrots are very low in calories, protein and fat, but high in fiber. Carrot treats will make the nursing mamma dog feel full and turn away from her regular food. That is not good because nursing dogs need high-calorie food packed with protein to help her body produce milk for their puppies.

What Else can Dogs Eat Together with Carrots?

Some of the people’s food that is often shared with dogs are listed below:

  • Peanut Butter: Regular peanut butter is safe to give your dog together with a carrot treat. However, reading the label on the container is crucial. Low-sugar or sugar-free peanut butter typically contains Xylitol, a sugar substitute that is toxic for dogs.
  • Parsnips: Adding parsnips to a dog’s carrot treat is safe. It contains vitamins B6 and C, along with potassium and folic acid. Parsnips benefit dogs’ metabolism, nervous system, kidney function and benefit dogs with kidney disease. 
  • Milk: Many dogs can consume milk in small amounts safely. Some dogs are lactose-intolerant, which means their bodies are not able to metabolize lactose.
  • Honey: Although it is safe to give dogs small honey treats, it is unsafe to give them raw honey because it could expose them to botulism spores. Dogs can eat honey safely.

What are the Dog Food Recipes Containing Carrots?

  • Frozen Carrot Treat: Make a pureed carrot mixture in a blender, pour it into an ice cube tray or Kong, and freeze for an easy and long-lasting cold treat. A carrot and peanut butter mixture is also a tasty carrot treat for dogs who love peanut butter.
  • Carrot Doggy Biscuits: Make carrot dog treats by adding 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 2 eggs, and a 4.25-ounce jar of carrot baby food to 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour. With a cookie cutter, cut the dough into bone shapes after kneading it together. After baking at 325°F for 25 minutes, cool the treats before serving.
  • Smoothies: Puree carrots and blueberries, bananas, strawberries, or other dog-friendly fruit and blend it with plain Greek yogurt. Serve as a special dog treat smoothie or freeze it in ice trays or popsicle molds.
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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.