Proper feeding of a dog is the first of the five animal welfare freedoms and it is our duty to avoid starvation or malnutrition. Therefore, when we adopt a dog or have been living with it for some time, it is the responsibility of the owner to learn about the vitamins and nutrients that your dog’s body needs to stay healthy, strong and happy. At this point, many have come to see if they can consume certain fruits, vegetables, or other foods intended for human consumption.
One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to homemade diets is whether a dog can eat carrots or not, and, if so, what is the best way to give it.
Is it unhealthy to give a carrot to your dog?
As you may have guessed, carrots are good for dogs, so you can easily offer them to your furry companion. This is due to the type of starch that makes it up, with a high percentage of amylopectin, which is considered an easily digestible substance for a dog, as opposed to what happens to other foods, such as some grains, that have a digestive index. Carrots took part in the list of healthy food, fruits and vegetables that are recommended for dogs, not only because of its simple and fast assimilation, but also because of the many benefits they bring to your body. In addition of the text we explain the composition of this product.
Nutritional composition in 100 g carrots
Department of Agriculture of the United States of America, claims that in 100 grams of raw carrots contain the following composition:
• Energy: 41 Kcal
• Water: 88, 29 g
• Protein: 0, 93 g
• Fat: 0, 24 g
• Carbohydrates: 9, 58 g
• Total fiber: 2, 8 g
• Total sugars: 4, 74 g
• Calcium: 33 mg
• Iron: 0, 30 mg
• Magnesium: 12 mg
• Phosphorus: 35 mg
• Potassium: 320 mg
• Sodium: 69 mg
• Zinc: 0.24 mg
• Vitamin C: 5.9 mg
• Total vitamin B: 20, 2 mg
• Vitamin A: 835
• Vitamin E: 0.66 mg
• Vitamin K: 13.2 mg
• Total saturated fatty acids: 0, 037 g
• Total monounsaturated fatty acids: 0, 014
• Total polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0, 111
Properties and benefits of carrots for dogs
Carrots as they have been explained in the previous section turns into endless benefits and properties for dogs, and among them stand out:
A natural source of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates give the dog a large amount of energy and, therefore, are essential in their diet. A low-carbohydrate diet affects the health of the animal, developing pathologies and disorders that can become serious. This is due to the functions of carbohydrates, which consist of the energy supply of many body tissues, as well as the heart and the central nervous system in general. In this way, they benefit cardiovascular health and prevent cancer.
Since carrots are an excellent source of carbohydrates, it is highly recommended to include them in a dog’s diet to meet these nutritional needs, provide energy, and favour heart function.
Improves the health of the dog’s eyes
It is no secret that the high contribution of carrot beta carotene benefits eye health, however, did you know that this effect also affects your dog? By digesting them, the body converts them into vitamin A and uses them to strengthen the immune system, fight cellular oxidation and improve the animal’s vision. Although there are several foods rich in this pigment, carrots are one of the best.
Carrots are very helpful in treatment of diarrhea
Thanks to the composition of carrots, this food helps patients who have diarrhea to restore the intestinal flora and return to solid stools.
Prevents the appearance of tartar
Carrots in their raw form force the dog to consume it, which in translation means natural cleaning of the teeth, allowing him to delay the appearance of tartar and benefit his dental health. In this way, by occasionally providing a piece of raw carrot, we not only contribute extra energy and generally promote your health, but also prevent the development of serious oral diseases.
Perfect for obese dogs
If it contains such a low percentage of fat and calories, carrots are an ideal food to include in an overweight dog’s diet because, in addition to regulating intestinal transit, they will satisfy your appetite in a 100% natural way.
How to give a carrot to a dog?
Due to the absence of salivary amylase enzymes in the dog, this presents greater difficulties in making better use of the energy provided by carbohydrates. However, thanks to the quality of animal feed, it uses the energy of animal proteins without any difficulties. To ensure that you can take full advantage of the carbohydrates offered by carrots, as well as other properties and benefits, it is obvious to ask the following question:
Which is more healthy: Raw or boiled carrots for dogs?
When cooking foods like plants and grains in boiling water what we get is to makemuch better use of the starch that makes up these foods, thus preventing the digestion and fermentation of raw starch in the colon, causing bloating and resulting health problems. So, although raw carrots are easily digested and assimilated for the dog, by providing cooked we manage to ensure that fact. This way we can say that raw carrots are good for dogs, but cooked carrots are better. Remember to always remove the stem and skin before cooking or giving to the dog.
The same procedure is further improved in other foods such as potatoes and corn which have a high degree of indigestion in the dog in its raw form and significant benefits when cooked.
Can it be mixed with other foods?
It can be given boiled and in turn combined with half-cooked or boiled meat and fish, boiled rice, or other vegetables. In such cases, the amount of each recommended food should be respected depending on the weight of the dog, with an average of about 120 grams of meat, 30 grams of cereals, and 20 grams of vegetables for every 10 kilograms of dog weight. It should be noted that grams of grains and vegetables can be adapted and exchanged to offer a varied and complete diet.
Mixing natural foods with commercial foods is not recommended as both foods have completely different digestive processes and, therefore, can produce inadequate fermentation. That way, we conclude, you can mix carrots with other natural foods, but not with animal feed or industrial dog food.
How often to give dog carrots?
Although carrots are full of benefits for the dog’s body, it is also true that not all dogs tolerate all foods in the same way. In this way, we recommend that you try a small amount and observe how the animal reacts. If your body responds positively, we can increase the amount to the above recommended maximum daily grams (about 20 grams). Also, to ensure a varied and complete diet, we recommend trying to combine different vegetables and fruits throughout the week so that carrots are offered from time to time and not every day unless your veterinarian determines,
Can it be used as a reward?
Carrots are the perfect snack for your dog. Of course, if you plan to use it daily, remember to do it in small amounts and combine it with other natural snacks.
Can puppies eat carrots?
In fact, because of the amount of calcium and carbohydrates that make up this product, carrots are the perfect natural food for puppies. Of course, as animals that are in full development and whose teeth are still in the process of forming, we recommend that you offer them boiled and chopped carrots, to facilitate chewing and later digestion.
On the other hand, carrot pieces can also be a great reward when starting a puppy’s education as they will be able to keep it stimulated while offering a product full of benefits to your body. When we reach adulthood, we can start offering raw pieces of carrot, following the parameters of the previous section.