Can Dogs Eat Carrots?

PetMD Editorial
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PetMD Editorial
Published: August 30, 2022
Can Dogs Eat Carrots?

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NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be okay for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.

If you’re looking for a healthy, simple, affordable treat that your dog will probably love, carrots are the answer! Carrots are both safe and healthy for dogs, and most canines absolutely love them. Check out the health benefits and proper feeding portions below. 

Are Carrots Good for Dogs?

Carrots are a safe and healthy treat for both puppies and adult dogs, as long as they are cut up into ¼-inch thick slices. And as with any treat, moderation is key. 

Carrots promote eye health in dogs and humans, and the crunchiness is great for satisfying a dog’s primal urge to chew. It’s a low-calorie snack, plus your dog can benefit from these vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in carrots:

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin K

  • Potassium

  • Vitamin B6

  • Beta-carotene

  • Calcium

  • Iron

  • High in fiber

Carrots have a significant amount of insoluble fiber, which can help regulate stool, and the vitamin A and antioxidants can help improve the skin and coat.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Carrots?

Yes, dogs can eat raw carrots. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse them, and cut them into bite-size slices. 

If you allow your dog to eat an entire large carrot, it could become a choking hazard, or even lead to an intestinal blockage

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Carrots?

Dogs can eat cooked carrots, too. In fact, while some vegetables have more nutrients in their raw state, carrots provide more nutrients when cooked.

It’s important that the carrot isn’t too hot for your dog, or it could burn their mouth. And make sure to cut the cooked carrots into small, bite-size slices.

If you’re planning on feeding cooked carrots to your dog, don’t add any butter, oils, fats, seasonings, or spices. These are all unhealthy additions for your dog. And beware that garlic and onion are toxic to dogs. 

Can Dogs Eat Frozen Carrots?

Frozen carrots are not good treat options for your pup. These pieces are choking hazards and can also damage a dog’s teeth.  

Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake?

Sorry, but carrot cake for your dog is a no-no. The amount of sugar is way too much for them to handle, and they may get an upset stomach. There could also be ingredients in the carrot cake that are toxic to dogs, like xylitol or nutmeg.

Can Carrots Be Bad for Dogs?

Carrots in general are not bad for healthy dogs. However, they do contain a lot of sugar, so you should not give them to dogs with diabetes or dogs that are obese. Also, it is possible for a large piece of carrot to become a choking hazard or intestinal blockage. 

Also, keep in mind that dogs can be sensitive to certain foods that they haven’t had before. Food sensitivities show up as vomiting or diarrhea in dogs.

How Many Carrots Can Dogs Eat?

Even though carrots are quite healthy, your dog should only eat them in moderation. In fact, any treats you feed your dog should only make up 10% of their diet. The other 90% should come from a well-balanced dog food diet

We’ve listed some general guidelines below for safe feeding portions based on your dog’s weight and breed size. Each carrot slice should be about 1/4-inch thick.

  • Extra-small dog (2-20 lbs.) = 1-2 carrot slices

    • Examples: Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Pugs, Shih Tzus

  • Small dog (21-30 lbs.) = 2-3 carrot slices

    • Examples: Basenjis, Beagles, Miniature Australian Shepherds

  • Medium dog (31-50 lbs.) = 5-6 carrot slices 

    • Examples: Basset Hounds, Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs, Siberian Huskies

  • Large dog (51-90 lbs.) = handful of carrot slices

    • Examples: Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds

  • Extra-large dog (91+ lbs.) = large handful of carrot slices

    • Examples: Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards, Great Pyrenees

If your dog accidentally eats too many carrots, keep an eye out for the following symptoms of an upset stomach. Contact your veterinarian right away if your dog:

  • Has decreased appetite or loss of appetite

  • Has fatigue

  • Seems depressed

  • Looks uncomfortable

  • Is gulping or licking their lips, the air, or objects 

If you notice any of these more serious symptoms, call your veterinarian and take your dog to the vet immediately

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Carrots

Always thoroughly wash carrots before cutting and/or cooking them. You can feed them to your dog raw or you can boil, steam, bake, or grill them. Just make sure they are cut into small pieces, completely plain—no butters, oils, or seasonings, and not too hot for your dog to eat. 

Here are some ways to feed carrots to your dog:

  • Cut raw carrots into small slices and give them to your dog as treats, or add them to your dog’s food bowl.

  • Cook small carrot pieces to give your dog as a treat.

  • Mix some cooked carrots pieces with cooked rice or other dog-safe cooked vegetables like green beans, potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes, celery, or broccoli.

  • Blend up some cooked carrots, allow the mixture to cool, and stuff it into your dog’s KONG toy.

Featured Image: iStock.com/miodrag ignjatovic


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