Dogs love eating carrots because of their crunchy texture and sweet, juicy interior. Because carrots are healthy, you might be tempted to let your dog eat as many as possible. But is it safe? How many carrots should a dog eat daily to maintain a balanced diet?
Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Being a new pet owner can be difficult; the same can be said for starting your dog on a new diet. When planning a diet for a dog, especially one with special needs, you might ask whether dogs can eat carrots. The answer is- they can. Carrots are a healthy snack full of beneficial vitamins.
Your dog might also love eating carrots because they are fun and beneficial for their teeth. From time to time, you can include either regular carrots or purple carrots in your dog’s diet. Both are highly nutritious and make great low-calorie food for overweight dogs.
How Many Carrots Are Safe For Dogs?
You have no doubt heard that carrots are good for your dog’s eyes and because you want your pet to be healthy, you may want to let them eat as much as possible. However, you should remember the 10% rule when feeding them.
The rule dictates that dog treats should only make up 10% of their caloric intake, with the rest supplemented by healthy dog food. Carrots fall under this sphere, and you need to take caution when feeding them to your dog.
A normal-sized dog can eat around one carrot a day or 2-3 baby carrots, although this can vary depending on your dog and carrot size. You don’t have to give them a full carrot; you can give them a few slices a day to be on the safe side. You should also ensure they don’t choke on the veggie by cutting it into bite-size pieces.
If you don’t know how much exactly is safe for them, you can ask your vet. They can plan your pup’s nutritional intake and create a balanced diet for them.
How Many Carrots Are Too Many?
Moderation is necessary to ensure your dog stays within their recommended diet. Depending on the carrot size, giving a regular-sized dog three or four carrots a day can be too much.
Because they contain some sugar, eating too many carrots can cause stomach upset and obesity. This can lead to diarrhea and pain, undermining the benefits they would have gotten from the vegetable.
Overeating carrots can also cause carotenemia because of beta-carotene. One carrot contains around 4 mg of beta-carotene. A high amount of the compound’s deposition in your dog’s blood can change their skin color.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Carrots?
They can eat raw carrots as they have nutritional benefits, and cooking doesn’t take them away. You still have to watch out for choking and ensure your pup doesn’t choke on a large piece of carrot.
You can give your dog raw carrots every day as a tasty snack and use it as a training reward. Wash them thoroughly, especially if you get them straight from the garden or the grocers. Unwashed carrots might contain some of the parasites in the soil, leading to stomach upsets.
If you have young puppies, you can start giving them raw carrots as early as eight weeks. A puppy can safely eat one baby carrot or half of a regular-sized carrot a day, provided you take the necessary measures before feeding them (it is safer for puppies to eat boiled carrots as they are gentler on their teeth).
Raw carrots can also be good for cleaning your dog’s teeth. Because of their texture, chewing on the carrots helps remove residual food pieces. It also clears plaque from their teeth’s surface, leaving your dog with clean and healthy gums.
On the other hand, dogs with pancreatitis should not eat raw carrots. The raw juice or raw carrots can lead to stomach upset. It is important to check with your vet to see whether your dog can eat raw carrots if they have any underlying health conditions.
Disadvantages Of Carrots
Before you start feeding your pooch carrots, you must first know the possible disadvantages. For example, some dogs are allergic to carrots and might break out in hives after eating them.
Knowing the disadvantages to look out for can help you decide whether you want to give your dog this snack or not.
The disadvantages of carrots include:
- High sugar content
- Unsafe for puppies
- Causes carotenemia
- Changes in breast milk flavor for puppies
- Choking hazard
So, how many carrots can you feed your dog? Observe the 10% rule when giving your dog snacks or treats, even carrots. Giving your furry friend around two or three baby carrots a day is more than enough, and don’t make it an everyday thing.
Do not let them overeat the veggies no matter how much they seem to love them. Eating too many carrots can lead to multiple complications. Your pooch’s health should always come first!