Dogs represent, by far, the most loyal animals and man’s true best friend. Ever since the ancient times, dogs have helped humans in a series of activities, including hunting.
Moreover, dogs are known to help people become more patient and calm, help them achieve better social skills, lose weight and even help them recover better after surgeries. In fact, dogs represent the best companion for children because they can help temper them down, teach them about responsibilities, help them with behavioral problems, including timidity, coyness, and even autism or depression.
Raising a dog will teach you a lot about responsibilities, discipline and feelings. It will also help you understand that, once a life truly and fully depends on you, you are willing to make sacrifices and everything you can to ensure your companion a good life. This includes a balanced diet and exercising regime, as well as tons of affection, love, walks, fresh water and a good night shelter.
However, one of the most important aspects to ensure your dog lives a long and happy life is a good alimentation. Sure, dog foods usually supply for most of your dog’s needs in terms of vitamins and nutrients, but do not forget that your dog will mostly crave what you have. This is why it is important to know which foods to supply him with and which to avoid.
What are carrots?
Carrots represent one of the most widely spread vegetables throughout the world. They are rich in vitamins like A, B1, B6, C, D, E and K, as well as in minerals. They are known to provide you with better eye vision and ensure you a strong immune system, while also fighting against free radicals and oxidants.
Moreover, they are perfect low calorie snacks and can help you achieve strong teeth as well. Similar principles apply to your dog as well – carrots represent some of the best snacks for your canine friend.
Can your dog eat carrots?
The answer to this question is an absolute yes. While there are some foods that are not recommended for dogs – including chocolate or sweets, even tomatoes (see why tomatoes are not safe for dogs here), there is no reason why you should not give your dog a healthy snack.
However, they are rich in carbohydrates also, meaning that too many carrots could actually damage your dog’s health. But, in the end, everything in excess is harmful, while moderation remains the best policy in all domains.
How to give your dog carrots?
As previously mentioned carrots represent healthy snacks. They are extremely beneficial, because they are packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, improving your dog’s overall health, strengthening his teeth and ensuring him a good vision – both during the day and during the night.
However, just like any other fresh fruit or many veggies, raw carrots contain natural amounts of sugar, meaning that it would be best to ask your vet first before feeding your dog carrots if he suffers from diabetes or obesity.
In order to prevent hazard, it is best to feed your dog baby carrots. If you do not have baby carrots, try chopping the regular ones in a few smaller pieces. This will prevent your dog from chocking, and will also give him enough stability in his teeth to chew the carrot piece and improve his dentistry.
You can also feed your dog with carrot juice, but in moderation. Do not add sugar or spices on it, and this piece of advice is also suitable for those considering offering their dogs cooked carrots. Spices, just like sugar and salt in excess, are harmful for your dog, who can later on suffer from gases, upset stomach, cramps, or more complicated health issues.
Also, bear in mind that your dog is primarily a carnivorous being, meaning he might find it difficult, at times, to digest any type of vegetables, including carrots. This should not discourage you. You can also read our article on dogs and lettuce.
On the contrary, try mixing raw, fresh carrots with some of his favorite foods in order to ensure him a healthy and tasteful snack. Simply mix some raw carrot pieces with pieces of chicken breast, beef meat, or even frozen berries, if your dog likes them.
Frozen baby carrots are perfect snacks for teething pups, because will feel good on their gums and will help them relieve some of the teeth growing pain.
Best reasons to feed your dog carrots
- Beta-carotene – This precursor of vitamin A is an excellent natural antioxidant which will improve your dog’s day and night vision. High levels of beta carotene, regularly ingested, will also prevent your dog from plenty of visual problems, including cataracts, dry eyes and more complicated health issues. However, bear in mind that carrots contain a natural cellulose barrier that dogs cannot digest, so, in order to ensure all their nutritious elements and benefits, carrots must be cooked.
- Fibers – Carrots also represent an important source of soluble fibers. In fact, about 3 oz of carrots (or the equivalent of about 9 baby carrots) contain 2 grams of fiber. Feed your dogs regularly with the right amount of carrots and you will prevent any digestive problems, including loose stools or diarrhea. However, make sure to also provide him with sufficient fresh water to assist the fibers’ circuit through the digestive system.
- Low fat – Because the low amount of calories, carrots represent one of the healthiest snacks for dogs. A single baby carrot does not contain more than 4 calories, meaning they are safe to feed your pooch with regularity.
Some dog breeds like bulldogs or pugs have a tendency of becoming overweight and even obese, due to their rather sedentary personalities. Under these circumstances, it is best to assist your dog with a balanced diet and loads of physical training. Baby carrots can represent the perfect snacks for these breeds, so you might want to take them into consideration.
Every dog owner knows that the best and most efficient training system is the rewarding one. Basically, each time your dog follows your lead or do as you command, he will receive a sweet treat. Although there are numerous brands offering dog-specific rewards like dog cookies or chewing sticks, this does not mean they are the best ones.
Due to their large intake of sugars or salts, many conventional dog treats will often lead to obesity or health problems. Help your dog stay fit and rewards him with healthy and low calorie foods. Carrots represent a healthy, low calorie snack, perfect for your reward system.
No matter what type of dog breed you own, taking care of his diet is crucial. A healthy diet dubbed by enough physical exercising and love are the key to a long lasting life of your pup.
Thus, do not avoid including as many fresh fruits and veggies in your dog’s diet and cut on the puppy specific food. Dry food bought from the pet shop would suffice, but introducing a variety of ingredients in your dog’s dietary plan will determine your dog to be healthier and more active.
Carrots represent one of those treats that can be easily digested by dogs and, thus, should meet their diet at least a few times a week. However, moderation is requested for all dog foods.