Yes, your dog can eat carrots! Carrots are affordable and beneficial additions to your dog’s diet. Low in calories, they are crunchy and sweet, and most dogs really like them.
Carrots Are Packed with Nutrients
They are loaded with beta-carotenes, antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K (needed for blood clotting), as well as potassium. They are an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, most of the B vitamins and phosphorus, which is required for energy production, among other things. Carrots are also a good source of lutein, important for eye heath.
Caveats: Carrots contain a lot of fiber, so introduce them slowly. Also, organic carrots are best; while they’re not on the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” list, as root vegetables, they can have a high pesticide residue. (For more on produce pesticide loads, take a look at the EWG’s 2020 shopper’s guide.)
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How to Add Carrots to Your Dog’s Diet
For rewarding good behavior, you can feed your dog raw carrots cut into sticks or thin disk shapes. For a mealtime boost, grate raw carrots and add them as a topper or lightly steam them in chicken broth to make them doubly tasty.
No Peeling Required
Be sure to wash carrots before using, and if you buy organic, there’s no need to peel them; the skin is as healthy as the rest of the vegetable. Carrot greens are loaded with nutrients, but you’ll need to chop them fine to mask their earthy flavor, which not all dogs like.
Quick Tips: Use a small piece of a carrot to cork a stuffed Kong. You can also add grated carrots to any of your favorite dog treat recipes.
Simple Carrot Treat Recipe
Preheat oven to 350º and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
- 8 oz. carrots, washed and unpeeled
- 2 tbsp. peanut butter
- 6 oz. (1½ cups) whole wheat or oat flour (or a mixture of flours)*
- Optional: 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
*It is best to use a kitchen scale for dry measurements. Depending on the type of flour you use, 6 oz. may or may not equal 1½ dry measuring cups.
1: Coarsely chop carrots, then steam until very soft. Cool slightly and mash or puree in a food processor. Reserve the steaming water.
2: Add the peanut butter and optional honey/maple syrup, then pulse or mix again.
3: Add the flour a little a time, pulsing or mixing until all the flour is absorbed. You can add some of the reserved steaming water if the dough is too dry, or add more flour if it is too wet.
4: Gather the dough into a disk, cover with plastic and chill in fridge for at least one hour.
5: Remove the chilled dough, divide into three equal sections and shape each section into a log (as if you were playing with clay). Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking. For larger cookies, make 2" dough logs; for smaller, about 1" is best.
6: To make them easier to slice, chill the logs in the freezer for 30 minutes; the larger size will take longer. (No need to cover with plastic.)
7: Thinly slice the chilled logs into individual cookies about ¼" thick.
8: Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
Place on rack until cool. Treats may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, and they can also be frozen.
Yield: Approximately 100 small treats
Calorie Count: Estimated 7.7 Kcal/treat