Can Dogs Eat Carrots? Here’s What To Know


Can Dogs Eat Carrots? Here’s What To Know

They’re a healthy treat for dogs, just make sure the pieces aren’t too big. brendan-howard-headshot
brendan-howard-headshot By Brendan Howard Medically Reviewed by Jenna Stregowski, RVT Updated April 05, 2023 Medically Reviewed by Jenna Stregowski, RVT Advertisement Pin FB More Tweet Email Send Text Message Print

In a world full of artificial foods, it's nice that we can say, yes, dogs can eat carrots—and they're good for them, too! Even the green, leafy part we humans skip.

Whether your dogs eat carrots, of course, is another question.

"Some dogs really like them, some don't seem to," says Ahna Brutlag, DVM and director of veterinary services and senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline, which answers potential poisoning questions for veterinarians and pet owners. 

Here's what else you should know about carrots for dogs:

Why Are Carrots Good for Dogs?

Carrots have well-known vitamins and nutrients, like beta-carotene which gives the carrot its color and is converted into vitamin A, which is good for the eyes. They don't contain many calories, either.

Other healthy fruits and vegetables that dogs can eat include apples, peas (avoid canned), green beans, and broccoli. "Some dogs even like lettuce," Brutlag says, with a few really falling in love with that crunchy spine in a romaine leaf.

RELATED: Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Here's What a Vet Says

french bulldog eating a carrot
french bulldog eating a carrot Credit: Andreea Mihaela Rosca / Getty

How Can Dogs Have Carrots?

Carrots can be served raw, dehydrated, or frozen, as long as they're not too hard on the teeth and not a choking hazard. Dogs can eat cooked carrots, too, just as long as they aren't seasoned with anything toxic like onions or garlic.  

If you're wondering how many carrots your dog should eat, start small with a cut-up baby carrot. Carrots are relatively low-calorie, but if your dog isn't used to high amounts of fiber, there's a chance that too many carrots too fast might give a dog an upset stomach and diarrhea. 

If your dog can't get enough of this vegetable, consider putting slices in a food-dispensing toy and letting him spend some time (and energy) fishing out his favorite food.

RELATED: Is Rosemary Safe for Dogs?

Of course, make sure the carrots you're feeding your dog aren't too big.

"Baby carrots are a perfect size to get stuck in the esophagus of a 20-pound dog like a Pomeranian or shih tzu," Brutlag says.

A larger dog who eats quickly could try to wolf down an entire carrot without chewing it and possibly choke. The safer option is to cut the carrots into slices or smaller pieces. 

If you're considering carrots as a substitute for fattier, higher-calorie treats, or are concerned about how your dog will react to this orange treat, ask your veterinarian about the best course of action. And be sure that carrots and other treats make up no more than 10 percent of your dog's daily calories.

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