Food

Superfoods for Pets: Carrots

Carrots for pets

When it comes to nutritional ‘bang for your buck,’ carrots are hard to beat.  According to The Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents of GRAS Herbs and Other Economic Plants, by James Duke, Carrots contain over 200 known nutrients and phytonutrients!  Dogs love their natural sweetness and crunch, plus they’re loaded with vitamin C and K and other important nutrients like potassium, iron, and manganese as well as beta-carotene, which gives them their distinctive orange color. Whether used in food or as treats, feeding your pet carrots makes a lot of sense if you want them to keep healthy and happy.

Low calorie, high fiber

Carrots for pets

Carrots are a nutritious snack that won’t make your pet fat. They are low calorie but high in fiber (and thus filling), making them the perfect natural treat to feed your dog between meals. Carrots are a healthy alternative to many commercially available biscuits or dog treats. As an added benefit, the fiber in carrots helps your pet maintain good digestive health and boosts heart health.  

An excellent source of Vitamin A

Carrots for pets

Carrots are packed with beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in your pet’s body. Vitamin A can help improve your pet’s eyesight and is important for growth, development and a healthy immune system. It also has benefits for the livers, kidneys, and lungs, keeping the organs functioning properly and warding off disease.   

Carrots can help improve your dog’s dental health

Carrots for pets

As a bonus, giving your dog a raw carrot to chew on is an easy way to help improve his dental hygiene. Chomping on a carrot can help prevent plaque buildup by gently scraping your dog’s teeth. Though chewing on a large carrot stick is like a natural chew toy for dogs, keep an eye on your dog while he chows down, to ensure he doesn’t choke on the root vegetable.

While raw carrots are safe to feed dogs, you’ll want to make sure to steam or cook them before feeding them to your cat, as raw carrots can be difficult for cats to chew.   

Serving carrot to your pet

Carrots are a nutritious supplement to feed both cats and dogs. For small dogs and cats, it’s best to cut them up into bite-sized pieces, so they don’t pose a choking hazard.

As always, talk to your vet about using carrots as part of your pet’s diet or as a treat.

Carrots in Commercially Available Pet Food

Carrots are a very common ingredient in pet food. We did a search in the Petnet pet food database and found that carrots are in 49% of dog foods and 32% of cat foods.  Below is a sampling of foods that include carrots in their recipes.

Dry Triumph Chicken Rice and Sweet Potato          Cat All life stages

Dry Castor & Pollux Beef, Barley and Carrots Entree      Dog Adult

Dry Merrick Classic Real Beef with Whole Barley and Carrot Dog All life stages

Dry Nutram Sound S3 Chicken & Pearled Barley with Peas &  Carrots  Dog Puppy

 

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