Benefits of Carrots for Dogs
Carrots have a few benefits for our canine companions. However, I don’t rely on carrots to meet nutrient requirements for dogs. I look at this vegetable as an addition to a meal. Two benefits of feeding carrots are for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties these vegetables contain.
“Carrot is a root vegetable with carotenoids, polyacetylenes, vitamins, and minerals, all of which possess numerous nutritional and health benefits. Besides lending truth to the adage that carrots are good for eyes, carotenoids, polyphenols, and vitamins present in carrot act as antioxidants, anti-carcinogens, and immuno-enhancers. Anti-diabetic, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease lowering, anti-hypertensive, renoprotective, and wound healing benefits of carrot have also been reported” (1).
Carrots mostly contain potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A, and fiber. It’s important not to over-feed carrots if you’re also feeding other ingredients that are high in Vitamin A, such as beef liver.
Different colors of carrots provide different phytochemicals:
Orange carrots: Beta carotene (high amount)
Yellow carrots: Lutein
Purple carrots: Anthocyanins
Phytochemicals are the “bio-active non-nutrient plant compounds in fruit, vegetables, grains, and other plant foods—have been linked to reductions in the risk of major chronic diseases” (2).
I highly recommend that carrots (and all vegetables for that matter) be COOKED. Boiled and blended is the best method for making sure your dog benefits from the nutrient’s carrots provide Cooking provides higher antioxidant levels than raw carrots. Boiling carrots also makes the bio-availability and digestion process much easier. I don’t like to recommend feeding raw carrots because this makes digestion more difficult, or it comes out undigested, for a lot of dogs.
1) Da Silva Dias, J. (2014) Nutritional and Health Benefits of Carrots and Their Seed Extracts. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 2147-2156.
2) 3) The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 78, Issue 3, September 2003, Pages 517S–520S
3) Ahmad T, Cawood M, Iqbal Q, Ariño A, Batool A, Tariq RMS, Azam M, Akhtar S.
Phytochemicals in Daucus carota and Their Health Benefits-Review Article. Foods.
2019 Sep 19;8(9). pii: E424. doi: 10.3390/foods8090424. Review. PubMed PMID:
31546950; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6770766.