We’ve previously reviewed which foods you shouldn’t feed your dog, but there are many ‘human’ foods that are really beneficial to your pets. James Wellbeloved choose ingredients inspired by nature in our pet food, ensuring your pet receives all the nutrients they require to thrive. An example of one of these ingredients is carrots. Here at James Wellbeloved, we include carrots in a variety of our dry diets.
Are carrots good for dogs?
Carrots are a nutritious food for humans and dogs alike. These root vegetables are a great source of dietary fibre, protein and some essential vitamins. Not only that, carrots are relatively low in calories compared to commercially available treats so are often used as treats.
So what nutritional benefits do carrots really give to our dogs?
You’ll probably have heard it said that carrots help you see in the dark. Although this isn’t strictly true, carrots are a great source of vitamin A which is essential for the normal functioning of eyes in both humans and dogs. Beta carotene is an antioxidant which is partly metabolised into vitamin A. This antioxidant is found in carrots and is what gives them their orange colour. As a rule, the more intense the colour of the fruit or vegetable, the more beta carotene it is likely to contain. Carrots are also a source of Vitamin B6, which is really important for a lot of metabolic reactions that take place in your dog’s body.
Dietary fibre is essential for your dog to function normally – it helps to maintain a healthy intestinal tract and is vital for good stool consistency. One of the signs of a Wellbeloved dog is good stool quality which is in turn linked to the quality ingredients we include in our dog food.
The Benefits of Raw Carrots
Not only are carrots nutritionally good for your dog, but they can also benefit your dog’s health in another way. As carrots are a lovely, crunchy vegetable, if you give them to your dog in large pieces they will have to bite into them rather than swallowing them whole. This chewing mechanism helps clean your dog’s teeth and gums by removing residual food pieces and help clear plaque from tooth surfaces. Carrots can make great treats for your dog, due to their low-calorie content, especially if you need a larger quantity of treats when training. If you choose to do this, there are some important things you should remember:
- Unless you are giving your dog a whole carrot to chew on, carrots should be cut up to an appropriate size for your dog. You don’t want them so small that your dog will choke!
- Factor in your dog’s daily calorific intake so that you aren’t over feeding them. Make sure to reduce the amount of kibble you give them accordingly; Calorie-to-calorie, 100g of carrot equates to approximately 5g of James Wellbeloved food.
If your dog is overweight, courgettes are a good alternative to using commercial treats or carrots as they are even lower in calories. Alternatively, you can simply portion off some of your dog’s daily kibble allowance to use as a treat. OTHER BENEFITS OF CARROTS If you’re after a fun new chew toy for your dog, but don’t want to break the bank, a frozen carrot makes a fantastic cheap alternative to buying a new toy. Cold carrots are also great for teething puppies, so if your pup is in pain and needs something to get their new teeth into, try freezing a whole carrot for them. Again, take care not to cut the carrot up too small, as this may pose a choking hazard.