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Health & Wellness

Can dogs eat carrots?

Yes (but keep a close eye on your pup as they snack).

You’ve placed a bag of carrots on the table for your mid-afternoon snack, but by the time you settle down to eat, you notice someone has beat you to it. While you were grabbing water, your pup managed to snag a stick and is proudly chomping away. Now you're wondering, are carrots healthy for your pup or are they off-limits? Here’s what you need to know to decide.

(Even though carrots are generally safe for your pet, always consult your vet before introducing a new food item to their diet.)

Are carrots good for dogs?

Carrots are low in calories and high in vitamins, making them a snack that probably won’t cause your dog to put on the pounds. But don't expect carrots to change your dog's health significantly. While the following benefits are great to incorporate into your pup's diet, occasional bites here and there aren't enough to drastically improve their well-being:

• Vitamin A: promotes vision, dental, coat and skin health
• Vitamin K: aids in blood health
• Vitamin C: promotes healthy aging, boosts energy and supports the immune system
• Potassium: boosts energy and maintains nerve and muscle health

Are you looking for a new chew toy for your pup? Look no further than carrots. Their shape and texture are very similar to dog bones, so you can affordably encourage natural chewing behavior. Plus, the chances of carrots damaging your dog’s teeth are lower than the average bone.

Can I give my dog carrots as a treat?

While carrots aren’t bad for dogs, it’s not a snack you should let your pup chew while they’re alone. Eating carrots requires lots of chewing, making them a potential choking hazard to be cautious of.

If you think your dog is choking, look out for pawing at their mouth, gagging or retching, coughing, turning blue, silence or collapsing. When a dog is choking, it’s important to act fast. Swipe their throat using your finger, perform the Heimlich maneuver or do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Read our article to learn how to act fast in emergency choking situations.

RELATED: Can dogs eat celery?

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How to serve your dog carrots

Treats, including carrots, should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s total daily calories. Your veterinarian can help you determine proper portions based on your dog’s specific needs.

With your vet’s OK, you can feel good about sharing carrots with your dog. Whether it’s giving your dog a carrot as a treat, mixing it in their food or cooking a carrot-based, dog-friendly recipe, there are several ways your pup can safely enjoy this vegetable.

Happy snacking

Now that we’ve confirmed that carrots are a safe (and delicious) snack for your dog, the next step is to run, no, sprint to the grocery store to purchase some carrots for your pup.

And we’re confident that carrots aren’t the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series “Can dogs eat ... ?” to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what’s fair game.

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