Kitsune LOVES carrots! Regulars to my blog will know that I also have a 9 year old rabbit, Barnaby. Despite what cartoons might teach you, not all rabbits are obsessed with carrots. Barnaby likes them, but I've had rabbits in the past who didn't. I don't feed Barnaby carrots often at all - maybe a couple times a month if that. Even so, Kitsune and I developed a little routine surrounding Barnaby's dinner time and carrots.
Every night Barnaby gets a big bowl of fresh greens for dinner. Kitsune learned Barnaby's dinner time so well that if I'm late going to the kitchen to prepare it, Kit will start barking at me. The reason he gets so excited for Barnaby's dinner, I'm sure, is because he loves trying to steal greens out of Barnaby's bowl. At some point, years ago now, I started giving Kitsune a single baby carrot as I was preparing Barnaby's meal. Kit noming on his nightly carrot gives me time to finish preparing Barnaby's meal without being pestered the entire time.
My 7 month old puppy, Fenrir, seems to think of carrots more as toys. He occasionally eat one, but most of the time he just likes to throw them around the kitchen!
Are Carrots Safe to Feed Dogs?
Yup! If they weren't, I think Kitsune would be dead by now. If your dog is diabetic or requires a special diet, keep in mind that carrots are high in natural sugars.
Many owners, myself included, feed carrots raw. That's actually not the best way to feed them if you are feeding carrots strictly for their health benefits. Dogs aren't able to fully digest raw carrots - meaning that most of the awesome nutrients pass right through your dog if you are only feeding carrots raw. To break down the carrots' cell walls, and make their nutrients more available for your dog to absorb, you can puree or cook carrots before offering them to Fido.
What are the Benefits of Feeding Dogs Carrots?
For me, one of the major benefits of feeding Kitsune carrots is that he loves them so much! Raw carrots, although perhaps not the best supplement nutritionally for reasons stated above, may help to keep your dog's teeth clean. They shouldn't replace proper dental care by any means, but, like chewing on bones, may help to remove plaque from your dog's teeth.
Like in humans, carrots can help support your dog's eye health. This is because they are packed full of beta-carotene as well as vitamin A. Besides eye health, vitamin A can help build a strong immune system, and support healthy skin and fur. Carrots also contain vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1, and B6.
Cooked or raw, carrots are low in calories. This makes them, in moderation, great snacks for dogs who are watching their weight.
If you are unsure about whether a certain food is ok for your particular dog, make sure to ask your vet! As always, treat foods should be fed to dogs in moderation.
This post is a part of the 2016 Blogging from A to Z challenge! You can learn more about our challenge theme here.