Steamed, cooked or raw: the benefits of carrots for your dog
Ever wondered about what carrots are doing for you - or more importantly, your pet? In their raw or cooked form, carrots provide an excellent, nutritious snack for your pups (when served in bite-size chunks to avoid a choking hazard). Cooking - including lightly steaming - this tasty orange vegetable allows you to reap the full nutritional benefits for your pet.
So what are the top benefits of including carrots in your dog’s diet? An excellent source of potassium, vitamin A, fibre, beta-carotene (and more), carrots are a su-paw source of all-round goodness. Read on for more about the benefits of carrots...
1. Immune system support
Full of antioxidants including beta-carotene and vitamin C, carrots are a great food to help promote a healthy immune system in dogs. Vitamin C is great for bone and joint health and supporting the immune system, as well as being a powerful antioxidant which reduces inflammation and supports healthy ageing.
2. Improved vision
With their high levels of beta-carotene (which is converted by the body into vitamin A), carrots are great for your dog’s vision - vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy eyesight.
Not to mention, they also contain lutein - an antioxidant and carotenoid integral to dog eye health.
3. Dental benefits
Carrots - a tasty (and cheap) chew toy - can help boost your dog’s dental health. Chewing on a raw frozen carrot can help to clean their teeth, preventing the buildup of plaque and tartar. To fully absorb all the nutritious value, however, it’s best to cook or lightly steam carrots before serving them to your pup.
4. Don't forget digestion!
With high levels of both soluble and insoluble fibre, carrots bring a heap of benefits to your dog’s digestive system. Insoluble fibre is helpful for pups suffering from constipation - instead of dissolving in water, it draws water into the intestines which can help to soften stools. Soluble fibre, on the other hand, such as the pectin in carrots, dissolves in water, creating a gel that slows digestion, firms up stools and helps manage blood glucose. It is also often fermented by the gut bacteria into fatty acids which help to protect the gut lining and prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.
The list goes on!
Carrots are also a great source of lycopene (which can prevent damage from free radicals), anthocyanins (an important nutrient which helps protect the heart, memory and more) and magnesium (a helpful aid for bowel movements and improving issues with constipation). In short, carrots offer a huge spectrum of benefits - making them a paw-fect addition to your pet’s diet.
Looking for ways to introduce carrot? Check out these Smack offerings:
As with any food, too much carrot could cause issues for your pet. Start with small quantities, and always consult your veterinarian with any concerns or questions.