Can Puppies Eat Carrots?

As a new puppy parent, one of your biggest responsibilities is to ensure your precious puppy gets the proper nutrition to grow and mature into a healthy, happy adult dog. Today that’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds, thank goodness. There are many high-quality foods on the market made specifically for puppies. 

Surprisingly, one of the biggest challenges I hear from my readers and followers is there are so many different types of puppy food on store shelves they don’t know which one to choose. (For help, see my blog on choosing a good puppy food.)

However, another challenge you need to solve as a new puppy parent is what snacks to feed your pup. Just like their kibble, any snacks you feed your precious pooch should be nutritious and low in fat, salt, and sugar. It’s also essential you get them a snack that won’t hurt their teeth, pose a choking hazard, or possibly even cause harm to their young and immature gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

I was thinking about this subject the other day when I gave my dog one of her favorite treats; a carrot. Now, here’s the thing, she’s a full-grown dog with strong, full-grown teeth. She can handle a big, frozen carrot with barely a thought. That got me thinking about a question I often hear: Can puppies eat carrots?

The answer Is that, yes, your puppy can eat carrots, and they make a good snack. Carrots are nutritious and filled with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Carrots also make a fantastic chewing snack since they’re relatively hard and durable. 

However, one essential thing to know is that, depending on your puppy, carrots might pose a small risk of choking. That’s why it’s always best to stay with your puppy while they chew and eat any carrots you give them. Besides that, however, carrots are a healthy, nutritious, and safe snack for most puppies.

Now that you know that puppies can eat carrots, I’m betting you have more questions about what type of carrots to give them, should they be cooked, etc. If yes, please keep reading. I’ve got the answers to those questions and several more for you below. 

What are the Benefits of Giving Carrots to Puppies?

Carrots provide several excellent health benefits for puppies. For example, they have a high amount of beta-carotene, which changes into Vitamin A when eaten and is very beneficial for your pup’s maturing eyes. 

Carrots also have a good amount of potassium which is excellent for your puppy’s heart and helps stabilize their blood pressure. The fiber in carrots is great for your puppy’s digestive system and will help poop with less stress and strain. Also, carrots are loaded with antioxidants that fight cancer and increase your puppy’s lifespan.

At What Age Can Puppies Eat Carrots?

Most veterinarians recommend waiting until your puppy is approximately 8 weeks old before you start giving them carrots as snacks. Also, while raw carrots aren’t particularly harmful, dog experts still recommend lightly boiling them first to soften them up a little bit. 

If you decide to give your puppy raw carrots, it’s highly recommended that you watch them the entire time. Often, a puppy will bite off a large chunk of carrot which can cause a choking hazard. 

The Best Way to Give a Puppy Carrots

If you want to eliminate the risk of choking and give your puppy a healthy snack, lightly boiled carrots cut into slices are best. Boiling makes them softer and easier to chew, as I mentioned earlier. Cutting them into slices reduces the choking risk even further by reducing their size. 

As I mentioned earlier, make sure to let the carrots cool down before serving so that your puppy doesn’t burn their delicate lips and gums. Also, it’s best to give them 100% plain carrots with no butter, salt, oil, or other condiments added. 

Can Puppies Eat Carrots for Teething? 

Teething can be a painful process for any puppy, it’s true. A cold carrot stick or baby carrot is ideal for relieving your pup’s teething pain. Some veterinarians recommend freezing carrots before giving them as a snack to your puppy. Either way, the cold will numb their gums and reduce their teething pain significantly. Plus, chewing on a nice, cold carrot will take their mind off of their pain, at least for a short time. 

How many Carrots can a Puppy Eat?

I’ve talked about this in several of my other puppy blogs. Dog experts and veterinarians use the 90/10 rule where 90% of a puppy’s nutrition comes from their kibble and the other 10% from snacks. (You should use it, too.) 

Using this rule, if you gave your puppy only carrots as a snack, that would equal 1 or (maybe) 2 small-ish carrot sticks a day, maximum. Remember, while carrots don’t pose a health risk for your puppy, dogs don’t naturally eat carrots in the wild, either. As a snack, carrots are great, but they should not be used to replace your puppy’s regular kibble by any means.

What Carrots can Puppies Eat?

All carrots are not exactly alike, it’s true. There are raw carrots, but they can also be cooked and come pre-prepared. Below are the types of carrots that are OK to give to a puppy, including:

  • Regular carrots
  • Baby carrots
  • Purple carrots
  • Steamed carrots
  • Carrot sticks
  • Carrots mixed with peas
  • Frozen carrots and carrot sticks
  • Canned, cooked carrots with no added salt or sugar

Can Puppies have Raw Carrots?

Yes, puppies can have raw carrots, and, in fact, it’s one of the best ways to give them this nutritious snack. I would only recommend that you give smaller baby carrots to your pup. That way, the choking hazard will be lower. Besides that, however, raw carrots are excellent. They give your puppy something to chew on, clean their teeth, and are loaded with nutrients.

Can Puppies have Cooked Carrots?

Plain, cooked carrots can be given to your puppy with very few health risks. You should let them cool off first, of course, so your pup doesn’t burn their little mouth. Also, they should be cooked with no extra salt, and definitely do not give your puppy carrots that have been cooked in a lot of butter or oil. The extra fat isn’t healthy for a growing puppy and can upset their stomach. Feeding your puppy a lot of buttered carrots can also lead to weight problems down the road. 

Final Thoughts

Can puppies eat carrots? Indeed they can! Not only are carrots a safe, healthy snack for your puppy, You can also use them to reduce teething pain and provide some chewing fun. As your puppy gets older and bigger, you can increase the size of the carrots you give them and, if you like it, freeze them to make the chewing more of a challenge. 

Did today’s blog answer all of your questions about puppies and carrots? I hope it did and provided you with some useful information to help you raise your precious new puppy. Please see my other blogs on the subject if you want to learn more. All are packed with valuable, real-world information you can use to become a better puppy parent and raise a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted dog.