Juicy, tasty, crunchy, and super nutritious- carrots have earned a spot in our pantries and our hearts. They are a versatile vegetable chock full of nutrients and, most importantly, dietary carotenoids for good eyesight.
We’ve all heard that snacking on carrots will give you good vision. But is this also the case for our canine companions? Can dogs eat carrots? Can carrots help your dog see in the dark? Stick on as we explore the truth behind this old wives’ tale.
Can Carrots Improve Your Dog’s Vision?
Although most of us know carrots by their bright orange color, they were originally purple, red, black, and yellow. And if you’re thinking, can dogs eat the other types of carrots? Yes, dogs can eat all kinds of carrots. Purple carrots, especially, are highly nutritious and contain anthocyanin, which is good for fighting inflammation.
Carrots are a storehouse of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain a pigment known as beta-carotene, responsible for the signature orange, yellow, red, or purple color. Beta-carotene is essential to maintaining good vision.
How Does Beta Carotene Affect Your Dog’s Vision?
When your dog consumes foods rich in beta carotene, the nutrient is absorbed by the intestines and passed to the liver. Here it combines with fat and is transformed into vitamin A which is stored in the body reserves until when it’s required. Vitamin A helps reduce the risk of vision loss, macular degeneration, and night blindness.
When there’s a need, the vitamin A is transported to the eye retina through the bloodstream. The retina is located at the back of the eyeball and is essential for normal eyesight. It consists of millions of cells known as cones and rods, which are very sensitive to light. Through the optical nerve, they transmit visual data to the brain, interpreted as images. The rods are sensitive to reduced levels of vitamin A and support the low-light vision.
So, if your pup is deficient in vitamin A, consuming foods rich in beta-carotene could improve their vision, especially at night.
Beta carotene is also an antioxidant and helps prevent infections and illnesses. The vitamin A precursor also supports healthy bone development, reproductive health, healthy hair coat and skin, eye health, and cancer prevention.
Vitamin A and beta carotene are added synthetically to your dog’s food to ensure they get adequate levels of these nutrients in their diet.
Other than beta carotene, carrots are also rich in lutein. This antioxidant increases pigment concentration in the macula and prevents macular degeneration.
How to Prepare Carrots for Your Dog?
There are various ways to prepare carrots for your dog – and your furry companion is sure to go gaga for this veggie’s delicious, crunchy flavor no matter how you serve them. Add some pureed carrots to your dog’s food and treats for that extra nutritious sweetness. You can also add carrots to baked homemade dog treats.
And if you’re wondering, can dogs eat carrot greens? Yes, they can. Carrot greens are nutritious and delicious.
While raw and cooked carrots are generally safe for your pup, it’s always a good idea to chop raw carrots into bite-sized chunks or grate them before offering them to your dog. If not cut properly, raw carrots can be a choking hazard, especially for smaller dogs.
Medium-sized and large breed pups can handle a regular-sized carrot. But, to be on the safer side, ensure you keep an eye on your canine when snacking on carrots.
Some vets also recommend stashing some carrots in the freezer and offering them to your puppies to relieve teething pain. For older dogs, frozen carrots can make a great chew toy. And as with any new food to your dog’s diet, ensure you first touch base with your vet.
Related: How Many Carrots Should a Dog Eat?
Most dog parents seek healthy, nutritious, and affordable foods for their furry friends. That’s why more and more dog owners are incorporating vegetables and fruits into their dog’s diets.
Carrots are a good choice as they are healthy, nutritious, and affordable. What’s more, they are good for your dog’s vision and overall eye health.