Can Dogs Eat Canned Carrots?

Photo by Andy Melton on Flickr

Bunnies aren’t the only ones with the right to eat carrots; our furry pals can too! Carrots come served in a rainbow of forms: raw, diced, baked, you name it. 

Nevertheless, carrots are without a doubt excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals to boost your dog’s health.

But what about canned carrots that you find in grocery-store-strolls? Are they really safe for dogs? 

Are there upsides or downsides to canned over raw carrots?

Well, we’re glad you asked! In this article, we’ll be going over a couple things you need to be aware of and consider before giving your pal a crunch or two.

Now, put your reading caps on and pay close attention. 

What is the nutrition in carrots?

We’ve probably been told once or twice that carrots are good for our eyes, right? Well, that’s actually true (shocker, we know)!

And there are more crunchy facts about carrots we dog owners and your furry pal should know about. 

Carrots are experts in providing the body with beta carotene (the antioxidant that converts to vitamin A), fiber, vitamin K1, and more!

These components make carrots excellent contributors to weight loss, hammer down cholesterol levels, and bless you with (hopefully) eagle-eye vision! 

Carrots typically consist of 10% carbs, a teeny tiny bit of fat and protein, and of course, water as their main constituent (about 88%). For further details, check out these facts

Why might you not want to feed your dogs carrots too often?

As cravingly delicious as carrots can be, it may be wise to hold those horses if your furry pal might have one too many.

Carrots offer various nutritional benefits both from the abundance of vitamins and minerals.

However, when taken too much, particularly vitamin A, it may lead to vitamin A toxicity or hypervitaminosis A. And this is definitely A no-no. 

In all things, even for us humans, too much of anything is never good. So, it’s always best, and it is our utmost recommendation to please and pretty please, feed them in moderation (and this includes other snacks or treats in general).

Like Yin and Yang, we want to ensure our pals receive a proper balance of health and happiness. And no matter how fearsome they may be when you don’t feed them as much, hold your ground, for their goodness sake! 

Fresh carrots vs. Canned carrots

Alright, here we are, the ultimate showdown we have all been waiting for, between the fresh and the canned carrots clans. Which side shall prevail? Let’s get right to it. 

In the left corner, we have raw carrots, fresh from the fields and only naturally crunchy.

Now, raw carrots, without a doubt, do tend to retain more of their naturally produced nutrients (especially vitamins), being picked straight from the source.

Surprisingly though, it has lower minerals than canned carrots (Wait, really?) Yup, you heard that right).

Sadly, raw carrots pack in more carbs, sugars, and calories. 

On our right, we have canned carrots, carefully picked, sanitized, and packed to serve as your (and your loyal companions’) ready-to-go meal.

Due to multiple processes that these carrots have to endure, this leaves them with lower vitamin levels than their fiery and raw opponent.

Even though canned carrots have slightly higher fat and protein, less sugar, it does, however, contain higher mineral levels (including sodium).

High sodium is definitely not a good thing for your pal. 

So, as your tail-wagging buddy here awaits on which side you declare as the victor, you might be wondering: “Alright, these are definitely worth noting, but which one is truly the best one for my dog?” right? Well, we figured you might say that. 

The truth is, it really all comes down to personal preference, which will be further discussed in the section below (in case you were wondering, and you’re welcome). 

For convenience and better safety assurance against those harmful and troublesome bacteria, canned carrots would definitely do the trick!

But, and yes, there is a but, you should get the one with the “no added salt” variety or what we like to call the “so long sodium” variety (please pardon our creativity).

As the name suggests, these bad boys have had their sodium levels toned way down than typical canned carrots.

Which, of course, is the better health-wise option for your furry companion. 

Do canned vegetables have as much nutrition as fresh or frozen vegetables?

It’s time we debunk the myths we’ve all been told that canned food contains fewer nutrients than fresh or frozen vegetables. Well, guess what?

It turns out that may not be necessarily the case (if you gasped, we did too). But how? Alright, allow us to explain. 

Canned

The canning process typically includes processing (chopped, sliced, diced, cooked, etc.), sealing (or canned, essentially), and heating (where harmful bacteria are burnt off).

Although the heating process may damage water-soluble vitamins such as B and C, most of the food’s minerals and fat-soluble vitamins such as A and D are still in good shape!

Despite the difference in certain nutrient levels in canned vegetables, they are still reliable sources of essential minerals and vitamins. 

Frozen (not the Disney movie)

Frozen foods, on the other hand, go through an entirely different approach.

A quick backstory, when these vegetables are plucked from their roots (aka their nutrient source), those nutrients (vitamins, in particular) are literally leaking against time.

By storing it in a cool environment or refrigeration, this process, also known as degradation, becomes hampered.

So, in short, nutrient levels do inevitably leak one way or the other. Still, through freezing, the leaking rate gets toned down significantly. 

Fresh 

Keeps your everyday plate or bowl for your pal as enriched with nutrition as it can ever be. To top that off, fresh or organic veggies are usually pesticide-free, so that’s definitely a plus.

Having organic foods, in general, is definitely recommended as one way to diversify dietary options for you and your dog as well.

However, we understand that this may not be a preferred option. With the whole pandemic going on, it’s always okay to play it safe (as you should). 

So, whichever team you’re in (canned, fresh, or frozen), they all contribute to your dog’s as well as your health and wellbeing!

As long as you keep veggies on the menu, you’re both one huge step ahead of those who don’t consume greens (no judgment here). 

Can dogs be fed carrots straight from the can?

It undergoes the thorough three-step process of processing, sealing, and heating (bacteria-killing secret weapon) and is indeed safe to be eaten by dogs.

However, it’s always wise to skim through the list of contents before feeding them to your furry pal (keep an eye and avoid those that contain high sodium levels).

If you’re still unsure whether carrots will suit your dog’s diet and body, you can always consult with your friendly neighborhood vet for any questions you might have. 

How should I prepare carrots for my dog?

To safely and proudly present that carrot-based dish for your pal, it’s crucial that you thoroughly rinse them off from any forms of dirt or chemicals.

In the case of canned carrots, rinsing can help remove the salt it contains. 

Carrots may indeed be safe for dogs to eat, but when not properly sliced or cut, they may lead to choking hazards, especially when served as a whole or in large chunks.

To avoid this, ensure that you carefully cut those carrots into bite-sized pieces or bits, especially when your pal loves wolfing down their food at will. 

With that being said, we’ve scoured to the ends of the earth on some of the best and safest ways to prepare your pal’s sought-for carrots. Some of these ways include grating, blending them up, sauna-steaming, and more! Feel free to check them out. 

What is the best vegetable to feed my dog?

As much as we’d like to reveal to you the dog version of Popeye’s secret vegetable, unfortunately, there is no such thing as the “best vegetable” for dogs.

Each vegetable contains distinct and various vitamins and minerals, which, by the way, can all benefit your dog.

But just in case you’d like a few suggestions, we’ve got a list of dog-friendly veggies just for you!

Can dogs eat canned carrots? 

Carrots, in whatever shape, style, and size it comes from, are indeed excellent and undeniably scrumptious to treat your dogs with! Being one of the best vegetables out there inherited with rich vitamins and minerals makes it even more of a reason to add them into your dog’s daily meal plan. So, the short answer to the question you’ve been dying to hear is yes!

We trust that you will carefully consider the factors we discussed throughout this article (as the intelligent dog owner you are) to ensure your pup stays happily healthy and fit at all times!

Always remember to thoroughly wash your carrots and cut or slice them into small pieces to get your pal to safely enjoy that meal they’ve been staring at the entire time you were reading this.

And if you feel carrot-y, you might as well spare some for yourself and crunch them up alongside your furry pal.