I’m a keen fan of carrots.
I tend to try and eat one on a daily basis which my dogs are more than happy about because I normally snap off the ends for them.
But I have never tried feeding frozen carrots to my dogs but I know this is something that interests lots of people.
And so I was intrigued and have done a bit of research and written an article about frozen carrots for dogs.
It’s a funny old world that we live in, isn’t it?
What is the nutritional value of frozen carrots?
The nutritional value of a frozen carrot is the same as a “room temperature” carrot!
So what does a carrot bring to the table apart from a sweet crunch?
And remember, these values are based on human adults, not dogs.
A 100g of carrots will provide 41 calories, 5g of sugar, 3g of fibre and 1g of protein.
In terms of recommended daily allowances, this portion size will give you 3% of sodium, 7% potassium, 6% niacin, 6% thiamin, 11% B6, 7% vitamin C and a whooping 334% of your vitamin A allowance!
They pack quite a punch don’t you think, considering that they are almost 89% water?
How can frozen carrots help dogs?
Frozen carrots are an excellent treat for dogs.
Part of it is because of how “healthy” they are- and don’t worry neither you or your dog can overdose on vitamin A from eating too many carrots.
Frozen carrots are a very satisfying treat for your dog to chew on.
Together with that lovely hard texture, they have a wonderful sweet taste.
Lots of people believe that by chewing on carrots it is a great way of helping to clean their teeth.
The texture helps to clean bacteria off the surface of the teeth.
I’m not sure that a frozen carrot would clean the teeth in the same way because the chewed pieces from a frozen carrot wouldn’t be flexible enough to clean the teeth.
However, frozen carrots can help the teeth in other ways.
Particularly for puppies who are teething.
Red and inflamed gums can be soothed by sucking and gnawing on a frozen carrot- or indeed anything else that is frozen.
Frozen carrots are a cheaper and healthier alternative than dog biscuits.
If your dog likes carrots and likes playing games where they have to find hidden treats, then try replacing any biscuits or cheese that you are currently using and swap for a carrot.
Your dog will get a satisfying crunch, a hint of sweetness and only a few calories to boot!
My final suggestion about using frozen carrots with dogs is as ice cubes that can be placed in their water bowls on hot summer days.
The ice will help to cool the water and the sight of carrots floating in the water should be a great incentive for your dog to keep drinking!
How to prepare frozen carrots?
Another great thing about frozen carrots is they are very easy to prepare.
If you are going to use frozen carrots as a healthy “chew toy” my advice is to keep them whole.
You might want to cut the top and bottom off (but there’s no real need to) and then just give them a quick wash, scrub or peel.
Wrap a bit of saran wrap around them and then just stick them straight in the freezer for a few hours and then they will be ready to go.
If you are going to use them as a substitute for dog biscuits, cut them up into slices..
How might frozen carrots be dangerous to dogs?
Although frozen carrots are an amazing treat, there are some things that you need to bear in mind when giving carrots to your dog.
As we saw earlier in our nutritional analysis, carrots are 5% sugar and so you need to bear that mind when your dog is chomping away on a few because excessive sugar can lead to tooth decay- even in dogs.
The other threat that a carrot might pose to your dog is as a choking hazard.
If your dog gets a little over excited at the sight of a frozen carrot then they might not chew it properly and it could end up being swallowed in chunks that are too large.
These chunks get caught in the back of the throat causing your dog to gag.
Alternative ways to prepare carrots
Carrots don’t need to be frozen to be given to your dog.
It could be that your dog is sick of the sight of a frozen carrot and if he sees another one…
Or perhaps, despite your best attempts, your dog has never liked frozen carrots.
This gives you a couple of other choices if you are determined to make carrots a regular part of a dog’s diet.
The first one is to give the carrot to your dog raw.
Perhaps they have sensitive teeth and could never get over that sensation of biting straight into a frozen vegetable?
Your second option is to lightly steam them for a few minutes.
Lightly steaming carrots is much gentler than boiling them.
When a carrot is steamed, it retains more of its crunch and more of its delicious minerals and vitamins than if you were to boil it.
What age can puppies eat frozen carrots?
Earlier, I mentioned that frozen carrots were used by some people as a way to help their puppies through teething.
I also pointed out that frozen carrots could potentially be choking hazards.
So, is it really wise to add carrots to your puppy’s diet?
And if so when.
Looking at a few of the forums, quite surprisingly, some owners are introducing their puppies to carrots at a very young age- around the age of 7 or 8 weeks.
But many of these owners do go on to say that they closely supervise their puppy.
After all, puppies have a very short attention span and it is easy enough to take a measured bite and chew it properly for the first few minutes but then..
Their attention can shift and the bites get bigger, the chewing more haphazard and before you know it the puppy is retching because a bit of carrot is stuck at the back of their throat…
Another reason to introduce a puppy to a frozen carrot or indeed other large frozen vegetables is because you can use it as a baby step for them on their way to getting a real bone.
What are other frozen vegetables that are suitable for dogs?
If you are into your frozen veg, then the great thing is that the possibilities are almost endless.
The great thing about carrots for most of us is that they can be bought very cheaply from our local grocery store week in, week out throughout the year.
But no matter how great the mighty carrot is, it soon gets boring if it is the only vegetable on offer.
A bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.
An obvious choice after carrots are parsnips.
My dogs like frozen broccoli stems, or chunks of sweet potatoes.
And frozen brussel sprouts make excellent ice cubes.
How many frozen carrots can I feed my dog every day?
I would say that if you are desperate to add carrots to your dog’s diet then your dog should have no more than one carrot a day depending on their size.
For smaller dogs you might consider giving them only half and large breed dogs could have up to two carrots a day.
I’m not telling you this because your dog is likely to suffer from vitamin A poisoning (if you remember a 100g serving of raw carrot provides over three times the amount of vitamin A that a human should eat.)
I’m just recommending this from the perspective of not feeding your dog so much carrot that they get sick of it.
Mix it up. If your dog loves frozen carrots try them with other frozen vegetables, such as sweet potato.
The variety should help your dog get a more rounded boost of minerals and vitamins but it will also expose them to different tastes and textures.