What is a nutritious, familiar and inexpensive dog treat that you probably already have in your fridge, even if you don't have a dog? HINT: It's also a great chew toy with actual nutritional value, supplying vitamin A, potassium and fiber. Look no further - the sweet and crunchy carrot is your answer!
According to WebMD, the nutritional value for 2 medium raw carrots are:
- Calories: 41
- Water: 88%
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Carbs: 9.6 grams
- Sugar: 4.7 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fats: .02 grams nutritional value according to WebMD
Carrots are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, and also an excellent source of carotenes and vitamin-A. Studies have found that the beta-carotene and flavonoid compounds in carrots are beneficial to all, (think human snack food as well) and may offer some protection for skin, lung and oral cancers.
Carrots, cooked or raw, cut into manageable bites per your dog's size, make perfect training treats and rewards for good behavior. Consider that many conventional, store-bought dog treats can be high in calories and made from pretty dubious ingredients.
Some breeders have recommended cold or frozen carrots for teething puppies, to relieve teething discomfort and quite possibly to save some wear and tear on your furniture, rugs, even your fingers! Whole or cut-up frozen carrots can be used to make cheap, edible chew toys for dogs; possibly the only real downside is they can be kind of messy. Furthermore, chewing on carrots helps improve your dog’s dental health.
Remember, raw and cooked carrots should be cut into bite-sized chunks especially for smaller dogs as they could be a choking hazard. Carrots should be thoroughly washed before feeding. Carrots can be a healthy addition to your dog's home-cooked meals and homemade dog treats (recipe below).
It is always recommended that you consult your vet if your pet has any health concerns or if you have questions about the number of carrots to be consumed on a daily basis. It is always a good idea, when adding a new food source, to start out feeding the raw or cooked carrots gradually.
RECIPE 1: Frozen Apple Carrot Paw Dog Treats
- 1 x 8” carrot, chunked, combined with:
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- ½ cup water
Process mixture until smooth in blender or food processor, pour into molds, freeze & enjoy.
RECIPE 2: Baked Pumpkin Carrot Bite Dog Treats
- Combine 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (100% pumpkin-only) with:
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Stir pumpkin, egg, carrots, and flour in a large bowl until moistened
- Roll the batter into small balls and place on a parchment covered baking sheet
- Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
For my small dogs I scored while warm and made into quarters
This recipe yields approximately four dozen Pumpkin Carrot Bites. Best to store these treats in an airtight container or in your refrigerator for longer shelf life.
Yes to Carrots!
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