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Can Dogs Eat Celery- The Ultimate Guide To Celery For Dogs

Last Updated - January 27, 2022

As dog owners, it is common to want to treat your dog to new treats. Choosing and buying new treats and bones can quickly become overwhelming. It can be difficult and expensive to go through the nutrition and warning labels on each bag of snacks to find the safest and tastiest treat for your furry friend. 

The easiest way to find a new treat for your dog? Go through your fridge! Dogs could use a healthy, well-balanced diet to keep them healthy - just like us! While they do not need additional vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, it is never a bad idea to add some raw food every once in a while. 

As many dog owners dip celery into dips, is it okay to feed your pet some? Can dogs eat celery? Can dogs eat celery sticks? Can dogs eat celery leaves? Is celery good for dogs? Below, we will explain everything you need to know about feeding your dog celery.

Is Celery Safe For Dogs?

Yes, dogs can eat celery. Celery is safe for a dog to eat in small quantities prepared appropriately. If not prepared correctly, it can potentially be a choking hazard, which is especially a concern for smaller dogs.

An excellent treat to add to your dog's daily diet is celery, among other vegetables and fruits. While it should be cleared by your veterinarian first and only given as a treat, celery is a great nutrient-dense, low-calorie treat to give to your furry canine companion. 

In fact, some commercial dog food even contains celery as an ingredient.

Why You May or May Not Want To Feed Your Dog Celery?

So we have determined that celery is safe to feed to our dogs, but why exactly? 

Celery is recommended to feed as a weight-loss treat for people and their furry family members. It is low in calories and can be a good snack and chewing substitute for your dog instead of a calorically dense and processed bone. Not only is it low in calories, but celery is also low in cholesterol and fat content and packed full of beneficial vitamins and minerals – such as Vitamin A, C, and K, potassium, folate, manganese, and fiber!

Nutrients in Celery

Celery contains many essential nutrients that your dog can benefit from:

Water

Celery has high water content, making celery potentially a great summer treat for your dog! Raw celery is made up of about 95% water!

Vitamins

Celery is packed in vitamins, but what do they actually do? And how can they benefit our dog's health?

Vitamin A is essential for dogs as it must be part of their diet in order to maintain optimal health. Vitamin A supplements your dog's healthy skin, coat, muscle, and nerve health for optimal function. 

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for your dog's overall wellbeing, as it works to fight "free radicals" and overall reduce inflammation and cognitive aging. 

Vitamin K activates the blood's ability to clot, keeping the bloodstream healthy and protecting against specific potential bleeding disorders. 

Folic Acid

Folic acid or folate is often associated with a vitamin, specifically Vitamin B9, and is a nutrient that is important for DNA synthesis and red blood cell production. 

Potassium

Potassium is one essential nutrient to keeping your dog's heart, nerves, and muscles ready and active due to its aid in the function of electrical impulses. A deficiency of potassium may lead to your dog feeling excessively tired, muscle cramps, or having a decreased appetite.

Manganese

Manganese is a micro-mineral that assists in absorbing and digesting large macronutrients. This includes carbohydrates and proteins, typically the two main macronutrients in a canine diet. 

Zinc

Zinc plays a vital role in your dog's health. Zinc can aid digestion, boost the immune system, improve cognitive function, support thyroid function, and more.

Calcium

Surprisingly, celery is one of the high calcium foods. Calcium plays an important role in bone growth and supports proper heart and muscle function.

Antioxidants

Celery is loaded with antioxidants, which play a crucial role in reducing inflammation and fighting and preventing disease.

Fiber

Fiber for dogs, as for humans, is beneficial in the digestive tract and helps keep our canine pals "regular" in their stool-production and relieving habits. Less commonly known, fiber supplements in a canine diet fight against bad bacteria in the digestive tract and prevent diseases, such as colon cancer.

Health Benefits

Aside from the nutritional benefits, there are other health benefits.

Weight Management

Additional benefits of feeding celery to your dog are low-calorie, allowing a decrease in your dog's daily caloric intake. This makes celery an excellent occasional treat for overweight dogs. Compared to typical bones, treats, and other foods, celery is much more weight-friendly.

Freshen Breath

Also, celery is known to freshen dogs' breath – which is a huge benefit for some of our canine family members!

Why Celery May Be Bad For Dogs

Adding new treats, especially as nutritional supplements, should always be reviewed with a veterinarian prior to making a change in your dog's diet. 

As with any new food introduced to your dog, celery should be given in small amounts and introduced slowly, as new and sudden food changes can cause your dog to have an upset stomach. Not only should you feed your dog a small amount of celery at a time, but you should also cut the celery into small portions or chunks, as it can easily cause a choking hazard. 

High In Sodium

While celery is not high in salt content, it is high in sodium. But overall, celery is still considered a low sodium food.

A dog naturally needs sodium as part of its diet to maintain normal body function. And sodium is typically easily passed in the urine. If feeding a large amount over a long period, the salt content can add up and potentially increase the risk of serious health issues, such as high blood pressure and stress to the kidneys. This could potentially be an issue for hypertensive animals, and it is recommended to avoid high sodium intake.

Vitamin A

While Vitamin A plays an important role in dogs' health, too much consumption can potentially be toxic to canines. Signs of toxicity include malaise, anorexia, nausea, peeling skin, lethargy, paralysis, and even death.

Choking Hazard

If celery is not prepared appropriately, it can be a choking hazard to dogs, especially small breeds. The best practice for feeding celery to your dog is chopping it up in small, bite-sized pieces.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Too much celery or any human foods can cause gastrointestinal upset. And too much fiber can cause unwanted gas and an upset stomach. This includes excess gas, abdominal bloating, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Diuretic

If your dog eats a large amount of celery, it can cause them to urinate more than usual. After all, celery is made up of 95% water!

Kidney Stone

If your dog is taking supplements or nutrient-enhanced food, you may want to think twice before feeding celery or any other food. Too much calcium and certain vitamins can lead to urinary stones.

How To Safely Include Celery In Your Dog's Diet?

As mentioned earlier, not all dogs like eating celery due to its distinctive strong taste. However, if your dog likes the crunchy texture of raw carrots, apples, or other crunchy food, your dog may enjoy munching on some celery too.

When giving celery as a special treat, give in a moderate amount. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog's daily diet.

To prepare celery for dogs, be sure to cut up the celery stalk into bite-size pieces to prevent it from being a choking hazard. This is important, especially to small dogs, because celery sticks are large in shape and hard texture.

Serving Ideas

  • Sprinkle a few bite-sized pieces on top of dog food.
  • Freeze small chopped celery pieces in the freezer and serve as a hydrating snack during hot summer days.
  • Make it extra special with a little peanut butter. But be sure the peanut butter that you will be using is safe and healthy for dogs. And because peanut butter is high in calories and fat, limit the amount used.
  • Combine it with yogurt and freeze it to make a popsicle. This makes delicious hot summer day treats.

FAQ

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Celery Sticks?

Both cooked and raw celery is safe for dogs to eat. However, there is really no benefit of feeding cooked celery besides it's softer.

Can Dogs Eat Celery Leaves?

The short answer is yes!

Celery leaves contain a higher concentration of nutrients than stalks. It may be beneficial to dogs who are vitamin -deficient.

However, celery leaves have a strong flavor, so not all dogs will enjoy it. It has a peppery note that it may be uncomfortable for dogs to eat.

And because the leafy part is more prone to pesticides, it may be best to avoid giving it to your dog unless you can get organic veggies. If you are going to try feeding your dog the leafy part, be sure to wash it thoroughly.

Can Dogs Have Celery Juice?

While it may be attempting to have your dog have a few sips of your celery juice, you may want to think twice before giving it to your dog.

Celery juice will not be as nutritious as raw celery stalk as it will stripe away all the fiber during the juicing process. And to make celery juice, you will need to use a large amount of celery to make a concentrated juice, which may contain too much sodium for your dog. The same goes if you were to crush raw celery in a blender.

While it shouldn't be a problem to have your dog have a sip once in a while, it may be best to avoid it.

Can Celery Treat Bad Breath In Dogs?

Celery is like a breath mint for dogs. As dog owners, we can all appreciate a freshened dog's breath. However, remember celery cannot replace brushing your dog's teeth with toothpaste.

How Much Celery Can Dogs Have?

There is no one size fits all, and there are many factors to consider, including size and weight. As a rule of thumb, your dog's snack should only make up 10% of your dog's diet.

If you are unsure how much celery to give your dog, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation based on your dog's condition.

Can Puppy Eat Celery?

It is good to avoid introducing celery to puppies, as puppies are often more sensitive to new foods. Puppy foods are typically more balanced, so it may not be necessary to supplement with fruits and veggies.

Conclusion

A dog can safely eat and enjoy celery as a healthy and crunchy snack. Celery provides many supplemental nutritional benefits, in addition to being a low-calorie snack and potentially freshening your pet's breath! Try chopping some celery stalks – raw preferred– and offering them to your canine family member as a yummy and nutritious crunchy treat! Like any new treat or new food, be cautious when introducing celery into your dog's diet. Contact your vet if you are unsure how much or if your dog should have some celery.

About the Author

Lara Girsko

Doctor of veterinary medicine with extensive experience in animal welfare with a strong interest in feline medicine and plans to pursue ABVP-Feline specialty board certification. A key member of many local veterinary associations and avid reader of animal related science journals and studies.

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