Can Dogs Eat Celery?
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Celery is a snack that provides your dog with a variety of nutritional benefits. Like other vegetables, celery is a low-risk treat your can share with your pup.
Celery is a great healthy snack for overweight dogs, and has a crunchy texture dogs tend to love. Dogs do not need celery in their diet but it has no negative impact. As with any food it is important to introduce celery into your dog’s diet slowly.
Is Celery Good for Dogs?
If your dog has a preference for green veggies then celery is one of the better options when compared to other fruits and vegetables. It is a low calorie and high water content treat, while offering vitamins K, A and C, as well as iron, potassium and calcium. This means celery is a 95% water vegetable that contains beneficial nutrients and ideal for a tasty treat.
Because celery has such a crunchy texture, celery can also help in cleaning your pups teeth as well as freshening up his breath.
However, just because celery can be a nutritional snack, a complete and balanced diet is also necessary for your dog to have a healthy life. Therefore there is no need to include celery in your dog’s diet from a nutritional stand point.
Health Benefits of Celery
As we mentioned, a stalk of celery contains 95% water, and has no fat, and no cholesterol. It does contain powerful vitamins, micronutrients and fiber, just to name a few. Here is a list of those items and more benefits to giving your dog celery.
- Vitamin A – This fat-soluble vitamin maintains your dog’s bone growth, immunity, reproductive system, and vision health.
- Potassium – This is a necessary mineral for kidney function. It also assists with heart function, muscle function, and a healthy digestive system.
- Vitamin K – This vitamin helps with blood clotting and coagulation.
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – This is important for red blood cell production as well as DNA synthesis.
- Calcium, Zinc, and Iron – These are beneficial in bone growth and also support the immune system.
- Magnesium – This micro-mineral plays an important role in energy production, as well as ligament, and bone maintenance. It also maintains the metabolizing of fatty acids and protein.
- Antioxidants – Antioxidants combat free radicals that damage molecules and cells that can be brought on by age, stress, illness, environmental toxins, and disease. They can also help your dog’s immune system in reducing the risk of some cancers.
- Fiber – This can aid in digestion and help your pup with weight management. Fiber can make your pup feel more full after meals. This can benefit an overweight dog.
Studies have proven that a diet rich in fiber may lower heart disease and can prevent certain types of cancer in dogs.
- Hydration – Celery has a high water content and many of the minerals in celery, such as potassium and magnesium, are electrolytes that can help to rapidly rehydrate the body.
- Low calorie – There are only seven calories in a stalk of celery which can help your pup maintain a healthy weight. It is a great alternative to traditional dog treats that can have added sugars, fats, and calories.
- Breath freshener – If your dog’s needs a breath freshener then a piece of celery may freshen it up. The crunchy texture and high water content helps to stimulate the production of saliva which in turn fights bacteria and keeps plaque away.
Potential Risks of Eating Celery
Even though celery is a healthy treat for your dog, there are a few things to be cautious about. It can be a choking hazard for puppies or small dogs if not cut into small, bite-size pieces that your dog can chew and swallow.
Some dog owners worry about pesticides used on celery, especially when feeding your dog the leaves. In fact, the leaves usually contain more pesticides and other chemicals than the rest of the plant. As long as the celery is washed thoroughly, you should not have much to worry about. You can also remove the leaves and only feed your dog the stalk if you are really concerned. Of course, it is always safer to use organic raw vegetables for your pup when possible.
Although celery is considered safe for dogs, there is always a chance that it might not agree with your pup. Always introduce celery slowly into your dog’s diet, just as you would with any other foods. Be sure that the celery has not been mixed with any garlic or onions, and that it is free of other toxic foods as well. For example, do not give your dog “ants on a log” because raisins are toxic for canines.
When in doubt consult your vet. They can help you create a diet for your dog and what snacks are best based on breed, age and health conditions.
Can Dogs Eat Celery Leaves?
As we mentioned, dogs can eat the stalks, but celery leaves allegedly contain a much higher concentration of nutrients over the more often consumed stalks. This could benefit with any vitamin-deficiencies in dogs. To date there is no research to confirm this finding.
Celery leaves are known to have a more pepper-like spiciness to them, just like the leaves of other plants do, specifically arugula. This spiciness maybe something your dog does not like or finds unenjoyable. Giving your dog celery leaves is something you can introduce but if he rejects them, you may want to stick with the plain stalks.
How to Feed Your Dog Celery
There are good and bad ways to give your dog celery but there are two safe options. Feed your dog whole celery sticks or slice the celery into small, bite-sized pieces. The objective is to feed your dog pieces that are neither too big or too small to prevent your dog from choking.
Celery stalks are a great replacement for dog treats, but if you have a small dog, slice the celery into even smaller pieces to prevent a choking hazard.
Its best to offer your dog plain celery to see if he will even eat it. If your dog shows no interest, you can try spreading a little peanut butter on the inside of stalk to encourage him to try it. However, be sure to offer your dog a safe peanut butter that is either raw or sweetened with only plain sugar. Always read the label to make sure it does not contain xylitol, a sugar alcohol that is extremely toxic to dogs.
Remember that peanut butter is high in fat and usually contains sugar, so moderation is key. Only offer enough to tempt your dog into actually eating the celery. Eventually you can ease your dog off the peanut butter as your dog gets more accustomed to the celery itself.
We hope you have learned the answers to “Can dogs eat celery?” and if you should give it to your pup. Humans have so many health foods that have little to no benefit for our dogs. Our dogs do not have the right gut to deal with large amounts of vegetables. If your dog is overweight and your vet suggests offering vegetables as a low-calorie treat, then, by all means give your pup celery.