Many dog owners wonder what fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs to eat. While some of them can cause harm to your pooch, or, at the very least, disrupt his digestive system, others are perfectly safe and even provide some health benefits.
In this article, we will talk about celery and whether it is safe to feed celery to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Celery?
While dogs that eat a balanced diet can get all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals from high-quality dog food and don’t actually need to eat fruits and vegetables, they can certainly get some benefits from an occasional treat. One of the vegetables that are safe for dogs to eat is celery.
Benefits of Celery for Dogs
Feeding your dog celery in small amounts can have a positive impact on your dog’s health. First of all, celery is rich in fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc and other nutrients and minerals. It also contains many different vitamins, like vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K.
In addition to this, celery is also pretty low in calories and your dog won’t be at risk of becoming overweight by eating too much celery. In fact, celery may be a perfect treat for dogs that are already overweight or obese.
Celery can also improve the creation of red blood cells, freshen up his breath and, according to some studies, it can even prevent cancer. Also, thanks to the fact that it has high water content, celery can help your pooch stay hydrated.
Can Celery Be Bad for Dogs?
While celery is not toxic to dogs and it won’t cause any serious health issues even if you feed your dog a large amount of celery, to make celery good for dogs it has to be served in small amounts like any other fruit and vegetable.
If you go overboard, celery can be bad for dogs because it can cause stomach distress and lead to increased urination or even diarrhea. This can particularly be a problem if your dog is also prone to eating too fast, in which case a slow-feeding bowl can be useful.
Another potential problem with celery comes from the fact that it can be a choking hazard, especially for puppies and small dogs. That’s why it is important to feed your pooch small pieces of celery, ideally in bite-size chunks.
Celery, like any other new food item, should be introduced to your dog’s diet slowly. While you may not have to use a pet food scale to measure the amount of celery you should give to your dog, you should make sure that you only give him celery as an occasional healthy snack. As a general rule, treats should only comprise 10% of your dog’s diet.
Some dog owners may also be concerned about the salt content since celery has a high amount of salt compared to other vegetables. While this won’t present a problem in the short term, it can affect your dog’s blood pressure and put stress on his kidneys in the long run. This is another reason why celery should only be treated as a snack and given occasionally in small amounts.
What About Celery Leaves?
While celery leaves are perhaps the most flavorful part of this healthy vegetable, it may be best to avoid giving them to dogs. The reason for this lies in the fact that celery leaves are the most susceptible to the accumulation of pesticides and other toxins, according to Livestrong.com.
So, unless you are sure that the celery is organically grown, it is probably better to tread carefully when it comes to feeding your dog celery leaves.
How to Prepare and Serve Celery to Your Dog?
First of all, you can feed your dog raw or cooked celery although raw celery will certainly have more minerals and vitamins. Also, there are a few different ways you can serve celery to your dog, especially if he isn’t interested in eating plain celery.
- Top it with peanut butter – This is perhaps the most popular way for eating celery when it comes to humans but dogs also love peanut butter. However, only use a little bit of it because peanut butter is high in calories. Additionally, make sure that the peanut butter you use doesn’t contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs.
- Mix it with dog food – You can chop up the celery or blend it and mix it with your dog’s regular food. Start by adding only a small amount of celery to his food bowl until you are sure that it won’t upset his stomach. If he reacts well and likes the taste, you can gradually increase the amount.
- Pair it with a different treat – Some dogs have favorite treats and they won’t even try other snacks. If your dog is like that, try pairing celery with another treat, sweet potato for example, especially if you want to make the other treat more nutritious.
Celery is a highly nutritious vegetable that can have positive effects on your dog’s health. More importantly, celery is safe for dogs to eat as long as you stick to small portions and give it to your dog occasionally as a treat.
Also, keep in mind that celery can present a choking hazard for puppies and small dogs, so make sure to chop it into bite-sized chunks first.