Celery (Apium graveolens) is a vegetable known for its crunchy stalk, which is often dipped into different sauces and consumed as a low-calorie snack. Its peppery taste makes it a great ingredient for soups, salads, sauces and other dishes, and it can be a tasty and wholesome addition to your healthy smoothie, too.1 With all the possible uses of celery in your meals, you may wonder: Can you feed your dog celery or is it bad for them?
The good news is that celery is OK for your dog to consume. But as with other human foods, it’s important to understand how it affects the health of your canine companion before you give them a few bites of it. Read on to find out if celery is a worthy addition to your dog’s diet and what to keep in mind when feeding it to your pet.
Is celery good for dogs?
Celery is just as beneficial for your dog as it is for humans. This vegetable is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which plays a crucial role in your dog’s digestive health. Giving your dog a small amount of celery is one way to mimic the diet of your dog’s ancestors, who used to meet their fiber requirements by ingesting the fur, tendons, ligaments and already-digested stomach contents of their preys.
Since celery is particularly rich in insoluble fiber, it may help relieve canine constipation by speeding up the passage of food in the colon. Celery may also help improve your pet’s overall well-being because it’s a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including:2
- Vitamin K
- B vitamins
Celery contains powerful free radical-fighting antioxidants, including vitamins A and C, flavonoids, and limonene, which may help protect your dog’s cells against oxidative stress and inflammation that can cause chronic diseases like cancer and premature aging.3 Celery may also help dogs maintain optimal heart health, as studies shows that it has antihypertensive and antihyperlipidemic properties.4,5 The distinct aroma of celery makes it useful for freshening up your dog’s breath, too.6
Is celery safe for dogs?
Generally, celery is a safe food for dogs. However, moderation is key to make sure that it won’t sabotage your pet’s nutritionally balanced diet. Giving your pet excessive amounts of celery could make them consume more fiber than they need, which is usually less than 5% of their diet — this can cause diarrhea and poor absorption of many vital nutrients. Excessive celery consumption may also make your dog urinate more than usual because of its diuretic properties.7
Celery can be a choking hazard, especially for puppies, so make sure that you chop it into small pieces before feeding it to them. Another important caveat you need to consider is potential pesticide toxicity. Some celery is sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, depending on the source. If you’re not sure your celery is organic, wash it thoroughly before tossing it into your pet’s food bowl.8
Can cats eat celery?
Celery is a safe and healthy vegetable for cats. But because cats are strict carnivores, their desire to consume plant matter is minimal. As with dogs, adding small amounts of celery to your cat’s nutritionally balanced diet is a good way to nourish their gut health (if they’ll eat it), as it helps mimic the way their ancestors ate in the wild by providing food-based roughage that helps build the microbiome. Most cats won’t eat celery; if your cat shows an interest it’s safe to let them nibble small pieces.
Add variety to your dog's diet with celery
If you’re looking for a healthy substitute to harmful pet treats like rawhide, then celery is one of your best options. This budget-friendly vegetable packs a wide array of nutrients that can benefit your pet’s well-being. Finely diced or chopped — there are many ways to incorporate celery in your pet’s meals. Be sure to not feed your pet too much celery (not more than 5% of their overall dietary intake), as it can cause diarrhea in large quantities.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about celery
Q: Can dogs eat raw or cooked celery?
A: Yes, dogs can eat celery raw or cooked.9
Q: Is celery poisonous to dogs?
A: Organic celery does not contain compounds that can be toxic to dogs. However, some celery may have been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides that may harm your pet’s health, so make sure you buy one from trusted organic groceries only.10
Q: Is celery poisonous to cats?
A: Celery is generally safe for cats, as long as it’s given in moderation. 11
Q: Can dogs eat celery leaves?
A: Yes, they can. Celery leaves are safe for dogs to consume, although they’re often removed since dogs may not find their flavor appetizing.12
Q: Are dogs allergic to celery?
A: The sensitivity to celery varies for every dog. Although exceptionally rare, some dogs, like humans, may be allergic to this vegetable.
Q: Can dogs eat celery seeds?
A: Yes, they can. Not only are celery seeds safe, but they’re also helpful in detoxifying your pet’s body and calming their digestive system, so they’re a great addition to your pet’s meal.13