A pet rabbit’s diet should include a wide variety of plant-based foods, such as vegetables, herbs and greens. This is how bunnies get the required vitamins and minerals and stay healthy. So, can rabbits eat celery? Let’s find out.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery?
Yes, rabbits can eat celery. The best part is, some rabbits enjoy the taste of this fresh and crunchy vegetable. One of the reasons behind their familiarity with celery is that it belongs to the same family as parsnips and carrots, hence the sweet and crunchy taste.
The part of celery we usually use for eating is called the petiole or the stalks that connect the leaves of the plant to the stem.
This fibrous, mild-tasting vegetable is loved by the humans and we fondly use it in our daily foods. But should your bunnies eat salary, is it safe for them?
There are many plants and food items that are toxic to rabbits, but thankfully, celery is not one of them. Rabbits can surely eat celery as a part of their daily fresh food intake, which is around 15% of their total daily food intake.
Because it isn’t a leafy green, celery should be fed once in a while, as a treat. Most rabbits enjoy the taste of both brighter and pale stalks.
Do Rabbits Like Eating Celery?
Rabbits love eating fresh vegetables and fruits, they are among their favorite foods. They eat almost every vegetable or fruit that is offered to them. In fact, because the wild bunnies forage on plants, they are enemies of vegetable farmers.
Talking specially about celery, it is juicy and fibrous which bunnies find delicious. It also has a slight sweetness, which is loved by most rabbits.
However, not all bunnies like eating celery. Just like humans, animals also have distinct likes and dislikes. Introduce celery to your rabbits slowly and see how it reacts. If he doesn’t seem to like this vegetable, don’t force him, there are plenty of other vegetables you can feed him.
What Are The Health Benefits For Rabbits?
Celery is not just a tasty vegetable, but it is also loaded with nutrients that are good for both humans and animals.
Just like hay, the high fiber content of celery keeps the digestive systems of rabbits clean by pushing the food in it. Moreover, it also helps a rabbit to keep his teeth well-trimmed when it chews on the fibrous stalks. In fact, you can offer a small piece of celery to your bunny as a chew toy.
Another advantage of celery is, it is low in calories, so you don’t have to worry about your bunnies gaining weight by munching on it. It can be given safely even to the obese rabbits.
Celery is loaded with important vitamins and minerals that are needed by rabbits to grow healthy and happy. It contains the following :
|Celery Nutritional Contents:|
|Vitamin B, B6|
Apart from these, celery also contain a few other essential nutrients. These minerals and vitamins help in keeping the bodily functions of bunnies smooth and correct. Further, celery is very easy to digest.
Finally, celery has a great water content. So, if your bunny doesn’t like drinking water and is dehydrated, feed him celery to fulfil the hydration requirement. On hot summer days, you can reward your bunny with a chilled piece of celery.
Are There Any Health Risks Of Celery for Rabbits?
Celery is surely one of the healthiest vegetables you can feed your rabbit. However, just like any other food item, there are a few risks that are associated with it.
Hard Celery Strings – The tough celery strings that annoys you when you use the vegetable can annoy your bunny as well. These strings can get stuck in rabbit’s teeth and can also block their digestive tract.
Sugar Content – While the sugar content of celery is almost unnoticeable to us, this amount is high for bunnies. Excessive sugar can cause a number of health problems to the rabbits.
Water Content – Celery has high water content similar to cucumbers and watermelon. Too much water in diet can cause gastrointestinal issues to your bunny, such as diarrhea.
Oxalates – Although oxalate or simply oxalic acid doesn’t cause any harm in small amounts, if the content increases in a rabbit’s diet, it can result in issues like bladder sludge and kidney damage.
To avoid the negative impact of celery strings on your rabbit’s digestive system and teeth, chop the stalks into small pieces no more than 1/2 inch. If the strings are small, they won’t cause any inconvenience.
To avoid the negative impact of high sugar and oxalate content, consider feeding it sparingly, as an occasional treat.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Leaves?
Celery leaves are dark green and fiat, just like the parsley leaves but they have a slightly mild taste.
If you’ve even bought celery from a local grocer, it sometimes comes with a few leaves that are attached to the stalks. Most of us discard the leaves while preparing celery for our intake. But instead of throwing, can we give them to our bunnies?
Yes. Celery leaves are safe for rabbits and can be given just like any other leafy green. In fact, they are more nutritious for a bunny than the stalks themselves. This is because they have lower water and sugar content as compared to the stalks.
Like other greens and herbs, celery leaves are packed with fiber and essential nutrients. Most rabbits even enjoy eating these leaves. So, you can definitely offer them these greens after washing them thoroughly.
Again, don’t feed celery leaves to your rabbits on a daily basis. Instead, keep rotating them with other greens, so the oxalate content doesn’t harm them.
Flowers of celery are small and white in color. They grow in clusters and bloom when the stalks of the plant become hard and woody.
Usually, the celery stalks we buy from the stores don’t come with flowers, unlike the leaves. However, if you grow the vegetable in your home garden, you might be wondering if the flowers are safe for rabbits or not.
While there is no research that states the harmful effects of celery flowers to rabbits, they are not considered as edible.
So, to stay on a safer side, avoid giving celery flowers to your bunnies. They are not toxic but you never know how they can affect your pet.
Are Celery Seeds Safe For Rabbits To Eat?
Celery seeds are used as a flavor in soups and curries.
They are often powered and mixed with table salt to prepare a seasoning known as celery salt.
While celery seeds are edible to humans, they aren’t safe for rabbits. So, never feed your rabbit the seeds of celery.
Like other seeds, these seeds are high in protein and fat which can be harmful for the rabbits.
Are Celery Roots Safe For Rabbits To Eat?
Celery roots are classified a root vegetable and are safe to eat.
While it may not look very appealing, it is safe for both you and your rabbit. It doesn’t have any substance that is harmful to rabbits.
So, you can feed celery roots to your bunny but in a limited portion. This is important because root vegetables are high in sugar and starch that can mess with the digestive system of your pet.
A rabbit’s diet should mainly focus on the fibrous plants and not the starchy foods. Hence, offer a small piece of celery root twice or thrice in a week.
To prepare the celery root for your pet, first peel it and then wash it nicely to remove the traces of soil and pesticides. After that, chop it into small pieces and offer it to your rabbit.
Moreover, observe the behavior of the rabbit after he eats the celery root. If you notice some ill effects, stop feeding it further.
How Much Celery Should Rabbits Eat?
Now that we have discussed the benefits of celery, let’s now talk about how much celery to feed a rabbit.
Different varieties of vegetables are crucial for rabbits. However, this doesn’t mean you should feed only vegetables to them.
A rabbit’s diet should consist of around 15% of vegetables. The main focus should be on a variety of hay including timothy, meadow, orchard etc. Each rabbit should be given a bundle of hay which is of the same size of his body everyday.
For the vegetable portion of your bunnies diet, about 85% should be herbs and leafy greens (including celery greens). And the rest can be other non-leafy vegetables including the following :
- Bell pepper
- Green beans
Once your rabbit becomes familiar with celery, you can include it in his diet. An adult rabbit can eat up to 2 inches of celery every day. But as we discussed, you should feed it on alternate days instead of giving daily. A good idea is to mix celery with other vegetables and give it to your rabbit in the form of a healthy salad.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Celery?
The digestive systems of baby rabbits are very sensitive. It takes them several months to develop the gut-friendly bacteria needed to digest the fresh fruits and vegetables. To develop this bacteria, they depend on their mother’s faeces.
Until they are 3 months old, baby rabbits can fall victim to a number of health issues if given the wrong foods to eat. Their delicate digestive systems can handle only a limited variety of foods.
Newborn rabbits should only rely on their mother’s milk for up to two weeks. After that, they can start eating hay and hay-based pellets. These foods along with water provide enough nutrients for a recently born rabbit to grow until it becomes three weeks of age. If they’re introduced with anything else other than hay and pellets, they can develop digestive problems.
Baby rabbits are prone to diarrhea. This happens because their gut can’t digest the hard foods. Diarrhea is a severe problem that can even cause the death of your loved pet. It is an emergency situation you should be concerned about.
For this reason, never try to feed celery to the baby rabbits even if they seem to like it. Wait until their digestive systems become capable of digesting a variety of foods. After three months, you can consider introducing celery slowly.
Tips For Preparing For Rabbits
As long as you don’t overfeed it, celery can be very beneficial to your rabbits.
Most of your rabbits diet should consist of plenty of hay, leafy greens and some fresh vegetables. Celery is a good option as it is full with essential nutrients. Keep in mind the following tips while preparing this amazing vegetable for your lovely pet :
- Try to get organic celery that is free from any kind of harmful fertilizer and pesticide. Studies suggest that pesticides such as permethrins can be life-threatening to rabbits.
- Before giving it to your rabbit, wash the celery thoroughly under running water to remove any traces of soil, dirt and pesticides. After that, cut it into small pieces of about half inch each. This will make sure that the tough strings don’t cause any problem to your bunny.
- For the first time, introduce the celery very slowly and wait for the reaction of your pet. If your rabbit seems to digest it, you’re good but if he’s not responding well, consider not to feed him celery.
When you introduce any new food to your rabbit, monitor him closely for this response. If you notice issues such as constipation, diarrhea or other abnormal response, stop continuing that food.