Crunchy and fresh fruit and vegetables are a great way for us to stay in shape and lead long and healthy lives – and in many cases, the same goes for your pets too.
More and more dog owners are looking to supplement their pet’s meals with healthy additional snacks and side dishes that will bring them lots of feel good energy.
With that in mind, can dogs eat celery? Indeed they can – but there are still some details best kept in mind, as we’ll explore here.
Is celery good for dogs?
Most definitely – but that doesn’t mean it’s best to give your dog celery all the time, or to the same degree that human beings would be recommended to eat it.
Most of the nutritional value your dog needs comes from specially formulated dog food, which has been especially developed to meet the requirements of your dog’s body.
Evolution took humans and dogs in pretty different directions, after all – so much so, that some fruit and vegetables even end up being toxic or otherwise dangerous to dogs, cats and other pets.
Fortunately, crisp and satisfying celery is more than safe for canine consumption, providing it’s dished up as an addition to a dog’s meal, rather than a meal in and of itself.
That’s because dogs have far less of a need for the nutritional components within vegetables like celery than human beings would do.
That said, the benefits of eating celery translate just as well from our bodies to theirs – bolstered immunity to illness, for instance, or more energy and vitality over the long term.
Many dog owners also agree that letting a dog crunch on a stick of celery helps to refresh their mouths and, perhaps most appealingly of all, freshen your pet’s breath.
That hot musty musk of your dog’s happy panting can certainly be improved with some tactfully offered celery sticks!
Celery is also noted as being quite low in natural sugars, and indeed calories.
As much as that benefits we human beings, dogs can also make the most of it – in asking what’s good for dogs with obesity issues, experts often advise celery or the like as a good treat or reward snack that comes pretty guilt free.
However, any dog owner feeding fruit or vegetables to their pooch, celery included, is smart to keep in mind that both the teeth and overall digestive system of dogs is far less adept at dealing with this kind of food than we are.
As such, what seems a regular portion for a human being is often far and above what a dog would require, to the extent that it might cause tummy upset.
Choking is always a risk too, particularly if you happen to have a dog who is a very swift eater.
Many dogs, especially after a long day running around in the hot sun, love nothing more than gulping down a big dinner without pausing for breath – yet a solid chunk of celery ingested far too fast can block the airways and make your pup cough, gag and generally feel quite bewildered and uncomfortable.
Health benefits of celery for dogs
The freshened breath alluded to earlier in this article is always a good indicator of just how good celery can be for your pet.
If you’re dicing it up into bits and mixing it in with their dinner every few days, or handing out a stick of it to chew on as an occasional treat, it won’t be long before your dog shows bright eyes, a shiny coat and a healthy wet nose.
Celery contains next to no fat or cholesterol, and that means your dog is going to have no long term adverse effects from eating it.
Indeed, the only dangers of dogs eating celery – the aforementioned choking hazard, or problems in their toilet time if they eat too much of it – are short term maladies that soon clean up, but are still best avoided if you want a happy dog.
Celery contains good portions of manganese and potassium, as well as countless vitamins that help bolster their immune systems, promote good growth in younger dogs, and overall release effective and active energy over time.
More specifically, celery contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K, all of which can help your dog lead a long, happy and overall pretty contented life.
It’s also worth noting that celery is packed with enough fibre to help keep dogs nice and regular in their business visits to the garden.
The parts of celery around the tougher exterior, especially, contain plenty of fibre that does wonders to give the digestive system a workout.
But of course, that same workout is why too much celery can cause issues for dogs – the same as any fruit or vegetable.
Leaves and tough fruit or vegetable skins are that much harder for a dog’s stomach to deal with than ours, and all that hard work can make them feel poorly if they overindulge.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that a number of dog owners recognise that their dog needs to pee more after eating celery, particularly in too large amounts.
If you think your dog is asking to go out and take care of business a little too often, think about paring back how much celery you’re handing them for a time and see if it helps resolve things.
How much celery can a dog eat daily?
Different sizes, breeds and even ages of dog respond differently to having fruit and vegetables introduced to their diet, and you’re certainly encouraged to experiment here – every pet is quite individual, after all.
However, by and large it’s a good idea to think of celery as a low-calorie treat or an occasional added supplement to dinner time for your dog.
As such, eating celery daily really isn’t altogether necessary for dogs, but the general consensus is that no more than one stick of it per day is enough to give them all of the benefits without encouraging any of the digestive drawbacks.
As with any new food in your dog’s diet, there may be a period of adjustment, or the need to sit with your dog and help them understand what is likely a strange new food to them.
Puppies and young dogs especially ought to be given much encouragement and the chance to sniff around a stick of celery and nibble at it experimentally – even better, a handful of little cut of celery chunks to try.
This is also a good way of gauging if your dog even likes celery to begin with.
After all, it could well turn out that your pooch simply isn’t fond of the stuff – and if you’re adamant on getting celery into your pet’s diet nonetheless, this is where sneaking it in small pieces into their dinner or dipping it in some gravy before handing it over can help!
What to do if your dog eats celery
Because celery doesn’t contain anything toxic or otherwise hazardous to your dog’s long term health, you have no cause for worry if you find that your dog is eating celery secretly, or that you discover him or her tugging some out of the garbage.
While this is naughty behaviour for sure, your dog likely thinks it’s a fun chewy snack, given the shape and size of celery in general.
He or she won’t have any issues eating it beyond a bit of a telling off from their master and, if they have eaten several sticks of celery in a day, perhaps a touch of wind and constipation.
Tummy aches from overeating any kind of food like this is always a risk for dogs, but it’s nature’s way of discouraging them from sneaking these kinds of treats for themselves.
It’s best to leave it to you to intelligently divvy up the portions, after all.
Nonetheless, keep some fresh water by your dog and keep an eye on him or her for a time after he or she has eaten the celery.
This is smart simply because your dog may have, quite literally, bitten off more than they can chew, and he or she will need your support if they end up coughing up an oversized piece of celery or having it block their digestive passages.
The good news is though, your dog’s likely going to have some pretty fresh breath!
Celery is an excellent and low-calorie way of not only introducing vitamins and fibre to a dog’s diet, but also controlling their weight if it’s getting excessive, and even keeping their breath fresh.
It’s best served in bite-sized pieces, although some dogs are happy to gnaw on a stick for themselves – just be certain that they don’t create any choking hazards for themselves.
Treat celery as an addition to your dog’s dinner rather than the base component of it, and you’ll be sure to find the right portion sizes that help keep your canine loved one refreshed, happy and healthy.