Celery sticks

Can Dogs Eat Celery?
Canine Food Safety Guide

This crunchy and fresh veggie has been part of a healthy human diet since forever. But can dogs eat celery? Before sharing with your pup, read what the experts have to say about it.


Can Dogs Eat Celery?

They can, but it doesn’t mean all dogs will!

Technically speaking, celery doesn’t have any harmful compounds for your dog. But some pups simply don’t like the flavour. On the other hand, the crunchy texture might appeal to picky eaters: I know my super picky chihuahua went crazy over little celery pieces!

Related: What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?

Even if your dog isn’t a huge fan, we recommend you offer a piece of celery every now and then. It has many health benefits for your dog.


Health Benefits of Celery for Dogs

Improves digestive health

Celery stalks are rich in cellulose, a complex carbohydrate found in plants. Cellulose is basically insoluble fibre, which speeds up digestion and ensures they go potty regularly. If your dog tends to “scoot” on the floor, increasing their dietary fibre can greatly improve the problem. Celery is a great addition to the diet of dogs that deal with irregular digestion or constipation.

Insoluble fibre is also the primary food of the good bacteria in your dog’s intestines. This means eating celery will nourish their gut microbiome, prevent inflammatory bowel disease and increase their overall digestive health [1].

Perfect for pups on a diet

Did the vet tell you they need to lose weight? Celery can be a great snack for dogs on a diet! This veggie is very low in fat and cholesterol, high in fibre and water. This means that eating it as a treat will increase your dog satiety without adding extra calories or fat to their diet. Since it’s crunchy and can be cut up into little pieces, many dogs love it as an occasional snack.

PRO TIP: If your dog is on a diet, only offer plain celery sticks. Extras like peanut butter might be tasty, but they also dramatically increase the calories!

Celery has key micronutrients

On top of the fibre, celery has tons of micronutrients. According to research, this veggie is a great source of vitamin K, C and B9, as well as copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. These essential micronutrients can help round up your dog’s diet, support their immune system and, because of the iron, lower their chances of anaemia.

Might help kidney troubles

Celery has specific compounds that are also found in drugs to fight urolithiasis (kidney stones) in dogs and other animals [4]. These compounds can help prevent kidney stones from sticking together, which makes expulsion through the urethra easier. According to researchers, adding celery to your dog’s diet might support medical treatment for kidney stones.

PRO TIP: If you think your dog might be suffering from kidney or urinary issues, take them to the vet ASAP. Diet supplements like celery aren’t a replacement for proper medical treatment!

Celery has plenty of antioxidants

The goodies in this crunchy stalk don’t stop: celery is also rich in plant-based antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic compounds. One of the flavonoids found in celery, apigenin, has been associated with a slower progression of diabetes, age-related blindness and might protect pancreatic cells. Apigenin has also been related to a heightened production of bone cells, which experts consider might help prevent osteoporosis de-mineralization.


Can Dogs Eat Whole Celery?

Yes. Celery leaves, seeds, stalks and roots are safe for dogs and other animals. However, keep an eye out if your dog isn’t used to eating lots of fibre. Since celery is very high in fibre, it might cause gastrointestinal upset if eaten in high quantities and over a short period.

PRO TIP: If your dog isn’t used to eating veggies, start by offering only one or two pieces every couple of days. If they seem fine and don’t show gastrointestinal distress, you can double the amount or increase the frequency.


How to Give Celery to Your Dog

Step 1. Choose the right one

Pick celery stalks that are fresh, firm and crispy. If possible, choose organic or wash well with vinegar before eating.

Step 2. Cut it up

The fibres in celery can get trapped in your dog’s teeth, so cut it up in squares against the sense of the fibre. Keep in mind celery pieces can be a choking risk if they get lodged in your dog’s throat, so cut up pieces that will be small enough to be easily chewed. If your dog is a swallower, cut it up even smaller to avoid choking.

Step 3. Offer 1 or 2 pieces

This is especially important if they aren’t used to eating a lot of fibre. Offer a couple of pieces and then repeat the next day or after a few days. This will slowly increase your dog’s tolerance to fibre and ensure they don’t get an upset tummy.


Final Thoughts

Have you ever given celery to your dog? If they haven’t tried it, maybe consider it adding it once in a while to their diet! It can be a great source of healthy fibre and plenty of micronutrients to keep them healthy.

References

  1. Khairullah AR, et al. Review on the Pharmacological and Health Aspects of Apium Graveolens or Celery: An Update. Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy. 2021;12(1):606-12. https://www.sysrevpharm.org/articles/review-on-the-pharmacological-and-health-aspects-of-apium-graveolens-or-celery-an-update.pdf
  2. Ward E ”Weight Reduction In Dogs – General Information,” Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (2019) https://petobesityprevention.org/weight-loss-dogs  
  3. Rocha CO and Granato AC. Medicinal plants used in the phytotherapeutical treatment of urolithiasis in dogs–an integrative review. Research, Society and Development. 2021 Sep 28;10(12). https://rsdjournal.org/index.php/rsd/article/download/20876/18476
  4. Mahran GH, et al. Investigation of diuretic drug plants. 1. Phytochemical screening and pharmacological evaluation of Anethum graveolens L., Apium graveolens L., Daucus carota L. and Eruca sativa mill. Phytotherapy Research. 1991 Aug;5(4):169-72. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.2650050406
  5. Calvo-Guirado JL, et al. Experimental Study on the Influence of Apigenin K and Melatonin in Socket Preservation as Bone Stimulators: An Experimental Study in Beagle Dogs. Applied Sciences. 2020 Jan;10(9):3006. https://www.mdpi.com/700948
  6. Middelbos, I., et al. "Phylogenetic characterization of fecal microbial communities of dogs fed diets with or without supplemental dietary fiber using 454 pyrosequencing." PloS one 5.3 (2010): e9768). https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0009768
Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better. Eloisa is able to use her expertise to write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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