Can Rabbits Eat Celery? This is a common question every new rabbit owner seeks answers to, especially when planning their pet rabbit’s diet. No doubt, celery is a healthy and tasty vegetable for humans, but that’s not enough to conclude it’s healthy for pet rabbits.
Your rabbit might beg to have celery once it sees you eating it and that’s normal. But before you fall for this, you need to be sure about the benefits of celery as well as the risks attached.
This article serves as a complete guide to celery treats for rabbits. Keep reading below to find out if celery is a good option or just another veggie to avoid.
Don’t forget to read our complete bunny guide if you’re new to owning and caring for a house rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery?
Absolutely, rabbits can eat celery, but only in moderate amounts. This means you should serve them celery as treats and only a few days a week. However, celery is crispy and crunchy and most rabbits love it!
It’s also a low-sugar vegetable and loaded with fiber, vitamin C, A, B6, B9, K, and many other healthy nutrients. However, there are some risks attached, especially the presence of calcium in it. Also, keep in mind that rabbits don’t need vitamin C in their diets.
Although calcium is vital for bone and teeth development, it can harm your rabbit when they consume too much of it. This is the main reason why you need to feed your rabbit celery in moderation.
Now that you know that rabbits can eat celery, you need to know how to properly prepare and add it to your rabbit’s diet.
How To Safely Add Celery To Your Rabbit’s Diet
There are a few things you need to remember when preparing celery to give your rabbit. For instance, you need to pay attention to the amount of celery you feed as well as the presentation.
A few precautions and the right preparation will keep you on the right track. Nevertheless, if this is your first time doing it, you can follow the steps below:
Pick The Right Celery For Rabbits
Start by selecting fresh, organic celery for your rabbit. You can get it from grocery shops or organic stores. However, if you grow celery in your backyard without chemicals, that is the best for rabbits!
Moreover, you should never use leftovers or celery that are drying up. You can also get celery with its leaves still intact. Celery leaves are healthy for rabbits, so it’s safe to include them.
Wash It Thoroughly
After picking the right kind of celery for your pet rabbit, the next thing to do is wash the celery. You should do this preferably under running, warm water.
Washing celery or any other veggie is vital. Doing so helps to get rid of dust and chemicals, like pesticides. Hygiene in a rabbit’s diet is very important for their health.
Prepare The Serving
As insignificant as celery strings are, you need to either peel them off or make sure that you cut them into small enough pieces to not matter. Celery strings can choke your rabbit if left intact.
After washing, take your time to remove every celery string on the celery stalk you want to serve your rabbit. Alternatively, cut the stalk into 0.5-inch (1.27cm) pieces. Once you’re done, make sure to feed only 2 inches (5 cm) of the celery stalk (about less than half a celery stick depending on size).
In addition, if you’re planning to mix celery with other veggies (i.e a veggie salad), make sure you use vegetables that are low in calcium.
This step is one you should never overlook. Feeding your rabbit celery is one thing, making sure they are okay with it is another.
A rabbit’s digestive system can react to a new food that it’s not used to processing. You need to watch your rabbit closely after feeding it celery.
A period of about 24 hours is enough to spot any changes. If there are any signs of discomfort or digestive issues in your rabbit, you should not feed them celery again until they get better.
If you try serving celery to your rabbit again after some time has passed and they still react badly to it, don’t feed them celery again. Normally, these symptoms resolve on their own, but if it persists, you should take your rabbit to a vet.
However, if nothing happens at all when your bunny first tries out celery, you can confidently add celery to their diet again. But remember to feed in moderation.
When you’re sure your rabbit is done eating the celery fed, you should remove any remaining celery. If it stays too long, bacteria will form on them. And you surely do not want this celery remnant getting in your bunny’s mouth.
READ ALSO: HOW TO FEED BUNNIES EVERY DAY?
Which Parts Of Celery Are Safe For Rabbits?
Some vegetables come with parts that rabbits can and can’t eat. Celery just like other veggies comes with different parts too.
Can rabbits eat the whole celery plant? Keep reading below to find out!
The parts of celery:
- The Stalk – Celery stalks, stems, ribs or sticks is the main part of the celery plant that rabbits may consume. However, it’s safe only in moderate amounts so your rabbit can enjoy it without having any health problems.
- The leaves – Celery leaves are also safe to feed your rabbit. The leaves count as leafy vegetables and can be fed in larger amounts. Make sure not to overdo it, however.
- The Strings – The strings are located on the outer part of celery and it’s quite tough. It’s hard for rabbits to chew and digest. It can also get stuck in your rabbit’s teeth and throat which may cause choking. If you feed your rabbit celery strings, make sure to cut the celery into small pieces.
- The Roots – Celery roots are also safe for rabbits to consume in moderation. They are rich in fiber and also contain other healthy vitamins and minerals. Feel free to give your rabbit some celery roots.
The Benefits Of Celery Nutrients
Celery is loaded with a lot of healthy nutrients—both vitamins and minerals. As a result, your rabbits can benefit from celery in different ways. See them below:
- Dietary Fiber – This is important in keeping your rabbit’s digestive system in good condition. Dietary fiber also improves regular bowel movements and prevents digestive issues.
- Vitamin K – Vitamin K is responsible for creating the protein that clots blood. Furthermore, it helps to reduce bleeding, close up wounds, and speeds up healing.
- Folate – Folate (or vitamin B9) boosts immunity and the creation of red blood cells. This vitamin aids pregnancy and the growth of young rabbits.
- Potassium – Potassium is a very important nutrient for rabbits’ cardiovascular health. It promotes good muscle contraction, good breathing, and proper flow of blood. Above all, it prevents heart-related issues.
- Vitamin B6 – This is an amazing nutrient in celery that helps reduce stress and anxiety. It can promote a happy mood, relaxation, and sleep quality in rabbits.
- Magnesium – This mineral is proven to be helpful in the prevention and treatment of bladder sludge in rabbits.
- Water – This veggie is loaded with water – about 95%. That is great for your rabbit as they not only get to enjoy this tasty veggie snack but also stay hydrated at the same time.
By Greg Hewgill – Flickr
How Much Celery Should I Feed My Rabbits?
The answer to this question, ‘can rabbits eat celery’, is never answered in its entirety without knowing the proper serving size. Rabbits should have less than half a celery stalk (2 inches (5cm) of celery). This is the moderate amount they should eat to remain safe.
Furthermore, introducing celery slowly into their diet is important, especially if it is their first time having it. You don’t want this new food to upset your rabbits’ digestive systems.
It’s better to start with smaller chunks of celery (smaller than the recommended serving size). Monitor any changes in your rabbit, especially in their behavior and stool, for 24 hours.
If no issue arises, feel free to feed your rabbit the normal serving size. However, if you spot any negative reactions, stop feeding them celery completely after the second try. Make sure to let them recover before you feed celery again.
Can You Feed Your Rabbits Celery Every Day?
No, you should not offer celery treats to rabbits every day. Celery should not be a major food source in a rabbit’s diet, so only offer it to them occasionally, about 2-3 times a week.
This kind of schedule helps to reduce the chances of calcium in celery hurting your rabbit. Moreover, in those few days you skip, you can feed your rabbit some other vegetable, preferably one low in calcium.
Despite the benefits of celery being many, overfeeding it to your bunnies can create many health issues.
Other Alternatives To Celery For Rabbits
You should know that rabbits, like humans, have preferences. If your rabbit doesn’t like celery, it’s totally fine! Feed them some other vegetables as treats.
Additionally, it is not proper to feed your rabbit a particular veggie all the time. Add some variety to their diet!
There are many healthy options for a veggie swap. See them below;
- Brussel sprouts
- Bell peppers
Just like celery, rabbits can only eat these vegetables in moderation too. Some might be high in sugar or calcium which is bad for rabbits. Hence, make sure you feed the proper serving sizes for these veggies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Leaves?
Of course, feel free to serve celery leaves to your rabbits. The leaves are just like any other leafy vegetables that rabbits munch with delight.
Interestingly, celery leaves do not have strings on them, unlike the stalks. Moreover, it’s the softest part of the celery plant to chew.
However, you should not be ignorant of the calcium and oxalate content in celery leaves. These can cause health problems for your rabbit like bladder stones and other urinary problems.
Hence, you should only serve rabbits celery leaves in moderate-sized servings and on rare occasions. Do not forget to always wash celery leaves thoroughly before serving to your rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Roots (Celeriac)
Rabbits can eat celery roots, also called celeriac. These roots are filled with fiber and many other healthy nutrients for bunnies. However, their lump-like appearance and brown color make them seem unattractive and inedible.
Many rabbit owners avoid serving their pet rabbits celery roots thinking it might be toxic. However, that is not the case. Celery roots are healthy for rabbits and you can always give some to your fluffy pet.
Remember do not overfeed celery roots to pet rabbits. Just like the leaves, rabbits should only eat celery roots in moderation.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Celery
Cooked celery is not safe for rabbits. You should completely avoid feeding your rabbit celery that is cooked or processed.
Generally, a rabbit’s digestive system is designed to process only raw plant foods. This means their tummies don’t break down cooked or processed foods pretty well.
In the process, your rabbit might end up suffering from serious digestive problems, which in worse cases can be fatal. Hence, stick to feeding your rabbit raw celery only when it’s fresh.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Celery?
No, you should avoid feeding baby rabbits celery. They have a more sensitive digestive system than mature rabbits.
This means that baby rabbits can’t digest certain foods. And this includes fruits and vegetables.
In addition, they can get the vitamins and minerals they need from their mother’s milk. This is what they need at the very early stages of their lives.
Even before they start eating vegetables and fruits, hay and pellets must first come into their diet. When they’re about three months old, you can start to introduce other foods like celery.
Though celery isn’t toxic, baby bunnies can suffer digestive issues if you introduce celery before they’re three months old.
Do Wild Rabbits Eat Celery?
Wild rabbits do not normally eat celery. The areas where wild celery grows aren’t places where you can find a wild bunny.
Bunnies living in the wild eat mostly grass or hay. This is similar to how your pet rabbit needs hay in their diet the most.
The diet of wild rabbits also includes leafy weeds, plant shoots, flowers, and shrubs. Moreover, a wild bunny also feeds on twigs and tree bark, especially during winter.
However, a wild bunny can eat celery if you offer it to them to if they have access to the plant in your garden. Excess celery can create health issues for wild rabbits too, so make sure to fence off your celery garden.
So can rabbits eat celery? Definitely. They are crunchy, healthy, and make great veggie treats for rabbits.
Don’t forget your rabbit’s diet should mostly consist of quality hay, grass, and clean water. Bunnies eat fruits and vegetables only as occasional treats and celery isn’t an exception.
Rabbits can eat celery stalks, leaves, and even roots. However, you should always peel off the strings on the celery stalk or cut them into small pieces during preparation. This part can choke your bunny or get stuck in your rabbit’s teeth.
Remember to gradually introduce celery to your rabbit. Follow the steps in this article to make sure you’re doing it right.
Click here to learn more about a rabbit’s diet, especially the different foods they can eat.