Long, green, with a satisfyingly crunchy texture, celery is a popular vegetable enjoyed by many, but is it safe for rabbits to eat?
Can rabbits eat celery? Rabbits can eat celery. Celery contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, but due to its high-water content, it should not be fed in excessive amounts.
Even though celery is good for rabbits, there are still some risks involved with it. We’ve provided all the information you need to know about the benefits and dangers of celery for rabbits, plus how to safely prepare it!
Can Rabbits Eat Celery?
Celery is a safe vegetable for rabbits to eat and is a good addition to their diet.
This light-green vegetable contains a large amount of nutrients that are beneficial for your rabbit’s health. Its crunchy and hard texture is also great for your rabbit’s dental health.
As you probably already know, rabbits have teeth that are constantly growing. To help wear down your rabbit’s teeth, you need to provide them with chew toys to gnaw on.
Hard and crunchy vegetables can also help keep your rabbit’s teeth in check, so celery is a great food to feed your rabbit.
Preparing Celery for Your Rabbit
Before serving celery to your rabbit, you need to prepare this vegetable to make it safe for your rabbit to eat.
First, wash the celery under water without soap. Try to use organic celery if you can.
Next, chop up the celery into small pieces (about ½ inch long should do). This is to make sure that the stringy parts in the vegetable are cut up enough, so they won’t harm your rabbit.
Celery strings (the stringy segments found in the stalk) are a potential choking hazard for rabbits, so it is essential that you cut them short enough.
Once you have completed these steps, the celery is now safe for your rabbit to enjoy!
Feed Celery in Moderation
Too much of anything is never a good thing, and celery is no different.
Although this veggie is good for rabbits, it shouldn’t be fed in excessive amounts. Celery can cause diarrhoea in rabbits if they eat too much of it.
It is recommended that you only feed around ½ a stick of celery to rabbits every other day. This is because celery contains a lot of water, which can upset your rabbit’s stomach.
If your rabbit has not eaten celery before, only offer them a small piece to begin with and monitor their reaction for 24 hours. If your rabbit has had no ill effects from the celery, then you can gradually increase the amount you give them.
It is important to note that rabbits younger than 12 weeks of age should not be fed celery, fruits, or other types of vegetables.
This is because rabbits under this age have very sensitive stomachs that can be easily upset by fruits and vegetables.
Baby rabbits are weaned off their mothers’ milk between the ages of 6 to 8 weeks. During this process and up until 12 weeks of age, a baby rabbit’s digestive system is too sensitive and weak to handle fruits and vegetables.
Benefits of Celery: Are They Good for Rabbits?
Celery is a very beneficial leafy green vegetable for rabbits as it is packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Some of these include, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber, calcium, folic acid, phosphorus, and potassium, which are great for your rabbit’s health.
Fiber and phosphorous, in particular, are important for your rabbit. Rabbits need a lot of fiber in their diets to keep their digestive systems working properly.
Rabbits naturally have a low protein and low energy diet, so they need to consume a huge amount of fiber to aid with digestion. A lack of fiber in a rabbits’ diet can lead to an array of health problems like GI stasis and obesity.
Phosphorus, alongside calcium and vitamin D is vital for rabbits to ensure their bones stay strong. A lack of any of these nutrients can cause rickets in rabbits.
The main concern with rickets is that it can lead to brittle bones. Brittle or weak bones can be fractured or broken easily, which is definitely something you don’t want to happen to your rabbit!
That’s why celery is a really good vegetable for rabbits! It contains a good level of calcium and phosphorus, so feeding it regularly will keep your rabbit’s bones strong.
Additionally, due to the crunchy texture of celery, it is also effective at wearing your rabbit’s teeth down. Rabbits have teeth that are constantly growing, so they need to be worn down to stop them from getting too long.
Chew toys are ideal for keeping rabbits’ teeth in order, but crunchy and hard vegetables/rabbit-safe foods are great too!
Lastly, celery contains a lot of water. Although watery vegetables/fruits can be bad for your rabbit’s stomach in large quantities, it does mean that celery is good to feed your rabbit on hot days to keep them hydrated.
So, to sum up, celery is very good for rabbits! Not only does it is ideal for their overall health, but it’s great for their dental health too!
For more benefitical foods you can feed your rabbits, RSPCA have written an articles on the myths of rabbit foods.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Stalks?
Yes, rabbits can eat celery stalks. These are long, thick sticks that are quite stringy inside (and the main parts of the vegetable we eat!).
However, use caution when feeding celery stalks to your rabbit. The sticks contain long strings that can be hazardous to your rabbit’s health if you don’t cut them up.
Celery strings can become trapped in your rabbit’s teeth and throat if they are too long, which can lead to choking. These strings can also get caught in your pet’s digestive tract and result in a blockage.
That’s why it’s incredibly important that you chop celery stalks into small pieces so the strings cannot harm your rabbit.
Make sure you thoroughly wash celery stalks under water (without soap) before serving to them to your rabbit.
As long as you prepare celery stalks/sticks correctly, then they will not hurt your rabbit!
As good for your rabbit as celery is, there are still some dangers to this vegetable that you need to keep in mind.
The main hazard of celery is the stringy segments found in the stalks. As we mentioned earlier, celery strings can become lodged in your rabbit’s teeth, throat, and digestive tract.
Never feed your rabbit a celery stick without cutting it up into small chunks first. The strings need to be nice and short so they can’t hurt your rabbit.
Feeding a celery stalk whole or in large chunks could cause your rabbit to choke, which is extremely dangerous as they are unable to vomit.
Celery contains around 1 gram of sugar per stalk, so it is quite a sugary vegetable. Too much sugar in your rabbit’s diet can result in obesity and dental issues.
The high water content of celery is also something to keep in mind. If you give your rabbit celery too often or in too large a quantity, then it can lead to digestive issues like diarrhoea.
Even though celery does not contain as much oxalates as other vegetables (like spinach and broccoli), it does still contain some. If rabbits eat too many oxalates, then it can lead to kidney problems.
With these factors in mind, it is a good idea to not feed celery to your rabbit every day. A few slices 2 to 3 times a week should be plenty.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Roots?
Celery root is also referred to celeriac and it is completely safe for rabbits to eat.
As celery root is a root vegetable, it should not be fed too often to your rabbit. Other types of root vegetable include carrots and turnips.
Root vegetables contain a lot of starch and sugar, which is bad for your rabbit in excessive amounts.
Too much starch and sugar can upset your rabbit’s stomach and cause diarrhoea. Rabbits who consume high-sugar diets are more prone to obesity and dental issues too.
Celery root is fine for your rabbit every now and again as a treat. One or two small chunks should be plenty for your rabbit.
Make sure you peel the outer skin and cut up the interior of the root into little pieces before feeding them to your pet.
Keep an eye on your rabbit after they have eaten celery root for 24 hours. If your rabbit develops a bad reaction, then do not feed them celery root again.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Leaves?
Celery leaves look a little bit like parsley leaves. When we use celery in cooking, we tend to throw these leaves away.
Next time you buy celery, don’t throw the leaves away as they are perfectly safe for rabbits to eat.
In fact, celery leaves are better for rabbits than the other parts of the vegetable.
Celery leaves are lower in sugar and water than the stalks, and they contain a lot fiber and other nutrients (like vitamin C and vitamin E).
This makes them a good leafy green to feed your rabbit every now and again.
The leaves on a celery do contain oxalates, so they should not be given to your rabbit every day. Rotate celery leaves with other leafy greens often to ensure your rabbit is given a wide range of nutrients.
Additionally, make sure you wash the leaves thoroughly before feeding them to your rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Blossoms?
Most rabbits enjoy eating flowers, so if you grow your own celery, you may have wondered whether your pet can eat celery blossoms (flowers).
The flowers on a celery plant are small and white in color. You won’t come across celery flowers when you buy celery from a store as they will already be removed.
There is actually not a lot of information regarding the safety of celery flowers for rabbits. Therefore, it is a good idea not to feed your rabbit celery flowers to be on the safe side.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Seeds?
Like with celery flowers, the seeds of this vegetable won’t come up unless you grow your own celery.
Celery flowers will transform into seeds if they are pollinated and not removed from the plant.
The seeds from a celery plant are safe for humans to eat and are used as seasoning in certain recipes. Celery seeds combined with salt is what makes celery salt.
However, you should avoid feeding celery seeds to your rabbit. Seeds are often high in fat and some types can even be toxic (like pear and apple seeds).
What Other Vegetables Can Rabbits Eat? Alternatives
If your rabbit is not a fan of celery, then here are some other safe vegetables/herbs that you could try. All of these should be fed raw as rabbits are not able to process cooked foods very well.
- Carrots (and carrot tops)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Cauliflower leaves and stalks
- Zucchini (courgette)
- Arugula (rocket)
- Bell peppers (red, green, orange, and yellow)
- Romaine/dark-colored lettuce (avoid light-colored ones and Iceberg)
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Beet greens
- Bok/Pak choy
- Eggplant/aubergines (avoid leaves as they are toxic)
- Collard greens
- Green beans
- Swiss chard
- Butternut squash
If you’re unsure on the what to feed your pet rabbits, myhouserabbit.com have written a indepth articles on the type of food you should be feeding your rabbit.
Can rabbits eat dairy products like milk, cheese, eggs, etc.? No, rabbits are strictly herbivorous. You should never feed your rabbit dairy products as they lack the enzymes needed to process them.
How often do rabbits need to be fed? Rabbits need to be fed every day, preferably once in the morning and once in the evening. Your rabbit’s daily diet should include leafy green vegetables, rabbit pellets, and unlimited access to grass hay.
Can rabbits live alone? Rabbits can live alone, but they do much better in pairs or a small group (if you have the space!). If you plan on keeping a single rabbit, then you will need to provide it with lots of attention.