Is there anything more refreshing than chomping on some crisp, crunchy celery sticks? There probably is. But even though celery may not be the best tasting fruit or vegetable, they provide a lot of great health effects among other benefits.
I don’t know about you, but I love celery with a side of ranch or peanut butter. I buy and eat them all the time because they’re nutritious and a great diet food.
However, as a dog-loving owner, I can’t help but wonder: can dogs eat celery sticks? I’m a big “sharer,” especially when it comes to my dogs. Subsequently, my mind becomes flooded with questions like, “how about celery leaves?” and “are there any negative side effects?”
All of which, are great questions to ask if you’re a responsible dog owner. Fortunately, you are a responsible owner, and I have some good news.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Celery
It’s true: dogs can eat celery sticks, but only in moderation. In fact, celery provides a lot of extremely useful dog health benefits as well. In a way, you can say they’re sort of a dog superfood. The best part is celery are packed with all sorts of vitamins and minerals. But unlike other vegetables, they don’t require you to consume a lot of calories to get them.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There are proper methods and feeding tips you should know if you want to give dogs a bit of celery. In addition, there are potential side effects to look out for. Not all dogs will show side effects, but it is possible.
Health Benefits: Dogs and Celery
To fully dissect and examine the health benefits of feeding celery to your dog, let’s look at the nutritional value of celery.
One Cup of Celery (Raw, Diced) Contains:
- 16 Calories
- Vitamin K – 33% Daily Value
- Molybdenum – 11% DV
- Folate – 9% DV
- Potassium – 8% DV (12% DV in Bananas)
- Fiber – 6% DV
- Manganese – 5% DV
- Vitamin B2 – 5% DV
- Pantothenic Acid -5% DV
- Copper – 4% DV
- Calcium – 4% DV
- Vitamin C – 4% DV
- Vitamin B6 – 4% DV
- Phosphorus – 3% DV
- Magnesium – 3% DV
- Vitamin A – 3% DV
The first thing you may notice when looking at the nutritional value is that there is a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. This is what makes celery a superfood. And the best part? Your dog can benefit from them all.
Vitamin K in Celery For Strong Dog Bones
The most eye-catching nutritional value is the shocking 33% daily value of Vitamin K per cup of celery. Sure, you can get your Vitamin K from elsewhere, but not at 33% DV per cup. The next common vegetable with the most Vitamin K may be cucumbers at 19% DV.
One of the main benefits from this vitamin is that it promotes healthy and strong bones in dogs. This means that this vegetable is perfect for older dogs or energetic dog breeds that are always running and jumping.
Celery Will Clean a Dog’s Teeth
One of the many wonderful benefits of celery is that it can act as a toothbrush for your dog. No, I don’t mean to literally put toothpaste on it and brush your canine’s teeth. That wouldn’t be such a great idea.
Celery is special because it produces extra saliva, which will neutralize the acid that causes tooth erosion. In addition, the green strands from celery can mimic dental floss that clear up the extra plaque and junk stuck in their teeth. Celery also does a good job massaging your dog’s teeth and gums due to the crunchiness of the vegetable.
Dental health is extremely important for dogs. A lack of attention may lead to other serious dog health problems and diseases. Alternatives like apples will also clean up the plaque, whereas cucumbers will freshen your dog’s breath.
Celery: The Perfect Dog Diet Food
Have an overweight dog? Does your dog love food a little bit too much? Well, there’s good news. Celery are great healthy snacks for a dog that needs to shed some pounds. The downside is that they can’t completely replace all snacks. Remember, moderation is key.
Celery actually only has 16 calories per cup, making it an ideal diet food. A big reason for the low calorie is because celery is made up of mostly water. If your dog is always hungry like mine, I would substitute some treats for the occasional celery stick.
This vegetable also works great while training your dog. Too many snacks for reinforcement training may lead to putting on a few too many pounds.
Celery For a Dehydrated Dog
When I said celery is made up of mostly water, i wasn’t kidding. In fact, celery is made up of 95% water. Along with zucchini and radish, celery contains the most water out of all common vegetables. Any more and it’d be, well, water.
So if you feel like your dog isn’t getting enough water on a hot summer day, cut up some celery sticks and let them enjoy.
About 60 percent of an adult human body is made up of water. And dogs are roughly the same. This means that water is extremely vital for a healthy dog. A lack of water would only cause other dog health problems. For alternatives to celery, check out broccoli, which is 91% water by weight.
Anti-Inflammatory For Dogs
Along with cantaloupes and pineapples, celery contain anti-inflammatory properties that would be useful for active dogs. Celery can also act as a pain reliever for dogs suffering from arthritis or similar joint problems.
An aging large dog would benefit from the occasional celery. Continuous stress from the weight of larger dogs would certainly wear down joints over time.
Dog Side Effects From Eating Celery
A good thing can turn into a bad thing without moderation. This is true for all things that you feed to your dog. This is especially true when feeding them human foods.
Although side effects for celery aren’t too common, there is always a chance. The more you feed them celery, the higher chance these side effects may occur. This is why we always stress moderation.
Upset Stomach in Dogs
A dog’s stomach can’t digest human foods like fruits and vegetables as well as we can. This means that too much celery in their diet can lead to an upset stomach.
Due to the stringiness of celery stalks, it is quite difficult for a dog to chew and digest this vegetable. Most dogs don’t like to thoroughly chew their food before swallowing. So feeding a full stick of celery to your dog without any preparation is probably not a good idea.
Look out for any weird behaviors (such as lack of energy) after celery consumption. If you dog is experiencing stomach pains, just wait it out and stop feeding celery.
Excessive Urination in Dogs
It’s always a good idea to make sure your dog has an adequate amount of water in their system. But sometimes too much is not great.
Yes, celery contain about 95 percent water. In other words, too many celery sticks will lead to your dog consuming too much water. Thus, leading to excessive urination. But don’t worry, excessive urination from eating too much celery is not the worst thing that can happen to your dog.
However, excessive urination from other reasons may be from a wide range of health problems.
Diarrhea in Dogs
Fiber is generally a good thing, as it will keep your colon healthy. But too much fiber combined with water will have a good chance at inducing diarrhea in dogs.
This isn’t a common side effect, as celery doesn’t have that much fiber compared to other fruits and vegetables (mangoes have nearly 5 grams of fiber!). However, there is always a chance. Always check the stool of your dog after consumption of celery or any other human foods for that matter.
Can Dogs Eat Celery Leaves?
There’s a lot of information on the web that says that dogs should not eat celery leaves and to always remove them. But, nothing mentions why dogs can’t eat celery leaves.
After a lot of digging and consulting with Veterinarians, there seems to be no reason why dogs cannot eat celery leaves. The only possibility may be a few natural toxins in celery that may be more present in the leaves than the stalk.
Although the toxins aren’t very harmful to humans, there has been no scientific studies between those toxins and dogs. So in order to be safe, it may be a good idea to leave the leaves out when serving.
On the contrary, the leaves are actually very nutritious aside from the toxins. They contain a surplus of Vitamin A among other nutritions.
Preparing Celery For Dogs
Make sure to wash the stalks several times. It’s been known that celery contain a lot of pesticide compared to other vegetables. Pesticide is not good for your dog. An excess of pesticide can lead to potentially fatal health problems.
You will want to cut the celery stalks into smaller pieces to avoid any blockage in their intestinal tract. A hungry dog probably won’t thoroughly chew a full stalk, so this is a must.
Although the strings in the celery act as a dental floss, sometimes it may be a good idea to remove them. It all depends on how well your dog can digest the celery string. It’s okay to try feeding them some with the strings in tact, but always watch out for any side effects.
Celery can be fed to them either raw or cooked. It’s really up to you. However, raw celery may be a little harder for your dog to digest.
If you’re going with raw celery, i suggest pairing it with just a tad bit of peanut butter to make it extra tasty for your dog. Not all dogs like plain raw celery but they could certainly use the boost in vitamins and minerals.
After giving them a few pieces to start off with, watch for any changes in stool habits or behavior for the next 24 hours. If nothing is unusual then they’re in the clear!
How Much Celery Can a Dog Eat?
It’s suggested that dogs don’t eat more than a few cuts of celery a few times a week. My general rule of thumb is to feed celery whenever you’re eating it yourself. That way, you’re killing two birds with one stone.
If you’re not a big celery eater, you can use celery to replace dog treats every now and then. A few servings per week is more than enough for them. Remember that too much celery can lead to all sorts of side effects.
And obviously, the smaller your dog, the fewer the slices of celery sticks.
The Smart Canine is an online resource dedicated to providing dog owners with accurate information on dog care and training. We are not a replacement for the professional opinion of a veterinarian. We have thoroughly researched on the topic of dogs and the consumption of celery. However, it is still advisable that you speak with your vet before feeding celery to your dog. All dogs are different and we can’t give professional advice specific to all dog and breeds.