I assume by now you know you can share some of your vegetables with your rabbit. But as usual, never feed anything new without asking your vet or researching it first.
Now that you are preparing celery and your bunny can’t stop staring, the first question that pops up is, “Can rabbits eat celery?”
Allow me to answer your question and help you understand the benefits and dangers of celery for bunnies.
Let’s get started already!
Can Rabbits Eat Celery?
Rabbits can safely eat celery. Try offering your bunny a piece, and you’ll see it “asking for more” once he’s done.
For some reason, rabbits find celery more appealing. I assume it’s because celery is fibrous, so it requires effort to chew, and since bunnies love chewing, they enjoy the task. Or maybe it’s the little sugar content that makes it taste like candy.
All the same, celery is a healthy vegetable option for your bunny. It’s packed with nutrients and contains high water content, making it a refreshing treat during the summer. It’s one of the water substitute vegetables for bunnies with difficulty drinking water.
However, like any vegetable option, it should be fed to the rabbit in moderation. A rabbit’s diet consists of hay, pellets, water, fruits, and vegetables. Hay, pellets, and water are necessities, while vegetables and fruits are occasional treats.
Actually, hay is the basic pillar and should take up eighty percent of your bunny’s diet. Rabbits need a constant fiber supply, and nothing beats hay in terms of fiber content.
So, though celery is safe for rabbits, it should be treated like all the other treats and offered in moderation.
Are Celery Leaves Safe for Rabbits?
Yes, celery leaves are safe for bunnies to eat. They resemble natural herbs and grass that wild rabbits eat. So if you are unsure about the entire celery plant, feeding the leaves first is a good idea.
You are advised to mimic wild rabbits’ eating habits so you don’t interfere with your bunny’s instincts. And since celery leaves are nothing more than the usual wild herbs, feel free to feed them to your domesticated rabbit.
They are also more nutritious since they contain less sugar and water. High water content is great but may neutralize other nutrients, so less water means more nutrients.
Humans consume celery stalks, so instead of throwing the leaves away, let your bunny benefit from the nutrients.
What about celery stalks?
What we call “celery stalks” are actually petioles. Chances are you are familiar with the stalk because that’s what we eat.
Rabbits can eat the stalks as well. They may prefer it to leaves because it’s a little tougher, so it demands some effort to chew. Besides, the crunchy feel and refreshing water content make it ideal for bunnies.
And since it’s more fibrous, you’ll be doing your bunny a huge favor by sharing the stalks with him. However, reduce it to tiny pieces and monitor it while your rabbit is eating so he doesn’t choke on the strings.
Can rabbits eat celery flowers?
An interesting fact about celery is that it produces flowers. Their flowers grow in clusters and are white. They are also tiny and hard to notice from afar.
Celery flowers grow after stalks turn woody, which means you’ll rarely notice any flowers unless the plant is left to overgrow. Most of us buy our celery from the store, so chances are we’ve never seen the flowers. What we get from the store is mostly stalks with little or no leaves.
But if you grow your celery on the farm, you might have noticed the flowers and wondered if rabbits could eat them. Well, there’s no tangible evidence as to whether celery flowers are safe for rabbits.
They may not be poisonous, but they are also not classified as edible. For this reason, avoid feeding your bunny celery flowers at any cost.
Can rabbits eat celery root?
Unlike celery flowers, celery root is common and sometimes sold in stores. It is the below-the-ground stem that grows in the soil.
It appears as a solid, uneven ball with brownish skin. It is classified as a root vegetable and is entirely edible. Both humans and rabbits can safely eat celery root as it contains no toxins that pose a health risk.
The only issue with this root is the unattractive look, which makes it easy to doubt if it’s safe. But since bunnies don’t mind the appearance, they will munch through the whole thing!
Do Bunnies Like Celery?
They do, particularly the stalks. They may eat leaves but seem to like stalks better. While leaves are soft and easy to chew, stalks satisfy the urge to chew, making it a fun treat.
So if you are offering only one part of the plant, make it the stalks and let your bunny enjoy them.
Besides, compared to other vegetables, celery tastes sweeter. The sweetness may be insignificant to us, but it’s a whole new thing to bunnies.
Health Benefits of Celery for Rabbits
Besides being tasty and fun to chew, celery boasts many health benefits. Its high water content makes it ideal for a hot summer since it leaves your bunny hydrated. You can also use it to complement your bunny’s water content if he is not drinking enough.
Regarding the fiber content, your bunny will easily push food through the digestive system. Their digestive systems are sensitive, and more fiber helps solve most of their stomach issues. In addition, high fiber plays a role in dental health.
Rabbits’ teeth are known to overgrow, and constant chewing wears down their teeth. And like I said, celery, especially the stalk, is fibrous, so it needs the effort to chew. As your bunny strives to chew through, his teeth will wear off, so they won’t overgrow.
In other words, celery stalks act as chew toys for bunnies.
The high water content in celery neutralizes the number of calories, making it a low-calorie vegetable. So if you’re watching your bunny’s weight, celery is an excellent option as he won’t gain extra pounds.
Despite being a low-calorie vegetable, celery is packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, which are essential to your bunny’s health. Vitamin A supports immunity, while vitamin C comes in handy when your bunny is in a stressful situation. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting.
In addition, celery contains important minerals like iron and potassium. It also has vitamin B6, which is essential for the proper functioning of your bunny’s body cells.
Apart from its nutritional value, celery is easy to digest, hence causing low stomach problems.
The Dangers to Watch Out For
Celery offers a ton of nutritional benefits to bunnies. However, there are also risks associated with this vegetable.
For example, since it’s highly fibrous, celery stalks contain strings that may cause blockage in the intestines. The strings are pretty tough and run down the stalk, so they can get stuck in your bunny’s teeth, especially if you don’t chop the stalk into tiny pieces.
This issue is so serious that some rabbit owners prefer not to feed celery stalks at all. But you can avoid the risk by reducing the stalk to minute pieces and monitoring your bunny as he eats.
Celery contains moderate levels of oxalates. While small amounts are harmless, high oxalate content builds up in the body and may cause kidney damage. That’s why you’re advised to feed bunnies small amounts of celery, and intermittently.
Like any other treat, feed twice or thrice a week. As for the amount, feed according to the size of the rabbit.
The water content in celery is great for your bunny, especially if he is not fond of drinking water. But if you feed him too many watery vegetables, he may suffer gastrointestinal problems and pass watery stool.
The amount of sugar in celery may go unnoticed, but if celery is made part of your bunny’s daily diet, the sugar becomes too much, posing health risks such as excess weight gain that leads to obesity.
Most of these health risks can be avoided by feeding celery in moderation. As for the strings, the solution is to reduce the stalk to small pieces. So, in short, if you do these two things, your bunny will enjoy the nutritional benefits with zero risk.
How Much Celery Should My Bunny Eat?
The fact that rabbits can safely eat celery doesn’t make it a part of their daily diet. As you know by now, the majority of a rabbit’s diet should be hay. Water and pellets come next, while fruits and vegetables are the last things on the list.
If we were to draw a pie chart, all vegetable-based foods would take only fifteen percent of the chart. That should tell you vegetables are not a primary part of your bunny’s diet.
You should also focus more on feeding leafy green vegetables, as they are more nutritious. Celery leaves fall into this category, while stalks may be considered non-leafy vegetables.
Depending on his size, feed him a few inches of celery stalk twice or thrice a week. So if he is big, half a stick of celery chopped into tiny bits is good every once in a while. For the small-sized bunnies, a quarter of a stick should do just fine.
As for the leaves, a handful for the giant pet is good, while a few leaves for the small rabbit will do the work.
For optimal health, include a variety of vegetable-based foods in your bunny’s diet. This ensures he gets diverse nutrients. Also, just like you find it boring to eat the same thing repeatedly, bunnies feel the same way.
How to Feed Your Bunny Celery
We’ve already determined that how you feed celery, especially the stalks, is as important as whether the vegetable is safe for rabbits to eat.
If you are not careful, you can compromise the whole nutritional value and cause further damage to your bunny. This is especially so because the strings found in celery stalks can cause intestinal blockage, giving your bunny a painful experience.
To avoid that,
- Wash the celery with super clean running water to remove all the dirt and pesticide contamination.
- Next, chop the stalks into minute pieces so there is no long string that may pose a risk.
- If you are feeding the leaves, there is no need to chop as they are less fibrous, so they pose no risk.
- Feed the celery as per your bunny’s size, with the largest getting a bigger portion than the smaller pet. If you’re unsure how much to feed, always check with your vet so you don’t overfeed or underfeed.
- If you are growing the plant, feel free to feed the roots as well, provided they are clean and free from dirt.
Keep in mind that only rabbits over three months old should be fed celery. Young ones should stick to their mother’s milk until they are of age. This is because their digestive systems are always more sensitive, so anything new can lead to health risks.
Again, when introducing anything new to your bunny’s diet, always do it gradually until he is used to it. Feed a tiny piece and monitor for 24 hours. If there is no sudden reaction, increase a piece a day until he is fully used to the food. Do this if you are introducing celery.
Every rabbit is different, so though celery might be safe for rabbits, not all rabbits will sit well with this vegetable. That’s why monitoring is essential so you can stop feeding it immediately if you notice something unusual.
Celery is safe for rabbits to eat and offers a ton of nutritional benefits. From vitamins A, C, and K to minerals like iron and potassium, you’ll be doing your bunny a favor by feeding him celery.
We also can’t ignore the danger of strings found in celery stalks. They can cause blockage or get caught in the teeth if you don’t chop the stalk into small pieces.
You also need to watch how your bunny behaves after eating celery, especially if he is not used to it. In addition, follow the required health guidelines like feeding portions and feeding celery occasionally.
And as always, engage your vet in your bunny’s diet requirements so you know what and how to feed it.