Can bunnies eat celery? Rabbits are one of the most widespread animals both, wild and domesticated. While the wild species take care of themselves, the breeding of domesticated bunnies is human responsibility. One of the most critical factors of their breeding is proper and healthy nutrition. Can, for example, bunnies eat vegetables, such as celery, and obtain the nutrients they need? Whether celery is an appropriate and safe vegetable for rabbits, we will find out for you!
All grazing animals adore greens, and bunny rabbits are not an exception. Celery is one of their favorite foods, and they enjoy eating it. Most specialists include celery in bunnies’ balanced diet, with certain prudent recommendations on restricting the amounts.
In contrast to many humans, vegetables are not the primary source of nutrients for bunnies’ bodies. However, they provide some essentials for rabbits’ health and growth substances. Celery falls in the group of these greens. Respectively, it would help if you gave celery to rabbits but under specific considerations. It might be cute to feed your bunny celery, but you should first be familiar with these considerations. Let’s dive deeper and explain.
Vegetables And Rabbits
Breeders recommend all kinds of grass hay as a significant component of the domestic rabbit diet. Grass hay provides calcium, protein, Vitamin A and D and is very healthful for rabbits’ digestive systems. (1) However, specialists also endorse giving fresh foods, which are mainly greens. Leafy vegetables are the best for bunnies, but root vegetables and “flowers” are also good. Recommended quantity for a rabbit is about one cup of vegetables for two pounds of body weight per day. (1)
Therefore, the logical question is – are vegetables safe for rabbits since we should give them with caution? Specialists are positive. The vast majority of the vegetables are healthy. The reason for consideration is greens’ different chemical compositions, which overdosed, affect rabbits’ health. Vegetables, such as parsley, spinach, arugula, endive, kale, carrots, celery, and many others, offered in the right proportions, are healthy. (2)
Celery – General Information
Celery (Apium graveolens) is a swamp plant with a long filamentary stalk from the family Umbelliferae. It has been famous as an eatable vegetable since ancient times. The most common cultivars, besides celery, are Celeriac and Leaf celery. The popular sort of celery in America is Pascal. (3) The swamp plant belongs to non-leafy vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc., that rabbits can eat safely.
Celery is a popular ingredient in human cuisine. It is also one of the healthiest vegetables that bunnies can eat. Celery is rich in nutrients such as fiber and calcium and relatively modest in vitamins and minerals. Celery stalks are about 95% made of water and low in calories. An interesting fact about celery is that even after cooking, it still preserves most of its nutrients.
Due to its high water content, celery is relatively poor in vitamins B, D, and E. However, it contains other essential nutrients for bunnies. The crunchy plant provides enough quantities of vitamins A and K, as well as folate and potassium, for our long-eared pets. Low levels of calories in the celery avoid the possibility of bunnies getting obese. Table 1 below provides a good picture of the nutrient composition in the celery.
Celery Nutritional Data
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||67 kJ (16 kcal)|
|Carbohydrates||2.97g (including fiber)|
|Dietary fiber||1.6 g|
|Vitamin A Equiv.||22 mg|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.021 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.057 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||0.320 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.246 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.074 mg|
|Folate (B9)||36 μg|
|Vitamin C||3.1 mg|
|Vitamin D||0 IU|
|Vitamin E||0.27 ng|
|Vitamin K||29.3 μg|
The nutritional composition of the celery is exceptionally healthy for the bunnies. Substances, such as potassium, iron, folic acid, and vitamins A and K, can be qualified as vital for bunnies’ health. Celery also contains phosphorus, which builds the vigor of their bones. Along with calcium and vitamin D, phosphorus is essential for the backbone. Finally, yet significantly, the high content of water improves the hydration of the rabbit’s body.
Celery is also excellent for a rabbit’s digestive system. The contents of fiber facilitate the passing of the food through the digestive tract. The crunchy food is also a very appropriate substitute for chewing toys. Celery stalks are excellent for chewing and wearing out bunny’s teeth. Eating crunchy celery fulfills the rabbit’s need perfectly to munch on food endlessly.
Feeding rabbits with celery might be risky for their health. The main danger comes not from the chemical structure of the plant but rather from its biological structure. Celery stalks contain stings made of collenchyma tissue. While eating more celery, strands of this tissue might be stuck in the rabbit’s teeth. Such stacking may lead to a potential choking hazard. (4)
Choking can be extremely dangerous for your bunny. Rabbits cannot vomit, and any blockage of their throat can cause death by strangulation. The sugar content in the celery may cause other health problems. Although it is not high for humans, it is high enough for rabbits. High sugar levels lead to indigestion, hyperthyroidism, and high blood sugar.
The presence of oxalates in celery may also cause health issues. In small quantities, they are harmless, but an excessive intake can cause kidney damages. (4) On the other hand, high content of water in some cases may also cause health problems. It can lead to diarrhea and discomfort. That is why introducing celery to a rabbit, just like any other vegetable, should be a gradual process, with caution.
Advice For Healthy Feeding
The risk of choking does not necessarily mean that you should exclude celery from your bunny’s diet. You just need to know how to give it. Breeders recommend cutting the celery stalk down the middle and then chopping the two halves into small pieces. Feeding your bunny with small pieces will avoid any choking hazard. However, do not forget to observe your long-eared pet for any signs of discomfort.
Organic celery is the best option for your bunny because it has not been treated with pesticides. If you can not find organic celery, make sure you wash it perfectly before feeding your pet with it. Cutting the sticks in small chunks is mandatory, but celery leaves can be given to the rabbit directly. If you give your bunny celery for the first time, offer just one small slice and observe whether it has any digestion problems. If everything seems normal, you can give another portion of celery to your pet in few days.
Rabbit and Celery FAQ
Can Bunnies Eat Celery Roots?
Celery leaves are not any different from other leafy greens and natural foods that bunnies eat. They contain all the necessary nutrients for a healthy diet and are an excellent option for a rabbit dish. Leaves are more nutritious than celery stalks, contain less sugar, and lower water levels. Leaves do not pose a choking threat, so they are the safest part of the plant to eat. However, the amount given should still be a subject of a balanced diet.
Can Bunnies Eat Celery Roots?
Although not very popular, celery roots are edible. They are not poisonous or contain any harmful toxins. In this line of thoughts, celery roots are a safe food for rabbits. However, just like any other root vegetable, celery roots contain more sugar and starch than leafy greens. Therefore, feeding with the roots of the plant should be within moderate bounds.
Can Bunnies Eat Celery Seeds?
In general, any seeds or nuts are not recommendable for rabbit food. Many of them are poisonous to bunnies. Celery seeds are not an exception. Although there are no concrete proofs for their toxic effects, they should be excluded as a feeding option. Humans use them as condiments, but they are inappropriate for rabbits.
How Much Celery Can Bunny Eat?
Vets and breeders recommend that the vast majority of bunnies’ diet should consist of grass hay. Therefore, only 15-20% of their diet should be made of vegetables. Respectively, the amount of celery as a part of the greens portion should be even less. Specialists recommend less than half of the celery stalk per meal. However, celery leaves are considered leafy vegetables; therefore, they can fulfill almost the entire vegetable portion of a rabbit’s diet.
How Often Should Bunnies Eat Celery?
Like any other vegetable or new food, you should introduce celery to your bunny bit by bit. The plant should complete the daily vegetable portion. You should not give the recommended amount of celery stalks more than once a day. Celery leaves are safer, yet, feeding with them, in the beginning, should not exceed once per day either. However, you should take into consideration that changing vegetables more often is the best feeding option.
The Last Thought On Celery
Owning a bunny for a pet might challenge your love, patience, and dedication. You should know a lot about rabbits’ physiology and nutritional habits to guarantee their best health and maximum life expectancy. Vegetables are an essential part of rabbits’ healthy diet and should be offered in a great variety. Celery is one of the healthiest vegetables for bunnies, as long as they do not overeat it. Rabbits love munching this green food, so we should not deny them this pleasure.
- “Suggested Vegetables and Fruits for a Rabbit Diet.” House Rabbit Society, https://rabbit.org/suggested-vegetables-and-fruits-for-a-rabbit-diet/ Assessed March 17, 2021
- Chocolate Colors26. “SAFE FOODS FOR RABBITS.” YouTube, YouTube, 6 Feb. 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLayA9xclA0 Assessed March 17, 2021
- “Celery.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celery Assessed March 17, 2021
- Krempels, D., M. H.A.R.E. – Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue and Education, www.bio.miami.edu/hare/rabbithealth.html Assessed March 18, 2021
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