Yes, rabbits can undoubtedly enjoy a celery snack! The low-calorie, ultra-crunchy stalks are a fan-favorite for humans and bunnies alike. Make sure you cut the celery into one-inch pieces before serving it to your rabbit. They can eat between half to one full stick as a treat, no more than a couple of times per week.
The Health Benefits of Celery for Rabbits
There are plenty of benefits that justify introducing celery into your rabbit’s diet.
First, it’s packed with vitamins and minerals that help a bunny’s body run efficiently. A few of the nutrients in celery include:
- Vitamin A (or retinol) aids in maintaining a healthy immune system and keeping their eyes in proper working order.
- Vitamin E keeps their muscles strong and acts as an antioxidant.
- Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and bone development. Pregnant rabbits may need a bit extra vitamin K than average.
- Calcium is a necessary building block of bones, so young rabbits need more calcium than mature ones.
- Potassium acts as an electrolyte, keeping fluid levels balanced and maintaining nerve health.
- Iron helps in producing blood. Rabbits need good iron levels to carry oxygen from their lungs to the rest of their bodies.
Which Parts of Celery Can Rabbits Eat?
Celery grows in marshy areas, appearing tall, green stalks with a leaf-covered, tapered top. While the stringy stalks are generally the focus of our culinary attention, the leaves are also nutritionally dense.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Stalks?
One of the top benefits of celery stalks for rabbits is how tough and dense they are. Celery provides an ideal chew for filing down a bunny’s teeth, with the bonus of delivering those critical nutrients mentioned earlier.
A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing, which means they have to constantly wear them down to keep their chompers from becoming a health hazard.
Be aware of the hazards that come with long, tough celery strings. Found on the stalks, this part of the plant can be a choking hazard. Cut them into small pieces (around half to one inch) or remove them entirely to ensure they’re as safe as can be.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery Leaves?
Yes, the soft celery leaves are a delicious and healthy treat for bunnies. Not only do they contain less sugar and lower water content, but they actually have more nutrients than the stalks without the danger of celery strings.
For example, celery leaves are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps rabbits move waste through their bodies. They get most of their fiber from the bulk of their diet, timothy hay, but celery leaves are a safe supplement.
You should rotate celery leaves with other leafy greens, as they contain higher-than-average levels of oxalic acid or oxalate. Excessive oxalates can irritate and interfere with your rabbit’s ability to urinate. Eventually, it can even cause significant kidney damage.
When preparing celery leaves, wash them thoroughly to remove traces of pesticides and soil.
The Potential Dangers of Celery for Rabbits
Even though most rabbits could happily munch on bowl after bowl of refreshing celery, owners should limit the amount their pet consumes.
Rabbits have delicate stomachs, especially when they try something new. If you want to introduce celery into their diet, start with a minimal amount. Then, monitor their waste for changes.
If their excrement looks watery or soft, the celery upset their stomachs, and it’s best to avoid it to prevent further discomfort.
To a rabbit, the sugar content can be dangerously high if not consumed in moderation. Too much sugar can cause a bunch of problems like rotting teeth and obesity (amongst other things).
Offer celery as a treat, not a staple food. Limit your rabbit to eating no more than half a stick per serving. This should be given as part of a balanced diet.
If you asked people who dislike celery why they feel that way, many would mention the tough, fibrous strings that tend to get stuck between our teeth. While those strings are a minor annoyance for people, they can prove deadly for a bunny.
Celery strings can get tangled up in a rabbit’s stomach and digestive system, causing blockages that prevent them from eliminating wastes. If gone unchecked, these blockages can be deadly.
How to Safely Prepare Celery for Rabbits
Follow these steps to learn how to prepare celery for your rabbit:
- Make sure the celery is fresh – it should look green and watery. If it doesn’t look right, throw it away and get a new piece.
- Thoroughly wash each stalk – this reduces the chance of any chemicals or pesticides remaining on it.
- While you’re cleaning, inspect the stem for anything suspicious, like holes. They could be a sign of a parasite.
- Slice the veg into small pieces. They should be no bigger than half an inch to one inch in length. By cutting the stalks to this size, you are helping ensure that the strings can’t become a danger to your beloved bun.
- If it’s your rabbit’s first-time eating celery, give them just a one-inch piece. Then monitor them over the next 24 hours for any reactions. If there’s no problem, you can give them more next time.
- Serve it to your rabbit alongside hay and water.
A Healthy Diet for Your Rabbit
Most of a rabbit’s diet consists of grasses and hay in the wild. Owners should replicate that as closely as possible, with 75% of their bunny’s diet consisting of high-quality timothy hay. It’s low in calories but high in fiber, which is precisely what a rabbit needs to keep their body healthy.
The other 25% of a rabbit’s diet can be fresh fruit and vegetables, but there are several limitations to that. For example, owners should limit the amount of sugar in any kind of fresh produce. Healthy vegetables are often leafy greens, like kale, spinach, bok choy, and cilantro.
Celery stalks are not leafy greens, so owners should only provide these in moderation. Celery leaves, however, are an excellent weekly addition to a pet rabbit’s feeding schedule.
The final part of their diet is store-bought pellets once per day, treats a couple of times per week, and making sure that they always have access to drinking water.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Celery?
No, rabbits can’t eat cooked celery. Raw vegetables are the healthiest for rabbits. Once they’re cooked they lose nutrients and change their texture. No celery is better than eating cooked celery for your furry friend.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Celery?
No, baby rabbits can’t eat celery. You need to wait until your rabbit is at least three months old before they can branch out into vegetables. Up until this point, a baby rabbit should only eat age-appropriate hay and pellets.