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Can Dogs Eat Celery?

Have you ever thought to throw your dog a little piece of celery while making a salad or soup? Veterinarian Dr. Hannah Godfrey explains the benefits your canine companion might gain from eating celery and what risks you should try to prevent.

Dr. Hannah Godfrey

Last Updated: September 29, 2023 | 4 min read

Hand holding stalk of Celery with puppy chewing on the leaves

This article was written by a veterinarian, but it should not serve as a substitute for a discussion with a trained professional. If your dog ate this food item and is reacting adversely, contact your local veterinarian immediately.

With so much emphasis on healthy diets for humans, it’s easy to see why many pet parents want to branch out by feeding their dogs some extra nutritious bites.

But if you’re looking for a dog-friendly snack that’s safe and full of goodness, what should you choose? Perhaps you find yourself browsing the fruit and vegetable aisle at the local supermarket and wondering what to reach for.

So, how about celery? After all, celery is nutritious for humans, so can dogs eat celery?

Is Celery Safe For Dogs?

Yes, celery is mostly safe to feed dogs and has some nutritional benefits as well. It doesn’t contain anything that is toxic to your dog, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely safe. There are a few risks to feeding your dog celery that you should do your best to avoid.

What Are The Benefits Of Celery For Dogs?

You might think that celery is mostly water, and you’d be right. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good for you (and your furry friend). Celery is low in calories and fat, making it a great guilt-free snack for your four-legged friend. Many treats can lead to weight gain, and pudgy pets are more at risk of conditions like diabetes and heart and joint disease. Therefore, selecting a sin-free alternative like celery should help keep your hound healthy.

Celery is full of fiber to keep your dog’s poop healthy and maintain proper gut function. It also contains a broad spectrum of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. The antioxidants and phytonutrients have a natural anti-inflammatory effect throughout your dog’s organs and blood vessels – pretty clever, right?

As pooch parents, there’s one thing that we are particularly aware of, and that’s dog breath. Halitosis is one of the signs of tooth and gum disease and shouldn’t be ignored. The crunchy texture of celery has the added benefit of rubbing some of the plaque off your dog’s teeth. So alongside toothbrushing and other at-home dental care, celery could keep your dog’s pearly whites looking and smelling healthy for longer.

What Are The Potential Risks Of Feeding Your Dog Celery?

Green Celery For Dogs
Although celery doesn’t contain anything poisonous to your dog, it still poses some threats.

It’s important to wash celery before you give it to your dog in case it has been treated with chemicals like pesticides or herbicides. Of course, you could also choose organic celery to avoid this risk altogether.

Another risk that’s not associated with the celery itself is seasonings and other ingredients. High salt levels aren’t good for your dog, and pepper and other seasonings could irritate their stomach. Equally, ingredients like garlic or onions that might also be in a dish containing celery are toxic to dogs, so it’s best to stick to giving celery on its own.

Due to its firm and fibrous nature, celery can get stuck in the mouth or lodged in the throat, becoming a choking hazard. Larger amounts can also cause blockages within the esophagus, stomach, or guts. Fibrous celery strings can also get stuck between your dog’s teeth, causing pain and attracting bacteria.

Celery contains lots of sodium, and a high-sodium diet can be associated with kidney problems and, in extreme cases, salt poisoning. The levels in celery are unlikely to be harmful, though unless you give it too frequently or use added seasonings.

How Can I Avoid The Risks To My Dog?

The best way to keep your dog safe when feeding them celery is to use organic celery or wash it thoroughly first to remove any chemicals. You should only feed plain celery without any added seasoning. To avoid the risk of choking, remove any leaves and make sure the celery pieces are small and the strings removed if possible. Finally, you should not give your dog too much celery or give it too often because it’s quite high in salt.

How Much Celery Can A Dog Eat?

You should start small whenever you introduce your dog to a new food. This is because any new food could cause your dog to have a bout of sickness or diarrhea. So, if your dog hasn’t had celery before, you should initially give a tiny piece no bigger than your little fingernail. Watch out for any symptoms like flatulence, vomiting, or diarrhea, and if everything seems fine for a few days, you can give them a little more. In general, though, four or five pieces the size of your thumbnail are more than enough per portion.

How Often Can A Dog Eat Celery?

dog snout on a cutting board while woman chops celery
If you feed your dog too much celery, you risk upsetting the balance of their diet and nutritional deficiencies.

It’s best to give celery only occasionally and certainly no more than once a week. This isn’t just due to its high salt content. It’s also because your dog’s nutritionally balanced dog food should be the mainstay of their diet. The rule of thumb is that treats and titbits should only account for ten percent of your dog’s calorie intake, so ninety percent is their normal dog food. This ensures that they are getting the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a dog eats celery?

If your dog eats celery accidentally, don’t panic. It’s unlikely that it will cause them any harm. If they chewed it well and didn’t show any signs of choking, it’s unlikely to cause a blockage in their gut, and as a one-off, the salt content shouldn’t be a problem.

You should watch out for signs of an upset stomach for a few days after they ate it, just in case, and contact your veterinarian if concerned. However, if they ate celery as part of a cooked meal, you should check that the other ingredients aren’t toxic. If they could have eaten garlic, onion, or other toxic foods, you should call your veterinarian without delay.

How much celery is safe for dogs?

Celery is relatively high in salt, so it’s best not to give your dog too much too often in the long term. However, if your dog accidentally eats a large amount as a one-off, it’s unlikely to be a problem. As a general rule, you should stick to giving four or five small pieces of celery no more than once a week. If your dog isn’t used to eating celery, you should start by giving them a much smaller amount.

Does celery give dogs diarrhea?

Every dog is different, and those with particularly sensitive guts may develop diarrhea after eating celery. It’s not very digestible, which means if you give too much, it might be hard work for your dog to digest and could aggravate the intestines. If your dog starts vomiting after eating celery, it’s worth speaking to your veterinarian in case some celery has formed a blockage within the gut.

Final Thoughts

Celery has a lot of benefits, both to us and our canine companions. However, feeding your dog celery is not without some slight risks. Following these guidelines before offering your dog celery will help ensure that they enjoy their healthy snack with minimal risks. There are plenty of excellent fresh dog food options on the market, and owners have plenty of choices to offer their pups yummy, healthy nutrition.

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