The diet of a rabbit does not sound that complex. These herbivorous little mammals should mainly eat an assortment of plant-based foods, like vegetables and herbs.
Leafy greens and grass hay give rabbits the vitamins and minerals they require to stay healthy.
But, there are some exceptions to the rule, as various plants are unhealthy, such as potatoes.
But, what about celery? Is this veggie safe for rabbits to consume?
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Well, the majority of rabbits adore the taste of celery, but, just because they like the taste of something, it may not mean it’s good for them.
In the case of celery, however, it is very good for rabbits.
Celery contains a number of important nutrients, such as vitamins A, B6, C, fiber, and iron, to help keep a rabbit fit and healthy.
In fact, celery is regarded as one of the healthiest vegetables for rabbits to consume. However, too much celery can be unhealthy for a rabbit.
And, because the long celery strings can result in digestive issues, celery should be cut into small pieces when fed to a rabbit.
To find out more about the health benefits and possible risks of giving celery to rabbits, read on.
We will be discussing the parts of a celery plant that are safe for rabbits to consume, how much is a healthy amount to feed them, and more.
Can I Feed Celery to Rabbits?
A flowering plant related to carrots and parsnips, celery is native to the Middle East’s moist, swampy areas.
It can be grown in gardens and/or purchased in the salad aisle of any greengrocer or grocery store.
The petiole is the name given to the section of the celery plant that we pick and consume. Petioles are essentially stalks that link the leaves of a plant to its stem.
Normally, they are narrow, but on celery plants, they are thick and long, with a high fiber content.
Celery petioles are commonly referred to as “celery sticks,” “celery stems,” (although they do not technically have stems) and/or “celery stalks.
Celery’s crunchy, mild flavor, combined with its low calorie count, makes it popular human food. And, the same applies to rabbits.
Rabbits are poisoned by many plants, but, fortunately, celery is not one of these. Celery is a good source of fresh vegetables for rabbits.
This should account for about 15% of a rabbit’s diet.
Celery should be fed sparingly, though. This is because it is not actually a leafy green. It is, however, entirely safe for rabbits as a little treat, now and again.
If you do feed your rabbit any, bear in mind that most like the flavor of the pale outer stalks and the vivid green in stalks.
The Health Benefits Of Celery For Rabbits
It’s not every day your pet will enjoy food that is actually healthy for them. Thankfully, rabbits tend to love the taste of celery and it comes with an abundance of health benefits, too.
The fiber content in celery helps to push food through a rabbit’s digestive system, similarly to hay.
As well as this, celery wears down a rabbit’s teeth and is considered a better alternative to a chew toy.
Celery is also low in calories. Therefore, it will not cause weight gain in rabbits and, for bunnies that are overweight, celery is a healthy food item to include in their diets.
So, if you want to treat your rabbit to something small, a piece of celery is a better option than something fatter, such as a banana.
Whilst celery may be low in calories, it is certainly not low in nutrients.
This cultivated plant contains important vitamins and minerals that are key to keeping a rabbit healthy. Such vitamins and minerals include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- B-Vitamins (such as vitamin B6)
- Folic acid
Within just one stick of celery are all of the above nutrients, as well as many more. Together, these all help a rabbit’s digestive system, and entire body, function properly.
Best of all, celery is easily digestible for a rabbit’s herbivorous digestive system, which is known for being quite sensitive to many foods.
Rabbits can also get a good source of water from celery. So, if your pet rabbit isn’t a big drinker, add some celery to their diets to up their intake of H2O.
And, if it’s a particularly hot summer’s day, try feeding your rabbit some refrigerated celery, as this will help them cool down.
The Health Risks Of Celery For Rabbits
Although celery is a healthy vegetable for rabbits, there are still some risks associated with it.
Here are some of the main risks when feeding celery to rabbits:
- High sugar content – Celery is very high in sugar compared to other vegetables. Just one stick will typically contain one gram of sugar. Too much celery for rabbits means too much sugar and potential health risks.
- Celery sticks can be dangerous – Because of their toughness, and long stringy nature, celery strings can become stuck in a rabbit’s teeth and even cause blockages in their digestive tracts.
- Can cause kidney damage – Celery contains oxalic acid (oxalates), and, although harmless in small doses, excess oxalates can build up in a rabbit’s body and result in kidney damage and failure.
- High water content – Although water is critical to a rabbit’s diet, too much can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea. Too much celery can result in too much water and these problems.
You should cut celery into small pieces when feeding it to rabbits (around half an inch in length). Therefore, they will not cause any issues, such as getting stuck in their teeth.
Celery should only be fed to rabbits sparingly. Do this, and rabbits will experience no issues and can enjoy celery as part of a healthy diet.
Thanks for reading!