We've all been told at one point or another that our canine companions shouldn't be fed food from the table. If you're like 59 percent of dog owners, though, chances are you've ignored that advice and given your dog some scraps from time to time.
When it comes to feeding your dog from your own plate, some foods are better to give them than others. You might know that foods like onions and chocolate are off-limits. What about vegetables, though?
Is celery good for dogs, for example? Read on to learn more about how celery will affect your dog so you can decide for yourself whether or not to feed it to them.
Can Dogs Eat Celery?
Let's start with your most burning question. Can dogs have celery? The short answer to this question is that, yes, they can.
In general, celery is considered to be a safe food for dogs. However, there are some minor caveats. For example, it may pose a choking hazard to young or small dogs, so it's important to cut it into small-enough pieces before you share it with them.
Some dog owners also worry about pesticide exposure from celery, especially when feeding their pooch the leaves. The leaves may contain more pesticides and other chemicals than the rest of the plant.
As long as it's washed carefully, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. You can also remove the leaves and only feed them the stalk if you're really concerned. Of course, we typically recommend feeding organic raw vegetables whenever possible.
As with other foods, it's best to introduce celery into your dog's diet slowly, too. This will help you avoid any potential negative reactions and will give you a chance to see how it affects them before you start feeding it to them on a regular basis.
Is Celery Good for Dogs?
Okay, you know now that dogs can eat celery and that it's safe for them. You might be wondering, though, if there are any health benefits that come with feeding your dog celery. After all, a particular food can be safe without being particularly health-promoting (look at things like doughnuts and ice cream for dogs - safe, but definitely not healthy!).
The good news is that there are some unique nutritional benefits that celery has to offer your dog. These include the following:
Humans often snack on celery when they're trying to lose weight because it's low in calories. This is the same reason why celery can make an excellent treat for dogs.
If you have a dog that needs to shed a few pounds, or if you worry about their weight for any reason, giving them some celery as a snack is a great option. They get to have something crunchy and satisfying, but they're not consuming tons of extra calories.
Celery is packed with lots of beneficial vitamins. This includes vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Vitamin K plays a key role in proper blood clotting, as well as keeping your dog's bones strong and healthy. Vitamin C is good for their immune system and can help their bodies adapt to stress in more efficient, healthy ways. Vitamin A is great for your dog's eyesight, as well as the health of their skin, muscles, and nervous system.
In addition to being a great source of vitamins, celery contains some important minerals, too. It provides your dog with some much-needed zinc, for example.
Zinc helps to strengthen your dog's immune system. It promotes proper digestion and can help with their cognitive function as well.
Celery also contains the mineral manganese. Manganese helps to maintain proper blood sugar balance, reduces inflammation, and promotes good bone health.
Celery is known for providing a healthy dose of potassium, too. In fact, it contains almost as much potassium as a banana. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps your dog to stay hydrated and may prevent muscle cramps.
Consuming adequate potassium can also help with blood pressure, heart, and kidney issues. If you have concerns about your dog's cardiovascular or renal system, giving them a bit of celery might be beneficial. Never try to use food alone to try and manage these issues, though; talk to your vet about medication and testing, too.
High Water Content
Not only does celery contain electrolytes that help to keep your dog hydrated, but it's also a vegetable with a naturally very high water content. This means that it can help your dog get some extra water without having to make another trip to the water bowl. Giving your dog some celery on a regular basis, especially during the hot summer months, will help you ensure they stay hydrated and feeling their best even after running around outside in the heat.
Celery contains lots of antioxidants, including vitamin E (found mainly in the leaves). Antioxidants play an important role in minimizing inflammation and helping your dog to fight off disease.
When they consume an antioxidant-rich diet, dogs are less prone to oxidative stress and may be protected from chronic health conditions. This includes serious illnesses like cancer and arthritis.
Feeding your dog celery is also an easy way for you to make sure they're consuming enough fiber. Fiber is essential for promoting good digestion and helping your dog avoid stomach issues.
Fiber can also help your dog to feel fuller longer. This can be great for overweight dogs or if you’re trying to help your pooch shed a few extra pounds. You can give them celery as a snack so they feel satisfied without having to worry about them going over their calorie intake for the day.
Because of celery's fiber content, though, it's best to give your dog just a small amount at a time. If they eat too much at once, they might be prone to diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Dogs - and bears - love celery!
Ways to Feed Your Dog Celery
It's clear that celery can be a healthy part of your dog's diet. It's not always easy to get your dog to try new things, though, especially when those things are green. If you're looking for ways to feed your dog celery, try these tips:
Top It with Some Peanut Butter
If you're like most humans, you love topping your celery with some peanut butter. This might even be the only way you can possibly stomach it. It's possible that your dog is the same.
If you want to try giving your dog celery but worry they'll turn their nose up at it, try adding some peanut butter. Keep the amount small, though, especially if your dog is on a diet. Peanut butter is a very high-fat, calorie-dense food.
Make sure any peanut butter (or food) does not contain the artificial sweetener xylitol. Xylitol is highly toxic (even lethal) to dogs.
Mix It into Their Food
You can also chop or blend up celery and mix it in with their other food. Start by mixing in just a small amount. This will help to ensure your dog doesn't have any negative reactions to the celery.
If they seem to do okay with it and enjoy it, you can try adding a little more in. Be sure to take your time and do it in a gradual way, though. Remember, it's possible for your dog to have too much of a good thing.
Pair It with Another Treat
Finally, try pairing the celery with another treat. If your dog has a favorite snack that you want to make a little more nutritious, consider adding a bit of celery to the mix. This way, they still get to enjoy their treat, but they're getting some additional vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients at the same time.
You trick your kids into eating vegetables, and you might have to trick your dog, too. As long as they're eating them, who cares how they get them?
What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat Besides Celery?
Most dogs can eat celery without any problems. You might have new questions, though, about what other vegetables are good for them. You might want to know, "Can dogs eat broccoli?" for example.
If you're unsure of which other vegetables you can feed your pooch, this list is for you. Here are some other vegetables for dogs that are great to add to their diets:
- Pumpkins and pumpkin puree
- White potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
There are many fruits that are also safe for dogs to eat. For example, they can enjoy apples, oranges, and mango, as well as small amounts of avocado (yes, this is technically a fruit, not a vegetable).
Try Feeding Your Dogs Celery Today
You can now answer the question "Is celery good for dogs?" with confidence, and you can feed your pooch a few stalks of the crunchy stuff every now and then without any worries. However, are you unsure of what other foods you should (or shouldn't) be feeding your dog? Do you have questions about taking care of them and setting them up for a long and healthy life?
Head to the Dog Knowledge section of our site today for more tips on the best ways to feed, train, and love on your dog. You'll find lots of great resources there that will help you become the most confident dog parent on the planet.
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