Can Rabbits Have Celery?
We often think of rabbits as hungry herbivores, ready to consume anything in their path. In movies, books, and stories rabbits are depicted as lounging in gardens munching on every vegetable in sight, but how much of this is accurate? For example, we know rabbits can enjoy some carrots but only on occasion. So what about some of our other favorite vegetables, like celery?
Can I Give My Rabbit Celery?
Answer: Yes! Celery is filled with tons of great nutrients that can help keep your rabbit strong. These tall green stalks are a tasty treat for your rabbit and while healthy, there are a few disclaimers that will ensure there are no risks involved.
Like any other food for your pet, it should be provided in moderation. Too much can cause stomach problems. While this is true for most foods you give your rabbit this can be especially true for celery due to its high water content. High amounts of water can actually make your rabbit have diarrhea or stomach aches. This is why it is best to pair it with some other vegetable treats and serve in moderation.
Health Benefits of Giving Your Rabbit Celery?
When it comes to celery it is an excellent source of nutrition for anybody. In a stock, you will find vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, potassium, calcium, and vitamins B1, B6, and B2. If that wasn’t enough celery is also known to contain a certain type of phytochemical compound. This compound is believed to help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, and even help with migraines.
As stated, celery is also filled with plenty of water. This can help hydrate your rabbit, but there is such a thing as too much hydration which is completely possible if they were to consume high amounts of celery.
Things to Keep in Mind
As always, rabbits have sensitive stomachs so it is best to slowly introduce new foods into their diet. Begin by introducing a small amount of only celery. This way, if they have a bad reaction you can be sure it was from the celery. If they appear to be acting as normal for the following 24 hours, you can assume celery is safe to give your rabbit.
Since celery is a good treat but high amounts can cause diarrhea, it is good to serve up some crunchy pieces with other foods they like. Try mixing in the bits of celery with other great items for your rabbit’s diet, like green peppers, spinach, and turnips. This will provide a balanced treat that gives them a wide variety of nutrients.
So now that you are aware celery has a high water content and therefore should be fed in moderation, there is one last disclaimer you should be aware of before giving celery to your bunny. When preparing celery for your rabbit, cut up the celery into smaller pieces. First cut the celery down the middle, then cut each halved branch into smaller pieces. This way the strands do not get stuck in your rabbit’s teeth. The strings are made from a thick collenchyma tissue that forces the celery to grow up straight. These strands can easily get stuck in your rabbit’s teeth or throat so it is best to break them up before they have the chance to do any harm.
If your rabbit were to begin choking on a piece of celery here are some signs to look for:
- Your rabbit is gurgling, hissing, or whining
- Your rabbit is listing its nose to try and breathe air
- Your rabbit is gasping or panting
- Your rabbit is making strange movements with its mouth
- The gums of your rabbit are starting to turn blue
If you notice any of these signs, immediately rush your rabbit to the closest animal hospital. To take extra precautions, before feeding your rabbit celery learn how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on rabbits. Be cautious, this can be dangerous if you fail to perform it correctly. Celery is not dangerous for rabbits, but it can be useful on the rare occasion they were to begin choking.
With all the love you hope to give your rabbit, giving them a proper and healthy diet is the best way to show you care. Special treats like celery and carrots can help keep your rabbit happy, but they are not necessary. While their normal rabbit diet of hay and pellets will do just fine, there is no doubt celery is packed with tons of nutritious supplements. If you are considering incorporating celery into your rabbit’s diet, be sure to cut it up in small pieces, feed in moderation, and introduce first in a small amount.