Can Dogs Eat Celery?

Key takeaway

Celery is one of the healthiest snacks to share with your dog because it’s low in calories and high in fiber and other beneficial nutrients. However, they should only eat celery in moderation to prevent weight gain and GI upset. Always talk to a vet before introducing anything new into your dog’s diet.

If you've ever wondered, "Can dogs eat celery?" you've come to the right place. Celery is a crunchy snack that's safe to share with your dog. Even though human foods like celery are not essential to their regular diets, they can still enjoy celery in moderation. However, like with any new food, you should monitor them to ensure they don't experience gastrointestinal issues. 

Is Celery Good For Dogs?

Vitamins and minerals in celery beneficial to dogs

Now that you know the answer to your question, "Can dogs have celery?" you might wonder if celery is good for dogs. Celery is one of the healthiest human foods you can feed your dog because it's packed with essential nutrients and low in calories. A few benefits of feeding dogs celery include: 

Vitamins And Minerals 

Celery contains several beneficial vitamins and minerals that support your dog's health, including:

  • Vitamin A: An essential fat-soluble vitamin that supports vision, bone growth, and immune response in dogs.1
  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant that prevents free radical damage while reducing inflammation and supporting a healthy immune system.2 Dogs produce vitamin C naturally, but it's safe to supplement.
  • Vitamin K: A fat-soluble vitamin that supports blood clotting.
  • Folate: Also known as vitamin B9, folate is a water-soluble vitamin that promotes normal metabolic functions like DNA synthesis and red blood cell production while supporting healthy immune function.2
  • Potassium: An electrolyte that promotes the proper functioning of electrical charges in the muscles, nerves, and heart.3 Potassium deficiency can lead to hypokalemia, a condition in which a dog has low potassium concentrations that can affect the functioning of the heart, nerves, and muscles, causing lethargy, muscle pain, weakness, and paralysis.3
  • Manganese: A mineral required to produce energy and metabolize protein and carbohydrates to make fatty acids. In addition, manganese plays a role in the health of bones and joints.4

Hydration

In addition to being packed with tons of healthy vitamins and minerals, celery is also low in calories, fat, and cholesterol and high in water. Celery is around 95% water,5 so it's an excellent snack for dogs prone to dehydration. 

Weight Loss

Since celery is low in calories, it's a healthy food to share with overweight dogs that want to enjoy human foods without worrying too much about weight gain or blood sugar spikes.6 Celery only contains 14 calories per cup.7 Therefore, your dog can eat much more of it than many other snacks, including regular dog treats, without worrying about the extra calories. 

Celery is also an excellent source of fiber for dogs. Your dog should be getting all the fiber they need from their regular dog food, but additional fiber may benefit dogs eating low-quality food. Like in humans, fiber prevents hunger in dogs, so they'll feel fuller and be less likely to beg for more food. 

Oral Health

Celery may promote better oral health in dogs and humans. Biting into celery can help scrape away plaque, while collenchyma cells, the stringy parts of the celery responsible for its crunch, can floss between teeth. This vegetable also increases saliva production to help wash plaque and bacteria away,8 giving your dog fresher smelling breath and a cleaner mouth. 

Risks Of Feeding Your Dog Celery

Is celery good for dogs? Yes, but there are a few caveats. There are some risks to feeding your dog any human food, even celery. However, celery is considered one of the safest foods to share with your dog, as long as it's prepared properly and only fed in moderation. Here are a few of the risks of feeding your dogs celery: 

  • Diuretic: Celery is a diuretic because its high water content makes your dog urinate more often. If your dog overeats celery, they may have to go outside for potty breaks more often, which isn't harmful to their health, but you should avoid giving them celery if you plan to leave the house for a few hours. 
  • Choking Hazard: Celery can be a choking hazard because they come in large stalks and are fibrous. In addition, the collenchyma cells we mentioned earlier can get stuck in your dog's throat and become difficult to swallow. Small dogs are at a higher risk of choking on celery, so if you plan to share this snack with your dog, always chop it up into tiny pieces to prevent choking hazards and remove long fibers that can cause potential issues. 
  • GI Issues: Overeating celery can cause an upset stomach in dogs with symptoms such as gas, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea due to the high water and fiber content. Dogs eating an increase in fiber may experience gas and diarrhea when new high-fiber foods are introduced to their diets too quickly.9 In addition, overeating anything, even their dog food, can cause GI issues in dogs, so it's always best to feed them a few bite-sized pieces at one time and monitor them for signs of stomach upset. 

Risks of feeding your dog too much fiber

How Much Celery Can Dogs Eat?

How much celery a dog eats depends on their weight and current health. However, since celery is low in calories, cholesterol, and carbs, even dogs on a diabetic diet can enjoy it. It's especially beneficial for dogs who need to shed a few pounds because it's high in fiber, making your dog feel fuller for longer because it takes longer to digest.10

Treats should only make up 10% (or less) of your dog's daily caloric intake. A stalk of celery has about ten calories,11 but you should still avoid overfeeding your dog because of the high fiber content, which may cause GI issues.

Always feed your dog celery in moderation; it doesn't have to be a daily snack, and it shouldn't be. Instead, feed your dog a few small pieces now and then to prevent unintended weight gain. Luckily, because celery is one of the healthiest things to feed dogs, they can enjoy it more often than other fruits and vegetables. 

Celery is low in calories, fat, and cholesterol but high in water content

How To Feed Your Dog Celery 

If you were wondering, "is celery ok for dogs?" you now understand that it makes a healthy treat when served in moderation, but how do you feed your dog celery? Dogs can safely digest raw and cooked celery, and both options are great snacks for dogs. Remember, moderation is crucial even though celery is considered a healthy treat. There are many different ways to feed your dog celery, including:

Plain (Raw Or Cooked)

  1. Wash: Always wash celery to remove dirt and bacteria that may be inside the folds. To effectively wash celery before feeding it to your dog, always separate it to ensure every part gets washed.
  2. Cut into small pieces: Never feed your dog an entire celery stalk because it's a choking hazard and can be difficult for them to chew and swallow. Instead, cut it into small pieces depending on the size of your dog; smaller dogs should have smaller portions. 
  3. Start small: Feed small amounts if this is your dog's first time eating celery. Monitor them for signs of illness after they've finished their snack. If your dog doesn't have any GI issues, you can assume they're able to process that small amount of celery and can feed it to them in moderation. However, if your dog experiences GI issues like vomiting or diarrhea, you might want to avoid feeding them celery altogether. 

Add Peanut Butter

Because celery can be a healthy snack for dogs, you can choose to make it more delectable for dogs by adding their other favorite treat– peanut butter. Always use single-ingredient peanut butter or peanut butter created for dogs to ensure it doesn't contain any xylitol, a harmful toxin to dogs. 

As A Food Topper

Some dogs can be picky eaters, especially if they're used to sharing food with you. Eating the same old dog food daily can get boring, so you may have to find different ways to entice them to eat. Celery makes a great food topper because it's low in calories and gives dogs a different type of crunch to enjoy. 

No matter how you feed your dog celery, never season it; dogs don't need seasonings to enjoy food. Instead, they'll be happy to share a snack with you and may enjoy the crunch. You should also ensure not to overfeed your dog. Feeding them too much leads to an increase in calories and may lead to digestive issues due to the vegetable's high fiber content. 

Can Dogs Eat Celery?: FAQs

Can celery upset a dog's stomach?

Yes, celery can cause GI upset in dogs because of its high water and fiber content. Consuming too much water is a common cause of diarrhea in dogs, but it's not as common as other causes of diarrhea, like consuming too much fiber. Celery is an excellent source of fiber, which can improve digestion in dogs and people. However, too much fiber can have the opposite effect, causing symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and even constipation. 

The best way to avoid upsetting your dog's stomach when feeding them celery is to only feed them a few small pieces at a time and monitor them for symptoms of illness. 

What vegetables should dogs avoid?

Celery is a safe and healthy snack for dogs when fed in moderation, but there are plenty of vegetables that aren't safe for dogs, including:

  • Asparagus: Asparagus is technically non-toxic to dogs, but there's no reason to give it to them because it can be difficult to chew and digest. Asparagus contains some nutrients, but they're typically lost in the cooking process, so there's really no need to give your dog any extra calories since they won't benefit from them.12 
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are another vegetable to avoid, especially wild mushrooms that grow in your backyard that could be potentially toxic to your dog. While white mushrooms from the supermarket are generally safe for pets when washed and properly prepared, there's no reason to risk potential side effects. 
  • Onions: Dogs should never, under any circumstances, consume onions. Even small pieces of onion can be toxic to dogs, depending on their health, age, and weight. Onions are toxic to dogs and can cause severe GI upset, including vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. In addition, eating onions in large quantities can be lethal to dogs.12

Is peanut butter and celery good for dogs?

Celery with peanut butter is good for healthy dogs in moderation. If your dog loves peanut butter or you've already made yourself a special treat to enjoy, you can share peanut butter and celery with your dog. However, since peanut butter contains fat, some dogs shouldn't consume it. Therefore, it's always best to check with your vet before feeding your dog peanut butter if they've never had it before, especially if they have an existing health condition like pancreatitis. 

When feeding your dog peanut butter, always check the ingredients to ensure you're not accidentally feeding them anything that contains xylitol, a dangerous artificial sweetener. 

Dog frolicking in a field of vegetables

Final Notes

Celery is one of the healthiest human foods to share, but you should always check with your vet before sharing new foods with your dogs. Some dogs have more sensitive stomachs than others, so it's always best to monitor them for signs of GI distress after feeding them celery. Of course, even though celery contains essential vitamins and minerals, it's not a necessary food for your dog since they should already get all the nutrients they need from their regular diet. 

Unsure what to feed your dog? Consult a Dutch-affiliated vet. Our online vet care offers convenient access to licensed vets to answer your dog nutrition and health questions.

References

  1. Morris, Penelope J, et al. “Safety Evaluation of Vitamin A in Growing Dogs.” The British Journal of Nutrition, Cambridge University Press, 28 Nov. 2012, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513714/.

  2. Burke, Anna. “7 Vitamins Your Dog Needs for a Healthy Life.” American Kennel Club, 28 July 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/vitamins-dogs-need-healthy-lifestyle/.

  3. “Low Blood Potassium in Dogs.” PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/endocrine/c_dg_low_potassium.

  4. “Microminerals: Tiny Amounts, but Big Effects.” PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/jcoates/2013/may/microminerals-importance-in-dog-diet-30272.

  5. Barone, Marie. “Celery Juice: Are the Benefits Real?” Good Food As Good Medicine , UC Davis Health , 6 Feb. 2022, https://health.ucdavis.edu/blog/good-food/celery-juice-are-the-benefits-real/2019/04.

  6. Burke, Anna. “Can Dogs Eat Celery?” American Kennel Club, 3 Aug. 2022, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-celery/.

  7. “Celery: Health Benefits, Nutrients, Preparation, and More.” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-celery.

  8. “10 Foods and Drinks with Surprising Oral Health Benefits.” Oral Health Foundation, 31 May 2022, https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/10-foods-and-drinks-with-surprising-oral-health-benefits.

  9. Finlay, Katie. “Benefits of High-Fiber Dog Foods.” American Kennel Club, 17 July 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/benefits-high-fiber-dog-foods/.

  10. “The Simple Math That Helps You Feel Full on Fewer Calories.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 22 Mar. 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20044318.

  11. Timmons, Jessica. “Benefits of Celery: For Your Health.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 10 June 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/health-benefits-of-celery.

  12. “Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can or Can't Eat.” American Kennel Club, 24 Mar. 2022, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/.