Bringing home a new pet bunny can be overwhelming, especially when you read about their sensitive digestive systems. Adding fresh fruit and vegetables to your bun’s diet is a great start. If you like eating salad, chances are they do too.
So can rabbits eat celery?
Rabbits can eat celery in limited quantities. Celery is one of the most nutritious and healthy vegetable options you can give a rabbit. Unfortunately, celery can cause digestive problems if a rabbit has too much celery. It contains oxalates (toxic compounds), which can also lead to kidney damage.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits and risks of introducing celery to your rabbit’s diet, you’ll find everything you need in this guide.
Can Rabbits Eat Raw Celery?
Rabbits can only eat raw celery. Once celery has been boiled, it loses those good nutrients you ideally want your bun to absorb. Also, rabbits are unable to digest cooked vegetables properly.
Give your bun the celery leaves to munch on as well. The leaves contain more nutrients and goodness than the celery stalk.
Let’s take a look at some of the parts you should stay away from and how to feed your bun celery:
- Cut the flowers off the celery plant, as they aren’t suitable for rabbits and can cause diarrhea.
- Never feed your bun celery seeds. They are very high in protein and fat, which will cause an upset stomach and weight gain.
- Wash the celery stalk and leaves thoroughly to ensure no chemicals or pesticides are on them.
- Cut the celery into inch-long pieces. Celery has long strands of string-like fiber in the stalk. These strands can get stuck in your rabbit’s teeth, causing dental issues. Watch out for long strands.
If your bun swallows this, it can cause blockages in the digestive tract. Thus, cutting the celery into short pieces shortens the fibrous strands, making it easier for them to swallow.
Unlike pet rabbits, wild rabbits usually don’t eat celery, not because they don’t like it but because they typically don’t have access to vegetables.
If you have a veggie patch at home, you might find a wild rabbit eating your celery (if it’s accessible), as all rabbits love fresh vegetables.
Benefits of Feeding Celery to Rabbits
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of celery for rabbits:
Good for Teeth
Your bunny will love the crunch and taste of eating celery.
This unique vegetable has the best of both worlds. It’s tasty and good for your bunny’s teeth. Chewing on the thick celery stalks helps wear down their teeth, which continuously grow.
Source of Fiber
Feeding celery (in small amounts) to your bun is a great way to keep their tummy happy and regular.
Celery contains fiber, which assists your rabbit’s digestion. Rabbits get most of their fiber from hay in their diet.
Healthy Treat or Snack
Celery is filled with flavor and healthy nutrients such as:
- Folic acid
- Potassium and folate
- Vitamins A, C, K, and B6
High Water Content
Another great benefit about celery is its high water content, which is good for your pet rabbit.
Rabbits need water to stay hydrated and help digest their food. Adding celery to your bun’s diet is a great way to keep them hydrated, especially on a hot day.
Celery makes an excellent chew toy for rabbits; plus, it’s healthy and affordable.
As mentioned before, make sure the celery is cut into small sizes so that the strings in the celery don’t upset their stomachs.
Risks of Feeding Too Much Celery to Rabbits
Bunnies like to nibble and chew, and unfortunately, if there is a large amount of celery left in their living area, they’re going to eat.
Overeating can be very dangerous for your bun.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the risks of feeding too much celery to rabbits:
High Sugar Content
Celery is quite bitter to humans, but it’s pretty sweet-tasting for bunnies. Celery is high in sugar, and for this reason, your bun shouldn’t consume too much.
Eating too much sugar can cause several health issues for your floppy-eared friend, such as:
- Gastrointestinal stasis (GI stasis)
- Rapid weight gain
- Upset tummy
High Water Content
Everything, including water, needs to be taken in moderation. If your bun takes in too much water through its diet, it can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Celery and cucumber are two vegetables that are very high in water.
Celery contains a compound known as oxalates. This compound is pretty harmless when ingested in small amounts.
If your bun overeats celery, it will consume larger amounts of oxalates. The oxalic acid will build up in your bun’s body and can lead to kidney damage.
If your bun eats too much celery, the stringy parts can collect in your bun’s stomach (even if you cut them into small portions). These strings can cause a blockage in your bun’s digestive tract, which, if left untreated, can result in death.
The longer celery strings can become a choking hazard when swallowed.
How Much Celery Can I Give My Rabbit?
Your bun’s diet should contain a variety of about 5% fruit and vegetables to keep it balanced. The majority of their diet should be made up of hay and pellets.
Once you have introduced celery to your bun’s diet and there has been no reaction, you can include it as part of their daily diet.
Limit the amount of celery to less than half a stick (roughly 2 inches) that are cut into smaller pieces.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Celery?
Because of celery’s high water content, you may assume it would be safe to feed to your kit (baby bunny). Unfortunately, this is not the case. Baby rabbits should only have their mother’s milk.
Feeding them anything other than their mother’s milk, kitty milk, or small bits of grass or hay, can be very bad for their fragile digestive systems.
It’s important to remember that their digestive system is still developing, and you should not overload it with celery just yet.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
While celery is a tasty and nutritious vegetable high in vitamins and minerals, not all rabbits will enjoy this healthy snack. Each rabbit is different, and they can be pretty fussy regarding food. It’s all about finding what your bun enjoys and what is good for them.
A fun tip for hot summer days is to put some celery in your fridge. Once the celery is nice and cool (not frozen), you can slice it up and feed the celery to your floppy-eared friend.
There you have it: a healthy treat that can also cool your bun down on those hot summer days!