Can rabbits eat celery? Yes, they can. And most of the time, they won’t turn this treat down if they are offered some.
Much like with carrots, rabbits and celery go hand in hand with each other in our idea of this fluffy animal. But also, like the relatives from the Apiaceae family, celery is not a natural part of a rabbit’s diet and can cause health issues.
In its natural habitat, a wild rabbit doesn’t eat celery. The herbivore has a plant-based diet which mainly consists of grasses, hay, clover, and herbs.
Being an opportunistic feeder, this floppy-eared animal also eats a wide variety of root vegetables, seeds, fruits, and tree bark when it can. That means it will eat almost any kind of grasses, leafy greens, vegetables, and fruit that you give it.
If your baby rabbit is younger than 12 weeks old, it should not eat celery. Unlike adult rabbits, bunnies’ stomachs are not mature enough for celery.
The digestive systems of young rabbits are more sensitive. A baby rabbit mostly drinks its mommy’s milk until it reaches 6 – 8 weeks old.
In this period, bunnies’ stomachs are adjusting from milk to solid rabbit foods. You should introduce them to hay first and avoid feeding them any vegetable or fruit until they are 12 weeks of age.
When they are ready, let baby bunnies try vegetables with high water content slowly. Each time, you should wait for at least 24 hours before feeding them the same food.
Meanwhile, keep an eye for any adverse reaction. Once you detect something, take them to the vet if necessary and remove the food from the diet.
If everything is okay, your bunnies still should only have fruits and vegetables occasionally.
They would love those crunchy sticks. Rabbits love sweet treats, and celery stalks have an excessive amount of sugar for their standards.
They can feed on celery leaves too. And the leaves should be fresh for better taste and nutrients.
Your rabbits may not fancy celery root when there are stalks and leaves around. Celery root is not very nutritious, so it’s not advisable to give them to your pets anyway.
Similar things happen to celery flowers and celery seeds. Those parts are tastier than the root but still are fillers with not many nutrients.
There are many vitamins, such as Vitamin A and Vitamin B6, and minerals in celery. The vegetable also contains phosphorus and magnesium.
Celery contains a lot of fiber. High in fiber foods, such as hay and celery, are ideal for rabbit’s digestive systems.
The crunchiness of the stalks is good for their teeth too. Rabbit’s teeth grow continuously throughout their life and need to be filed down.
If there is nothing for your rabbits to wear down their teeth, the teeth can overgrow and adversely affect the eating process.
A nutritious diet for rabbits includes:
And remember to offer 24/7 available, clean water to your rabbits.
You can safely give your rabbit celery as long as it’s in moderate amounts to avoid any digestive issues:
The reason why rabbits love celery so much is the plant’s sweet taste. But an excessive amount of sugar can cause obesity and digestive issues.
In particular, high sugar foods encourage toxic bacteria in the stomach to grow and slow down the movement of the contents running through the system.
Fiber is good, but the long celery strings in celery stalks can be digestive distress. They can get tangled and cause blockage in the stomach.
Celery strings also can cause infection if it sticks in your bunnies’ teeth. Check their teeth regularly and remove anything abnormal.
Celery itself is not toxic, but it can bear parasites and residual pesticides. Parasitic worms are not uncommon in celery, and pesticides are expected in industrial agriculture.
You should source your vegetables carefully or grow some yourself. One way to remove parasites and pesticides is to cut celery stalks in warm water with a bit of apple cider vinegar for about 20 minutes.
Old celery can cause gas problems and diarrhea too. It’s the same thing with overly ripe fruits, so don’t give your pets overdue foods.
In normal conditions, an uncut, fresh celery plant lasts for 3 – 4 weeks. A processed stick of celery from the supermarket can last for 2 – 3 weeks.
Some common traits of old celery include:
- Spread out celery stick
- Soft, bendable stalks
- Hollow stalks
- Whitish color
For parasites and pesticides, the only way to make sure is to clean the vegetable thoroughly beforehand.
Due to its high sugar content, you should only give your pet rabbits celery once or twice a week. Daily consumption of celery can lead to obesity.
The recommended portion is about half of a medium-sized celery stalk. That is about 0.044 pounds per meal and 0.088 pounds per week.
Celery should not be a staple of a rabbit’s diet but an occasional treat. Your rabbits should have nutritional intakes as close to their natural diet as possible.
Generally, a balanced diet consists of:
- 85-90% of grass or hay;
- 10% of leafy greens, fresh vegetables, and fruits;
- and 0-5% high-fiber pellets.
The celery should be in 1-inch pieces so your pets won’t have a problem with the long strings. Chopping up celery doesn’t take a lot of time but taking your rabbits to the vet is.
1-inch pieces of celery are large enough for your rabbits to grind down their teeth but small enough to avoid the problems above.
Remember to wash the plant carefully beforehand too. Rabbits’ digestive systems are delicate, and no measure is unnecessary.
Vegetables lose nutrients in the cooking process. Your rabbits can handle raw foods perfectly well.
They love to gnaw on crispy raw celery too. So don’t get out of your way to make the food less enjoyable for your pets.
You can use a tasty treat as leverage for behavior training. That means don’t spoil your pets with treats and keep them coming back for more.
But don’t tease them too much either. Rabbits can be mad at their owners, and then the treats lose their power.
Some rabbits like a bowl but some like a bottle. Find out what your rabbits prefer and change the water daily.
We know that pellet food is convenient, and your pets love it. But there is no way processed products can completely replace hay and leafy vegetables.
Straw doesn’t have the same value in nutrients as hay. It is only suitable for nesting in the winter.
You can detect health issues by observing the droppings. Small or loose stool is often a sign of an upset stomach.
Can celery be bad for rabbits? In short, yes. Eating celery is good for your rabbits, but too much of it can cause stomach issues. As with consuming every other good, moderation is key.
To sum up, it is advised to give your rabbits celery once or twice a week, each time only about 0.044 pounds in small pieces. Make sure the vegetable is clean and your rabbits are at least twelve weeks old.