Most rabbits LOVE their vegetable snacks and it’s just so easy to give them a piece of whatever human food you are snacking on too. However, there are some foods that are safe for humans, but can be harmful to your pet bunny. One common food, celery, is often in question: Can rabbits eat celery safely?
Dr. Jess explains the answer below:
Check out whether rabbits can eat tomatoes here!
What Are Rabbits?
Rabbits and bunnies are small mammals that hop around from place to place.
They are commonly seen as pets with their sweet eyes, floppy ears, furry faces, and cute whiskers.
Rabbits come in many colors, shapes, and sizes, most commonly seen in shades of white, brown, black, and patches or combinations of those colors.
They can be seen with a large ear for their body size and even have long-eared varieties with even larger drooping ears.
Rabbits have long incisors (front teeth) that are constantly growing and needing to be filed either naturally or by the help of some intervention, both discussed further into this article.
What Do Rabbits Need From a Healthy Diet?
A well-balanced rabbit diet will need to deliver a multitude of things to the bunny ingesting it.
Just like humans, rabbits need the right combination of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and water to keep their organs working and functioning properly.
However, the daily nutritional requirements for a rabbit differ quite greatly from that of a human, and that is reflected in the common diet that most healthy and happy pet rabbits eat.
What Does a Typical Rabbit Diet Consist of?
An adult rabbit’s main source of food in their diet should come mostly from high-quality hay.
Hay is a forage that is low in calories and high in fiber, easy on the rabbit’s digestive system.
Other pieces of the rabbit’s diet may include commercial pellets and/or treats and snacks such as fruits and vegetables.
However, not all fruits and vegetables are safe for your bunny to have.
Good… now that the celery talk is out of the way, we can move on….
Naw, I’m kidding.
Let’s talk about what celery is here for just a second. It’ll help us determine if it is acceptable to our chicken friends or not.
Celery is a vegetable that has long been used in cooking. Most times, the thick, crisp, fibrous stalk is the part consumed.
It is in the same family as parsnips, parsley, and carrots.
It has a stalk that is long and tough, tapering to bright green leaves at its top.
Celery contains many different types of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins A, B, C, and K.
It contains Phosphorus and Magnesium.
It’s got fiber. It’s got water.
All these things are fine for chickens to consume in small amounts so far, so……
Do Rabbits Eat Celery?
Most rabbits will eat a celery when offered.
In a veggie garden, most rabbits will chose vegetables like peas, beans, beets, and carrots.
But just because rabbits DO eat celery does not necessarily mean that this is the best or safest choice for your pet.
Don’t be too worried if your rabbit does not eat celery that is offered- it’s normal. You will find another veggie alternative as a source of fresh food that your bunny can enjoy eating.
Can Rabbits Eat Celery? Is it Safe?
There are some foods that us humans can eat that are actually toxic to your rabbit and need to be avoided all together.
While there isn’t anything toxic to rabbits in the actual celery itself, you shouldn’t give them too much because problems may arise as I will discuss further down in this article.
Pet owners can chose to feed celery to their rabbits, but it should not make up their entire diet. Rabbits prefer munching on grass, commercial feed pellets, and hay, along with a bowl of clean, fresh water.
You see, rabbits are herbivores and need a diet which is high-in fiber and low in sugar and fat.
They get their fiber supplied in the form of plants, such as hay which is a roughage that contains a lot of fiber.
This fiber is beneficial for two reasons:
- Dietary fiber keeps the rabbit’s digestive system running smoothly (it’s the same reason why some people take a fiber supplement like Metamucil!).
- The physical roughage (hay) helps keep the rabbit’s teeth healthy and worn down as their teeth are continually growing and need to be filed in order to prevent overgrowth.
So, long story short- Yes!
Adult rabbits can have celery, if offered to them safely, and I’ll cover that in just a bit.
You do not want to feed the wrong celery or the wrong amount or frequency, potentially making your furry friend unintentionally sick.
Can Baby Bunnies Eat Celery?
Compared to their adult counterparts, baby rabbits have much more sensitive gastrointestinal systems.
Avoid feeding baby bunnies any kinds of fruits and vegetables until they reach 12 weeks of age to allow their stomachs to mature with them.
Then, when ready to introduce them to juicy vegetables, take it very slowly, waiting at least 24 hours to observe any potential adverse side effects, before moving on and trying more of the same veggie snack or a different tasty treat.
Remember – baby and young, and juvenile rabbits have more sensitive digestive systems!
Wait 24 hours to see their reaction.
If everything is fine, you can move to the next treat.
Is The Rest Of The Celery Plant Safe To Eat?
Stalk: You can give your rabbit celery stalk pieces.
Roots: Your rabbit will likely not eat the celery root when offered other parts of the plant. Do not feed the root to your pet.
Leaves: should be offered fresh.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Celery?
Do not give your rabbit any cooked celery.
Any cooked or processed celery is not recommended since your rabbit is an herbivore and they rely on raw foods to get their nutrients.
Everything a rabbit needs can be provided in fresh and raw form. Your rabbit’s stomach is just not made to handle cooked food, including celery.
One big advantage with offering raw vegetables is that it’s not only healthier for your rabbit, but it is much less effort on your part!
Medical & Health Concerns of Feeding Celery to Rabbits:
Are there any circumstances when celery might be bad for your pet?
Yes, some of the common issues seen with feeding celery to rabbits include:
- Pesticides: Celery should always be washed to make sure they are free of any pesticides or chemicals that could be harmful to rabbits.
- Parasites: Celery should be checked over for parasites that can lead to potential parasite problems with your rabbit
- Overly Ripened: Avoid rotten fruits and vegetables that can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset.
- Baby Bunnies: Baby bunnies have a more sensitive digestive system than their adult counterparts do, and therefore you shouldn’t give your rabbit friend any fruits or vegetables until they reach around 12 weeks of age.
How To Feed Celery To A Rabbit:
First step to focus in on is the serving size that you are giving your fur baby.
Depending on your rabbit’s size, the average celery portion should be about 1/2 a medium-sized celery stalk, cut into slices of 1-inch pieces of celery.
They should only be fed celery about 1-2 times per week at most, but not on a daily basis.
Remember that celery should be limited to a special treat only because of potential digestive and other assorted health problems.
Moderation is key here!
Here are my recommended steps when feeding celery to rabbits:
- 1 fresh, ripe celery stalk
- Clean the celery stalks to remove debris, dirt, and to inspect for parasites and other pathogens.
- Cut the celery stalk in half or into bite-sized pieces.
- Fed celery in moderation. Moderation is 1-2 small pieces in one feeding. You may need to mix the celery with other vegetables for the rabbits to eat.
Contact your veterinarian before changing parts of your pet's diet. Stop the feeding of celery immediately and contact your veterinarian if any signs of ill health appear.
How Much to Feed:
Fresh vegetables should be as a supplement to your pet rabbit’s already well-balanced diet.
A half slice of celery worth of slices for your rabbit is likely the perfect amount, mixed in with other fresh vegetables for them to choose from.
Keep in mind that too many vegetables can cause digestive distress.
Common Signs of Adverse Reaction:
- diarrhea/loose stool
- excessive or increased itching/scratching/licking of skin or paws
Rabbits can have small pieces of ripe, clean celery in moderation.
Too much celery can cause a minacherie of health problems for the bunny.
Do not feed immature rabbits or rabbits with underlying health conditions celery even as a treat.
If you have concerns regarding feeding your rabbit celery, contact your local veterinarian beforehand.
- Oglesbee B. The 5 Minute Veterinary Consults Ferret and Rabbit, Blackwell 2006
- Rabbit Care
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.