When it comes to feeding domestic rabbits, most owners are happy to give their furry friends a diet of hay, some pellets, and occasional inclusions of whole foods.
Those whole foods usually take the form of fruits and vegetables that rabbits might conceivably have access to in the wild.
It’s a great way to add some interest and additional nutrition to their diet, but believe it or not, not all veggies are good for rabbits, even ones that we take for granted as being healthy. How about celery? Is it safe for rabbits to eat celery?
Yes, celery is safe for rabbits to eat but they should only have it occasionally. Celery is nutritious and hydrating but tends to give rabbits diarrhea and the stringiness of the stalk can be a choking hazard.
You know, I always thought that celery was just one of those things that rabbits would instinctively like to eat.
I was surprised to learn that only a few species of rabbits in the wild even try to eat celery. It’s just not something that is really on their menu since it usually grows in wetlands, even though they can eat it and it is good for them.
Accordingly, you’ll need to know more before you feed it to your own rabbits, so keep reading and we will get into it.
Do Rabbits Like Celery?
Yes, in my experience most rabbits do like celery. Rabbits love hay along with leafy greens and other green vegetation, and celery obviously falls into that category – although it’s quite a bit moister than most of the foods they typically eat as staples.
You can depend on your rabbits looking forward to getting celery as a treat or occasional side item to their usual food throughout the week.
Is Celery a Healthy Food for Rabbits?
Yes, celery is a surprisingly healthy food for rabbits though it is one with a couple of drawbacks you’ll have to manage. More on that in a minute.
If we look at the nutritional content of celery, we see that it is a low-energy food containing very little in the way of carbohydrates, protein and fat. It does have a decent amount of fiber for what it is, but even then, it’s not a significant source for rabbits.
The good news is that celery is surprisingly nutritious when it comes to vitamins and minerals: celery contains a good assortment of B complex vitamins, namely B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate along with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and a shocking amount of vitamin K.
All good stuff, and all things rabbits need in their diet in order to stay healthy and thrive.
The mineral content is likewise pretty impressive, and all parts of the celery plant contain calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
I should also point out that celery has a surprising amount of sodium that occurs naturally, and though this is rarely an issue for rabbits you should keep it in mind in case they are getting lots of sodium elsewhere in their diet. Too much salt can lead to problems!
And, not to be ignored, celery is, of course, an extremely hydrating veggie, since it’s more than 95% water by weight.
Are Celery Stalks Safe for Rabbits?
Yes, celery stalks are safe for rabbits, and they tend to really like them. However, you’ll need to cut up the stalks into smaller pieces to make it safer for them to eat. I’ll talk more about that in a later section…
Are Celery Roots Safe for Rabbits?
Yes, they are, but most rabbits don’t seem very interested in them or in the white, tough part of the stalk where it starts to spread near the bottom. You can see if they’ll eat it, but if they don’t want to, don’t force it on them, just throw it away.
Are Celery Leaves Safe for Rabbits?
Yes, the leaves on the top of the celery stalk are just fine for rabbits. They’re healthy, tender, and tasty, and don’t be surprised if your rabbits go for these first.
Can Celery Cause Problems for Rabbits?
Yes, it can. In general terms, you need to know that celery is not nutritionally complete for rabbits, not even close, and is also a very minimal source of calories. It isn’t going to give them very much in the way of energy and they definitely can’t subsist on it.
More practically speaking, the moisture content of celery is so high that it tends to cause loose stools and potentially diarrhea in rabbits if they eat too much.
This really isn’t something you need to worry about assuming you’re keeping an eye on them and you aren’t giving them too large a serving or giving them too much too often…
If you notice the quality of your rabbit’s poops changing after you introduce them to celery, reduce the quantity or discontinue entirely if issues persist.
Lastly, celery can be something of a choking hazard for rabbits…
You know those stringy strands that are in the stalk? That’s the part a lot of people hate about it, and while it won’t bother your rabbits it has a tendency to bunch up while they eat and it can potentially get caught in their throat.
This is especially likely if you feed them a whole stalk!
But luckily this is easily avoided if you take just a few seconds to chop the celery into small bits before you serve it to them. This will prevent them from ingesting a single, long and unbroken strand which is particularly likely to cause issues.
How Often Should Rabbits Eat Celery?
So, celery is definitely healthy for rabbits, and they tend to like it. Can your rabbits have it every day? No, and for all the reasons discussed above…
Instead, your rabbits should get two or perhaps three small servings of celery weekly as a special snack or a supplement to their usual diet. This is equal to about half of a stalk.
While rabbits can enjoy considerably more leafy green vegetables every single day, vegetables like celery should be served to them on a more limited basis. Considering the water content of celery, you don’t want them to have too much or too often to prevent diarrhea.
So long as you remember these simple guidelines, your rabbits can enjoy celery on a limited but weekly basis.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Them Celery?
If you’re going to give celery to rabbits you must remember to chop it up for safety. Those long strands can be problematic otherwise, and even if they don’t choke on them they can potentially get caught in their teeth and aggravate them.
Rabbits can nominally eat celery chunks that are about an inch in width, but I greatly prefer to give them smaller pieces no larger than a half inch in size.
This is easily done by cutting a stalk of celery in two width-wise, then cutting it into thirds lengthwise before cutting those planks up into smaller cubes.
Serve it to your rabbit in a small bowl or tray for best results.
Never Give Rabbits Spoiled Celery
Your rabbits can have a lot of the same vegetables that we eat, but you should never give them any veggies they have gotten old or spoiled.
If the celery is wilted, turning brown, slimy, or showing any signs of mold don’t feed it to your rabbits. Rabbits can fall victim to foodborne illnesses just like people do, and sometimes they can even be fatal!
If you care about your rabbits only give them fresh and high-quality vegetables, and that includes celery!
Is Celery Safe for Bunnies, Too?
Yes, but cautiously. Celery should only be fed to bunnies once they have grown up quite a bit and can start eating produce in general, no earlier than 3 months of age.
This is because a baby bunny’s digestive tract takes a long time to fully develop, and if they get vegetables and especially celery before then it can cause serious issues that might kill it.
This is because vegetables can disrupt the sensitive balance of gut flora which could lead to an overproduction of gas. This is very difficult to treat, so prevention is really your only option!
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.