Dogs are not really vegetarians by nature but their appetite has evolved over time. From being meat lovers in the wild, modern-day dogs consume a wide variety of foods that includes fruits and vegetables. This is because they are carnivores.
Many dogs like celery. When blanched, celery gives out a naturally sweet and pleasant flavor. It’s also a bit crunchy, which is one thing to love about this veggie. The question is, is it a safe option for dogs? Read on before offering these green stalks to your pooch.
Celery: Dog-Friendly or Not?
In case you just happened to share some celery with your dog, don’t worry. Celery is a vet-approved food for dogs. Yes, it’s dog-friendly but as with anything, you can only offer it in small amounts. Celery is a low-calorie treat for dogs, not to mention that it also provides plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Don’t let your dog indulge in celery, though, as too much of it can cause gastrointestinal problems. Celery contains high amounts of fiber, with roughly 1.6 grams for every cup. Celery is hands down healthy but it can also have adverse effects in high amounts. Don’t forget that anything in excess is bad.
Most importantly, celery should not replace your pet’s typical meals. You may offer it as a snack or add it to home-cooked meals. Around 2-3 stalks of celery will be fine to keep your pooch satisfied. If your dog likes it, you can consider giving it to him as a reward.
When cooking, don’t add any seasoning to the dish. Salt and pepper should not be used when cooking a dog’s meal. Your pet will surely appreciate the natural taste of celery.
How to Prepare Celery for Dogs
Wash the celery first by running it under cool water. Gently rub the stalk while washing. It’s best to remove the leaves, although they are completely edible, because the stalks are easier for dogs to chew.
Celery leaves contain higher amounts of nutrients than the stalk. While vitamin-deficient canines can benefit from them, the flavor can actually turn them off. The leaves are a bit spicy and somehow taste like pepper. If you want, you can actually use them as a replacement for herbs.
In cooking, the leaves of the celery have many uses. Many people don’t discard them and add them in soups and sauces. It is actually the leaves that contain the highest amount of vitamins and minerals.
Now that the stalk is clean, cut it into bite-sized pieces. Cutting the stalk helps your pet chew it better, especially if he’s just a puppy. A large stalk can be a choking hazard even for adult dogs.
In case you are sharing celery with your pooch for the first time, better start gradually. Get a stalk and cut it in half and see if your pet will actually find it appealing. Fresh celery is juicy so most dogs like it.
Supposing that your pooch happens to love celery, you may consider giving it as a reward. The stalk will be easy to carry around so it can be a perfect treat for your buddy during training sessions.
What Are the Risks of Feeding Celery to Dogs?
In excess, celery can cause bloating and gas in pets. Too much celery can also result in diarrhea in most dogs due to its high fiber and water content. If your pet suffers from diarrhea because of this vegetable, stop giving it to him.
It can also be a choking hazard when served inappropriately. Be cautious with the amount and the size of the stalk. A large stalk should not be given to dogs, especially to puppies. In case your pet accidentally choked on celery, bring him to the vet right away.
Keep in mind that the Vitamin A content of celery may be too much for your pet. Celery, especially the leaves, contain excessive amounts of Vitamin A. Don’t let your pooch indulge in the leaves. If you don’t have anything to do with them, just throw them in the garbage as soon as you separated them from the stalk.
Celery may also cause an allergic reaction. A lot of people are not aware that celery is a common allergen. This is because it is susceptible to getting mugwort or birch pollen, which in turn causes itching and rashes. Although it is rare for dogs to develop an allergy to celery, it does not mean that it cannot happen.
The Benefits of Celery to Dogs
- It can help dogs lose weight. If your pooch is on the heavy side, giving him celery from time to time can help in getting rid of the extra pounds because celery is an excellent source of both fiber and water. Celery is also one of the best low-calorie foods out there.
- It can instantly freshen up Fido’s breath. Because it increases the production of saliva, it helps keep bad breath at bay. As we all know, saliva washes away the food particles that are the leading cause of foul-smelling breath.
- It’s a great source of minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Your dog could benefit from having enough potassium in his body because it is necessary for healthy muscles, enzymes, and nerves. Likewise, magnesium is essential for many body functions. Your buddy needs this trace mineral to have a better immune system and stronger joints.
- It is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K. Among all the vitamins, Vitamin K is the one with the highest content in celery. A cup of this vegetable contains as much as 33% of this vitamin. Like us, our pets need sufficient Vitamin K for blood clotting.
- It contains ample amounts of folate. Folic acid is not just important for humans. Animals, particularly dogs, can benefit from folate as it affects DNA health. Just like how pregnant women and their babies need folate, this nutrient is also important for young dogs and pregnant bitches.
- Celery keeps Fido’s body hydrated. Did you know that it has a very high water content? It’s a healthy treat that will keep your pooch well-hydrated and nourished.
- It can provide a calming effect on the nervous system. Just like most green veggies, celery forms alkaline that is essential for balancing the pH in the body. Doing so can increase the dog’s energy levels and improve his digestion. The alkalizing property of celery also makes it effective in preventing cancer.
- It is a natural diuretic. Did you know that celery can help in flushing out the unwanted fluids from the body? This is due to its high potassium content and its healthy sodium balance.
- It can help dogs with arthritis and joint problems. This is because of the celery’s natural anti-inflammatory properties due to the polysaccharides and the antioxidants that are effective in reducing inflammation.
- It can benefit dogs with high blood pressure problems. Celery stalk is known for its anti-hypertensive properties. It does not only reduce high blood pressure but also lowers the levels of cholesterol in the body.
Celery Recipes for Dogs
Heading out to the kitchen for a homemade recipe for your pooch? Why not incorporate celery stalks into the mix to give Fido’s meal a refreshing twist? Here are some vet-approved dishes you can serve to your dog:
Cranberry with Celery Biscuit for Dogs
This biscuit for dogs uses all-natural ingredients, which is perfect if you are trying to level up your pet’s usual diet. There is no need to add any sweetener because the apple and the cranberries are already sweet on their own. The celery and the mint give this snack a refreshing taste that your buddy will surely love.
- In a mixing bowl, mix 2 cups of whole wheat flour with half a cup of chopped cranberries, 1/3 cup of finely chopped celery, a piece of grated apple, and half a cup of chopped cranberries.
- Crack in 1 large egg.
- Add in half a cup of chicken broth.
- Add in two tablespoons of chopped mint leaves.
- Combine everything nicely. Once it is set, knead it using your fingers.
- Roll it out in a floured surface. It should be around one-fourth inch thick.
- Cut using any shape of cookie cutter.
- Transfer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for 30 minutes.
- Put on wire racks and allow to cool before serving.
Detoxifying Celery and Meat Recipe
This is a complete meal for dogs because it already has meat, seafood, and vegetables. Turkey is an excellent source of protein for dogs while the sardines contain Omega-3 fatty acids for brain health. The added cucumber makes it more nutritious since cucumber contains high amounts of vitamins. The cucumber is a detoxifying food for your pet.
- Puree half a cup of celery in a blender or in a food processor. Also, puree half a cup of cucumber. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine 2 lbs. of raw ground turkey and a can of sardines.
- Add in the pureed celery and cucumber.
- Mix a tablespoon of alfalfa powder and bonemeal.
- For a healthier twist, add a teaspoon of kelp. Just combine everything and serve to your dog.
Chicken and Rice Meal with Celery
This one is quite a heavy meal since it contains pasta and rice. It’s best given as a treat or as a reward. The added carrot and the celery stalks balance it. Your dog will enjoy carrots, as most dogs do. It’s also a creative way to introduce celery since you will need to process it according to the recipe.
- Brown 2 pounds of minced chicken in a saucepan.
- In another pan, boil half a cup of rice and one cup of macaroni. Let it cook until it is tender.
- Process a medium-sized carrot in a food processor. Then cut two stalks of celery in very small pieces.
- Pour 3 cups of water to your browned chicken. Transfer the rice and pasta into your chicken.
- Add the processed carrots and celery to the chicken mix and serve to your pet.
How to Choose Fresh Celery for Your Dog
First of all, look at the color and the firmness of the stalk. It should have a light green color and there should be no white spots on it. If there are, there is a possibility that the celery has gone bad. In terms of firmness, it should look like it is crunchy so it should have a loud snap when you snap it a bit.
The good thing about celery is that it does not go bad as quickly as other green veggies like lettuce. If you happen to have leftover celery and it looks wilted, simply sprinkle it with water and refrigerate for a few hours. The celery should be fresh again and ready for eating.
Pre-packaged celery hardly lasts for more than two days. If you have celery that is picked from your garden, chances are it will last for as long as three weeks given that you stored it right. When frozen, celery can last for eight months.
Consider giving your pet celery as a treat which should not account for more than 10 percent of your pet’s diet. As a pet owner, you have to take food safety seriously. This includes knowing which fruits and veggies are safe for your pet, and just how much your pet can eat per day. As with anything, keep the celery portions small so your buddy will not suffer from gastrointestinal distress.