It’s often all too easy to feed our dogs the kind of food we think must be delicious for them. How many times have you gazed into the large, mournful stare of a pup as he watches you eat a bacon sandwich or slice into a steak, and found his little face just impossible to resist?
I’m a sucker for big brown eyes and drooling chops. But while the occasional treat is great for your dog, you don’t want him getting fat. Even without necessarily putting him on a calorie-controlled diet, it’s always good for dog owners to consider healthy snack options.
So, what about vegetables? Can dogs eat celery? What about other apples and pears? Can dogs eat carrots? Are all the foods doctors tell us to eat more of necessarily good for your canine companion, too?
Let’s find out.
Is Celery Good for Dogs?
Celery is renowned for being somewhat of superfood. It’s low calorie, but high in important nutrients like zinc, iron, fiber, calcium, as well as vitamins, A, B, C, D, E and K. Humans have been eating celery in their diet for thousands of years, not only because of its benefits but its unique flavor, which is added to soups, salads, stews and other meals.
But not all foods that are good for humans are good for dogs, as we know. Grapes, raisins, avocado and even onions could all prove fatal. So, it’s good to make sure whether celery is a food that dogs can eat.
Yes dogs can eat celery. However, this doesn’t mean that you can toss your dog celery and watch it chomp down on a stalk. There are important things to know first about not only the preparation, but the amount of the celery you feed to your dog.
Everything in Moderation
The old adage proves true once again.
I can honestly say that I run zero risk of over-indulging on celery in my own personal diet, but the same can’t be said of our dogs. For them, there is such a thing as too much celery! Some pups are little scoffers who will devour anything put in front of them, so as always it’s up to a responsible owner to moderate their celery intake.
While celery contains plenty of good stuff, it’s a natural diuretic, which means that too much celery will cause them to urinate more than usual. This means your dog runs the risk of dehydration and bladder or kidney issues. Vets therefore recommend for dogs to eat celery as an occasional treat, and certainly shouldn’t form any more than 10% of a dog’s diet.
Obviously! According to M-Dog, if your dog has any kind of reaction to celery, you should stop giving it to him. You might find that he becomes bloated or gassy if the vegetable is irritating his stomach so if this is the case, swap the celery out for something else.
How to Prepare Celery for Your Dog
Can dogs eat celery in its entirety?
First, it’s best that your dog doesn’t eat the celery leaves. With many plants, most toxins are stored in the leaves so stick to just the celery stalks.
It’s safe for dogs to eat both cooked raw celery. Many dogs prefer cool, raw celery straight from the refrigerator, particularly on a hot day, and this method of preparation is also great as a breath freshener for your pup, too.
Some dogs are gobblers, and some are nibblers. If your dog’s a nibbler, they’ll be more than happy to take a fresh stick of celery out of your hands and gnaw away at it for a little while. However, gobblers with no self-restraint shouldn’t be given sticks of celery that could cause a choking hazard by lodging in their throats, so instead chop the celery into small pieces.
Don’t be worried if your dog isn’t enamored with either choice when it comes to celery. It’s still possible to give them the vitamins and minerals from celery without them refusing it outright. Blending the celery with other vegetables means you can give your dog celery without them even really noticing.
It’s a great idea to pair the celery with other flavors to see if this might tempt them, too. Spreading a little peanut butter along the celery stalk is a popular choice. Just be sure to never feed your dog peanut butter that contains Xylitol, which can be fatal.
But what if your dog just hates celery? Plenty do! Can dogs eat carrot instead, or perhaps another healthy snack?
What About Other Vegetables and Fruits?
We’ve established dogs can eat celery, this also raises questions of other fruits and vegetables that they may be able to enjoy. Owners often take to the internet to ask such questions as “can dog eat carrots? Can dog eat broccoli?” and “is it safe for my dog to eat fruit?”
It’s always good to check. After all, most of us are aware of just how toxic chocolate is to dogs, but who’d ever have thought grapes or raisins would be so bad for them, or that you should never give a dog corn on the cob? Giving your dog the right treat while keeping them safe can be a minefield, so it’s never a bad thing to be sure.
Let’s take a look at some other low calorie foods that are safe for dogs to enjoy in their diet. We got some great tips about doggy nutrition from the American Kennel Club for this guide.
First, the vegetables.
Some great vegetables to feed dogs are:
- Cucumbers – low in fat, and just like celery, contains plenty of vitamins!
- Broccoli – stuffed with fiber and vitamin C, but make sure to feed broccoli in small amounts, because they can cause gas, and we all know how lethal doggy gas is to humans!
- Sprouts – just like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are healthy but come with the same gas warning so don’t overdo it.
- Carrots – not only is true that dogs can eat carrots, but they’re a firm favorite as a doggy treat. Raw carrots especially are a cool, crunchy treat to help to keep your dog dehydrated and even keep his teeth clean.
- Green Beans – all low-salt green beans are a great way to give your dog nutrients and fiber while being low in fat, whether they’re cooked or raw. The same goes for peas but as always, watch for the salt levels, particularly from canned peas.
- Spinach – Good for dogs, but not good in large amounts so feed it to your dog sparingly. If in doubt, avoid it completely, because of the levels of oxalic acid, which can cause kidney damage.
And for a fruity dessert…
Dogs can eat (and will surely love) such fruits as:
- Apples – crunchy and full of vitamins. Just make sure you give your dog pieces of apple, as opposed to a whole one, as they shouldn’t eat the core or the pips.
- Bananas – sweet and smooth, dogs love them. Go easy, though, because a banana is high in sugar despite being a great source of potassium, fiber and even copper.
- Berries – you’ll be pleased to know you can share your blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and even cranberries with your dog. They’re all a great source of vitamin C, but don’t overdo it. Raspberries contain small traces of Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
- Melon – both cantaloupe and watermelon are great summer doggy treats, but as always feed them only the flesh, so be sure to remove all the seeds.
- Peaches – perfectly safe and full of vitamin A but you must remove the pit because it contains cyanide so only sliced fresh or frozen peaches are best. Avoid the canned kind, because they’e steeped in sugar.
- Pears – like peach pits, pear seeds have traces of cyanide in them so be sure to remove all seeds and pits, but studies have shown that feeding your dog the occasional pear can reduce the chance of him having a stroke.
- Pineapple – a tropical treat they’re sure to devour. It’s full of vitamins and minerals and is also recommended for dogs who like to, ahem, clean up their own waste. Pineapple can help make doggy poop smell yucky to your dog, so he’s less likely to want to be his own pooper scooper, if you know what I mean!
Foods to avoid!
Never feed your dog any of the following fruits and vegetables:
- Onions or leeks – they belong to the Allium family of plants, and can destroy your dog’s red blood cells.
- Mushrooms – while supermarket mushrooms are probably OK for your dog, wild mushrooms can be super toxic.
- Tomatoes – if a tomato isn’t ripe, it will still contain a potentially harmful substance called solanine, so avoid tomatoes completely to be safe.
- Grapes or raisins – both can be lethal in just tiny amounts, occasionally causing sudden kidney failure. Avoid at all costs!
- Cherries – while they can eat the flesh, it’s best to avoid giving your dog cherries because they contain levels of cyanide that are dangerous.
Never Be Scared to Seek Advice!
If you’re unsure about any part of your dog’s diet, be it regarding celery or otherwise, always check with your vet. But if you follow the above suggestions, your dog’s sure to thank you for keeping him in the best of health!