Can Dogs Eat Celery? (Nutritional Guide)
Yes, your dog can benefit from several small slices of celery every now and then. This vegetable is one of those food items that are safe for dogs when given in moderation. Celeries make excellent treats for hounds. This crunchy veggie is rich in manganese, potassium, and folate. It also contains the vitamins A, K, and C for additional health benefits. It is fiber-rich and comes very low in cholesterol and other fats. The celery is a safe treat for dogs to munch on.
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Is Celery Good for Your Dog?
We say that it is safe to give celery to your dog, but this doesn’t answer the question if it is good for your hound.
It is true that the evolution of dogs now allows them to digest plant-based foods. There is one thing that remains, however. The digestive system of dogs is still that of a carnivore. It is shorter than the gut of omnivores like humans. It also lacks certain digestive enzymes that can help them break down different plant-based foods in a more efficient manner. It is for this reason that the diet of dogs should always be meat-based. It is okay to give dogs fruits and vegetables, but these should not comprise the main bulk of their nutrition.
If you give celery to your dog, it should be as a treat or as a snack. Since this crunchy vegetable is rich in fiber, it is one of the best treats you can give to a dog that is suffering from weight issues. The fiber content of celery can make your dog feel fuller. This can make it reduce its food consumption. Celery also has very few calories. A 3.5-ounce serving of celery only contains 16 calories. Try comparing this with your commercially-available doggie biscuits or cookies.
It is also one of those vegetables that are rich in vitamin K. This nutrient plays a critical role in the formation of blood clots. Without vitamin K, it would be almost impossible to control bleeding since the platelets will not be clumping together. Celery is also rich in riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and folate. The latter is important in the production of healthier red blood cells.
What most people don’t know is that celery contains more than 95% water. This is perfect for hounds that may not be drinking well. This also makes celery a healthier treat to bring during doggie walks. Instead of bringing a calorie-rich dog treat, you can bring several slices of celery stalk. You can give these to your dog and supply it with water, energy, and nutrients.
Risks of Giving Celery to Your Pet
Celery can be a healthier treat to your dog than the average doggie treat you buy from your favorite pet store. This doesn’t mean that there are no risks involved.
For starters, the high-fiber content of celery can increase the risk of developing gas or bloat in your dog. The bacteria residing in your dog’s gut will try to digest the fiber found in celery as well as other vegetables and fruit. This produces gas. In some instances, it can also cause diarrhea since fiber in the gut increases the bulk of digestive contents. This facilitates the more rapid movement of bowels, leading to reduced reabsorption of water.
Some dogs also love to munch on whole stalks of celery. While this vegetable is not as hard as wood, it has the potential to block the esophagus and cause choking. This happens if the dog swallows a very large piece of celery. The dog may not be able to breathe well since the esophagus is pressing against the airways.
There is another cause of concern which very few animal lovers are aware of. Among humans, celery is more allergenic than peanuts. It is one of the very few foods that can cause severe anaphylactic reaction. This can lead to death. Seeds and celery root are the parts of the vegetable that contain the highest concentration of the allergen.
No one knows if dogs can also exhibit hypersensitivity to the celery allergen. It is best to avoid giving your dog celery in case your hound has food allergies. You’d better not tempt fate.
Can You Give Celery to a Puppy?
We know that celery is safe to give to dogs. But if you’re thinking of giving celery to your puppy, we implore you to think many times. Puppies are not the type of dogs that we can and should experiment on. Celery may be safe for adult dogs, but this doesn’t mean it is also safe to give to puppies.
A puppy’s growth and development potential requires the giving of a complete and well-balanced meal. This should contain all the necessary nutrients that puppies need to grow and thrive. Moreover, the immune system and digestive system of puppies are still immature. Giving them celery may undermine the development process that is still occurring in these organ systems.
How to Feed Celery to Your Dog
Because celery has the potential to cause choking in your dog, this crunchy vegetable should be sliced in bite-sized pieces. They should be small enough so that they will pass the esophagus of your dog a lot easier.
It is also important to give celery to your dog on a more gradual basis. You can start with one or two slices to check if it develops an allergic reaction or not. If there are no untoward incidents, then you can provide more celery to your pet. Observe the 10-percent rule when it comes to doggie treats, however.
There are pet parents who boil or cook celery in other ways before giving this to their pet. Heat can reduce the amount of nutrients present in celery. As such, it should always be given raw and fresh.
One way you can make celery more appetizing is by smearing it with xylitol-free, unsalted peanut butter. Dogs love the taste of peanut butter. Apply a small amount of peanut butter on the surface of the celery and give this to your pet.
You can start ditching the commercially-available dog treat in favor of celery. It’s a healthier alternative.
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