Celery isn't only a refreshing bite, it's also super healthy! While it's clear this veg is great for people, today's question is: Can dogs eat celery?

Food Facts: Can Dogs Eat Celery?

These crunchy, long green stalks of goodness are not only refreshing, they’re a great addition to salads, a reservoir for dips and spreads, and are great plain as a low-calorie snack. With its high water content (95%) and abundance of antioxidants, this refreshing veggie is a great addition to our diet and health. Now, today’s question is: Can dogs eat celery?

Short Answer: Yes!

Celery Nutrition Facts

When feeding your pooch fresh fruits and vegetables, moderation is key. While your pooch will only have a few bites (pre-dice to avoid choking), let’s take a look at the nutritional facts for 1 medium stalk of celery (71/2″ – 8″ long) (40g).

According to the U.S. Department Of Agriculture, this fiber-filled delight is packed with:

  • Calories – 5.6
  • Protein – 0.276 g
  • Fat – 0.68 g
  • Carbs – 1.19 g
  • Fiber – 0.64 g
  • Total sugars – 0.536 g
  • Calcium – 16 mg
  • Iron – 0.08 mg
  • Magnesium – 4.4 mg
  • Phosphorus – 9.6 mg
  • Potassium – 104 mg
  • Sodium – 32 mg
  • Zinc – 0.052 mg
  • Copper – 0.014 mg
  • Manganese – 0.041 mg
  • Selenium – 0.16µg
  • Folate – 14.4 µg
  • Beta Carotene – 108 µg
  • Vitamin A – 8.8 µg
  • Vitamin B-6 – 0.03 mg
  • Vitamin C – 1.24 mg
  • Vitamin K – 11.7 µg
  • Lutein + zeaxanthin – 113 µg

Benefits of Celery

  • Great For Hydration – Celery weighs in at 95% water, making it the perfect treat on a hot summer day. Get this: There is a 1/2 cup of water in a cup of celery!
  • Rids The Body Of Toxins – Thanks to the hydrating effects of celery, the increased water in the system leads to increased urination which can cleanse and flush toxins from your dog’s body. 
  • Perfect Treat For Weight Control – According to The Association For Pet Obesity Prevention, as of 2018, approximately 56% of dogs in the United States were either overweight or obese. Celery is low-fat and extremely low cal. A medium stalk is only 6 calories. It’s a great treat swap for overweight or obese dogs. 
  • Immune System – A diet rich in fruits and veggies has long been touted as an immune health booster. Celery, with its high antioxidant, flavonoid, and vitamin C content definitely makes the grade. 
  • Anti-inflammatory – The powerful phytonutrient antioxidants in celery helps decrease inflammation in the body. Inflammation has long been implicated as a cause in numerous diseases – for dogs and humans. The beneficial anti-inflammatory effects that humans get from celery is just as beneficial for dogs. 
  • Good Addition To An Anti-Cancer Diet – Celery is loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. Free-radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells, leading to chronic inflammation and illnesses, like cancer. 
  • Heart Health – According to Trupanion Pet Insurance Company, “Celery contains phthalide, a chemical that lowers stress hormones in the blood, which allows the blood vessels to relax and more blood to flow through the body.” 
  • Promotes Healthy Joints – Thanks to the powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamin C contained in celery, it may help with alleviating joint pain, swelling, and/or stiffness. 
  • Good For Digestive Health  – The high percentage of water and the high fiber content of the celery stalk promotes digestive health and regular bowel movements. According to Dr. Karen Becker, DVM “Giving your dog a small amount of celery is one way to mimic the diet of your dog’s ancestors, who used to meet their fiber requirements by ingesting the fur, tendons, ligaments and already-digested stomach contents of their preys.” But moderation is key. Too much celery can give your pooch gas, cramps, diarrhea, and bloat. 
  • Promotes Strong Bones – Vitamin K and calcium are necessary to build strong bones. Celery has them both!
  • Eye Health – Lutein + zeaxanthin, Vitamin A, and Beta-Carotene are long known for eye health. 
  • May Freshen Breath –  As a special bonus, it may help with bad breath by giving those pearly whites a scrub and flush. How? While the crunchy texture of celery can mimic a brushing action to the teeth and scrub away at the surface, the fiber-filled veggie is also known to increase saliva production – add to that 95% water! Viola! But it will never replace the good old toothbrush … so keep brushing!

Feeding Tips

  • If it’s in your budget, opt for organic. Celery is one of those veggies that always makes the dirty dozen list, which means they’re ranked one of the most pesticide-laden veggies on the shelf. If you can’t buy organic make sure to wash it thoroughly to remove any residual pesticides, chemicals, and contaminants.
  • The stalk and the leaves are both safe to eat. Make sure it’s fresh, crunchy, and a nice green color. Throw away any pieces that don’t look fresh. For maximum nutrients use it up within 7 days.
  • Feed it raw or steamed. Steaming is the preferred method of cooking celery because it will retain most of its nutrients. 
  • Chop it into small pieces, and I like to remove the stringy parts. It makes it easier for dogs to eat, especially if you have a small breed dog or a puppy. Larger pieces are a potential choking hazard.
  •  Use it as a snack by the piece, or mix it in with your pooches food.
  • If Fido is resistant to eating his veggies, try taking a small amount and pureeing them. Then add them to Fido’s food dish or use some of his favorites to make a smoothie!
  • Lastly: Remember to go slow. Always introduce only little bits at a time to make sure your pooch can tolerate them. If in doubt or if your dog has any special medical needs – check with your vet before adding new things to his diet. 

Get More Doggy Food Facts

This feature is part of a weekly web series called Food Facts Friday. Every Friday, we share foods that are great for our canine companions. Check out other foods highlighted in this series HERE!