Whenever we think about a rabbit’s diet, we start to imagine a cute little bunny binging on carrots almost in a reflex manner. Bunnies as pets are no doubt one of the most amazing creatures. They are not only friendly but also rather low maintenance than most other pets.
However, there are few specifications when it comes to the diet of rabbits. Simply, you need to include a major proportion of hay to keep them healthy. However, it would be best to consider certain conditions and precautions when it comes to other fruits and vegetables. It is because rabbits are greatly affected by the changes in their diet. You not only need to make sure the certain food element is safe for eating for rabbits but also consider the macros it is providing and balance it out with other food components.
In this article, we will talk all about the celery diet for rabbits, its macro and micronutrients, advantages and disadvantages of the diet of a bunny. Moreover, we will discuss its safety profile and how you can feed celery to your bunny.
Yes, rabbits can eat celery safely. Rabbits love celery, and it is a great source of water and fibers for them. In fact, you should add celery to the diet chart of bunnies to provide them with a well-balanced diet to keep them healthy.
Rabbits love crunchy textures, and a celery stick is one of the best sources to have a nutritious crunch. When it comes to celery leaves, they are also no less. However, even if celery is a great source of multiple nutritious elements, you should not substitute it with the most important aspects of a rabbit’s diet, i.e., loads of hay. Also, you should not include only celery in plant matter for your bunny. Look into other options such as cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, bananas, carrots etc. Check their safety profile, and make sure to add variety in the diet of your adorable little friend.
How Much Celery Should I Feed My Bunny?
Although celery is a great food inclusion in your rabbit’s diet, it cannot be given in excess. Including too much celery can cause multiple gastrointestinal issues in bunnies along with metabolic problems, including hypocalcemia.
So, you should not include more than half of a celery stick in the diet of your bunny in a day. Celery leaves are also great to provide a new flavor and cleanse the palette of your bunny. However, they also should be provided in an adequate amount as they combined with other food components may build up high oxalate concentration in blood.
So, include a small quantity of celery in the small portion of mixed fruits and vegetables you feed your bunny.
How Often Should I Feed My Rabbit Celery?
Rabbit cannot have celery on a daily basis. Celery should only be fed to your bunny once or twice a week. The major portion of the diet of a bunny is always hay, which should never be comprised by secondary inclusions of fruits and vegetables.
Nutrition In Celery:
Celery is one of the most healthy choices, especially for obese bunnies. It is not only nutritious but also low in calories and also a great source of hydrations. However, the excess is always bad. Not only it upsets the gut, but it also causes an imbalance in essential vitamins and minerals needed for rabbit growth. Before talking about the advantages and disadvantages of celery in a bunny’s diet, let us consider the nutritional chart of this amazing vegetable.
A cup of celery has the following components when it comes to macronutrients:
Less than 1 gram
Less than 1 gram
Other Nutrients Are:
Other nutrients, including minerals and vitamins in celery, are:
Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Flavonoids, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Sodium, Phosphorus.
Other than that, we have oxalates in the leaves of celery. High oxalate foods can cause kidney stones in rabbits. Therefore, you should avoid pairing it with other high oxalate concentration foods, e.g., spinach, tomatoes, etc.
Benefits Of Celery:
Celery has many advantages, including:
Source Of Energy:
Along with fibers, a rabbit’s diet must have an adequate supply of other macronutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Carbohydrates are an immediate source of energy to help the bunny perform daily activities and exercise. However, when we try to provide energy by feeding a lot of fruits and vegetables, the rabbit gets into a calorie surplus and obesity. Obesity due to high sugar foods is very common in bunnies. Obesity causes many metabolic problems in rabbits, including putting excessive strain on the heart, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and so on. Not only diet but also decreased activity levels are one of the biggest causes of obesity in bunnies living in captivity.
So, we had to take care of what we feed to our bunnies not to overstress their fragile metabolism. However, there are very few food options available for these obese little furry creatures. In this case, celery becomes one of the ideal choices. Others can be cabbage and spinach.
Antioxidants are important dietary components that fight with free radicals detrimental to a bunny’s body. Free radicals affect bunnies’ lifespan, accelerates aging, cause cancer, and weaken immunity. Primarily the benefits of antioxidants in humans and rabbits are the same. The only thing that differs is the dose.
Celery has one of the best antioxidants like Vitamin C in it. Though the recommended amount of celery does not provide the required concentration of antioxidants, it does play an important role in making up the daily dose. You may also include other Vitamin C and Vitamin E sources in the bunny diet occasionally, including tomatoes, oranges, etc.
Vitamin A is in good concentration in celery. This vitamin ensures epithelial tissue’s health, including skin and mucous membrane, and also helps to improve vision. Another important fact about vitamin A is that if you want to breed your bunnies, then you must include vitamin A enriched foods in their diet. Vitamin A is known to strengthen the reproductive system and growth in bunnies. Moreover, it also maintains the immune system.
Prevent Blood Clotting:
Celery has a handsome amount of Vitamin K in it. This vitamin prevents excessive blood clotting and helps prevent multiple diseases. An excessive blood clotting can result in thrombus formation, leading to numerous fatal health issues, e.g., cardiac ischemia, tissue necrosis, etc. Moreover, vitamin K also serves the purpose of strengthening bone and optimizing growth.
Fibers Are Necessary:
When it comes to the rabbit diet, the most important component is fiber. We provide it from hay and other food elements. Fibers are necessary to maintain the healthy gut and metabolism of rabbits, along with ensuring good oral health. If your bunny does not have enough fibers in its diet, it will suffer from constipation issues because of decreased gut motility. Moreover, lack of fiber will also affect the oral health of your bunny, causing an overgrowth in incisors which can grow so much like tusks that the rabbit cannot even close their mouth. Therefore, you need to make sure that your rabbit gets enough fibers through its diet.
Hydration is one of the most necessary things to need to consider in a bunnies diet. It would be best if you supplied a constant supply of fresh water to your little furry friend. Moreover, include water-rich sources to compensate for any loss of water, especially in summers. Celery contains 79% of water, so it is an excellent source of essential water needed for the body’s normal metabolism. However, make sure that you never overdo it. An excess of water can also cause multiple gut and digestive issues.
Routine Blood Pressure Maintenance:
Potassium is one of the essential minerals that maintain normal blood pressure in the body and maintain cardiovascular health. Moreover, it also helps fight any problem related to water retention. Potassium is known to have a key role in maintaining proper kidney functions.
Celery is rich in iron, which is the essential hemoglobin component found in red blood cells. Red blood cells are the most important component of blood, making it all of the red portion. Always include iron-rich sources in the diet of your bunny to maintain healthy systems. Iron helps bunnies fight with the major kinds of anemias. It also ensures the good functionality of the liver and spleen.
Adequate Calcium To Phosphorus Ratio
The low calcium to phosphorus ratio calls for malabsorption of calcium in the body. If you are feeding high phosphorus foods along with calcium-containing foods, or a food component has more phosphorus than calcium, your bunny will likely start suffering from hypocalcemia. A ratio of 2:1 or better 1:1 for calcium and phosphorus is preferred for easy absorption of calcium into the blood to become part of bones. The rate is usually not met in every food. However, make sure you have a balanced concentration of calcium(not very high otherwise, it will lead to the formation of stones) in the total diet of a bunny.
The symptoms of hypocalcemia include a deformed skeleton, brittleness of bones, joint pain, and even immobility. However, all these symptoms can b reversed with proper care. So, contact your vet as soon as you see such signs in your bunny.
Calcium helps in the strengthening of bones and prevents any metabolic bone disorder. Calcium is essentially important in the growing ages of a bunny.
Unlike other fruits and vegetables, celery contains 40 mg of calcium and 24 mg of phosphorus in one cup. So, now you know how healthy this vegetable is for your bunny in every aspect. Calcium is also one of the most critical minerals for any bony creature. Again, celery is one of the healthy sources of calcium for your rabbits. It will not harm in any way the absorption of calcium from an overall meal. Even many studies show that it facilitates it!
Harms Of Excess Celery:
The benefits of celery must have made you question if celery is this much beneficial for a bunny; why not feed this economical food to your bunny daily. Remember that excess of everything can bring terrible results. So, if you increase celery in the diet of your bunny, the following things can happen:
Celery has a high to moderate oxalates concentration in it, especially in its leaves. So, if you do not follow the recommended quantity, the oxalates levels in blood especially combined with other high oxalate foods, can form stones after chelation. These stones can even worsen and cause multi-organ ulceration, especially in kidneys.
High levels of oxalates cause not only stone formation but also hypocalcemia. Moreover, oxalic acid load on your bunny’s metabolism, unlike the excess of other components, can be quite harmful. So, it is always recommended not to pair two or more high oxalic acid sources in a single day or at least one-time feeding.
Let us compare the oxalic acid concentration in various greens to let you have a better idea:
So, if you add parsley, broccoli, or spinach in the bowl of your bearded dragon, do not add tomatoes which are also high in their oxalate content.
Celery contains few calories, which are not enough to meet the daily caloric requirement of your bunny. Suppose you feed a lot of celery to your bunny, and it will go malnourished in days! Moreover, when your rabbit does not have a lot of stored food as fats or is ill, feeding celery often will bring more harm than good. So, always make sure you never overdo it or feed it to bunny already fighting with its energy levels.
Celery fibers can easily choke the gut of your bunny if you feed it too much. This will hinder normal peristaltic movements. Common signs of gut choke are; bunnies are refusing to eat anything, declining health, fatigue, and sluggishness. Contact your vet immediately if you observe any such signs.
When we talk about fruits, bearded dragons crave them. However, for celery, the situation is the opposite. Somehow, bearded dragons do not like having celery. Even they tend to leave it in the bowl of salad. They may even are reluctant to eat it if you feed it alone.
How To Feed Celery To A Bunny
Regarding celery, it is worth mentioning that you should start with very little amounts if your bunny is new to it. Moreover, it is safe to feed both leaves and stalk. So, how do you provide it? Let us have a detailed look into it.
- Lay your hands on fresh celery whenever you are going to feed it to your bunny. Stale one contains a lot of microbial growth that can be very harmful to the sheer guts of your little friend.
- Wash thoroughly to remove any kind of pesticide and dirt prior to feeding.
- Cut into ½ or 1-inch sticks that can easily fit into the mouth of your rabbit.
- You may also cut celery leaves and introduce them as a part of the salad bowl you are going to feed your bunny.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can Baby Bunny Eat Celery?
Well, the answer is yes. There is no harm in feeding celery to a baby bunny. However, you better provide it once a week. It is because baby bunnies need a lot of nutrition for their growth, and enough fiber to keep their little gut healthy is already provided from hay. So, you may either skip celery or feed it occasionally.
- Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Celery?
No, rabbits cannot eat cooked celery. In fact, rabbits should not be fed any cooked foods as they cannot digest them properly. Cooked foods cause multiple digestive issues leading to metabolic diseases in rabbits.
- Can Celery Kill A Rabbit?
If the celery is fed in too much amount that it causes severe malnutrition or gut choke to the rabbit, it can cause death too! So, always be careful with the amount of celery you are going to feed your rabbit.
Celery is great for your bunny until you feed it in the recommended amount. As a rule of thumb, rabbits should never be provided with an excess of any kind of fruit or vegetable. Rabbits need to have mixed vegetables and fruits in a small proportion. I hope this article cleared all your questions related to the celery in the diet of the bunny. Moreover, to help you better understand all the things associated with the rabbit’s diet, we have a comprehensive article. It has a detailed discussion on macro and micronutrients, components, and essential elements in the bunny diet and the diet chart according to age. Please skim through that before finalizing the diet chart of the rabbit.
In case you have any other questions, you may drop down the comment or contact us. We would be happy to help.
All the information in the article refer from
- Rabbit Feeding and Nutrition by P.R. Cheeke
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine.
- The National Research Council Publication on Rabbit Nutrients
- Rabbits Health, Husbandry & Diseases by V Richardson
- Day to day experience and record from clinical practices
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I am a graduate of a veterinary university. Dealing with all the kinds of pets from the dawn to dusk, it’s like understanding their language. That is the best time ever, I must say!
Writing has always been my orphenadrine. I love to share my experience and talk about the most common issues people have been facing with their pets. My writing career began in 2015. I aimed to work for pets to share my experience and make pet humans relation a lot better. I usually talk about the most significant or recurrent cases of the day. During my practice at pet centre, I face a lot of questions by pet owners. Moreover, I also own a variety of pets myself including different species of mammals, birds and reptiles.
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