July 29, 2016

Can Dogs Eat Celery, A Plant-Based Question

Most dog owners want to feed their pets healthy treats. This is good for their bodies and provides extra stimulation for their minds. If they lived in the wild, dogs would forage for some of their own food which is enriching for them. The big question today is, specifically: can dogs eat celery?

You certainly won’t see a wolf in a garden unless it’s chasing a rabbit. That doesn’t mean that dogs and even wolves don’t eat some plants now and then. The bigger question about dogs and their diet is something we will touch on here while we get into the nitty-gritty about your question, can dogs eat celery.

So, I’ll give you the skinny on all things dogs and celery. I’m also going to highlight the controversy over feeding dogs a vegetarian or vegan diet. Finally, there is some information here about which vegetables are safest to give to your dogs.

By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have a good idea about more than just feeding your dog celery. If you have any questions at all, leave a comment or reach out to your veterinarian for details on what they think about the best diet tips for dogs.

Dogs: Carnivores or Omnivores?

Although we think of dogs as meat eaters, there is some current controversy about this in the veterinary community. I have to tell you there are no easy, steadfast answers to the carnivore or omnivore question relating to a dog’s diet. That being said, I will lay out some of the schools of thought on the subject.

Traditionally, vet students were taught that dogs, like humans, are omnivores. This means that their bodies are set up to eat a variety of food items from the plant and animal kingdoms. Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD, relates in the article I’ve linked to above that she attended a conference in 2013 where speakers made a strong argument for dogs being carnivores.

According to this, it appears that maybe the vet community is split or transitioning to a new way of thinking: that dogs should eat primarily meat. This being said some people do successfully feed their dogs vegetarian diets. What, then, should you do?

It may be possible to feed your dog a vegan or vegetarian diet, but your vet may not agree with you on this topic. If your veterinarian keeps up with his or her continued education, they may be coming around to believe that dogs should be eating a meat based diet. This does not mean you should hide your intentions from your vet! Together you can decide what is best.

Vegan Diets for Dogs

That being said, there are many people who want to feed their dog a vegan diet. As humans wake up to the frightening and unsanitary practices of factory farming, many are making the move to veganism themselves.

Some people believe that being vegan is simply a diet, while others believe it is a lifestyle based on eliminating the subjugation and exploitation of animals to whatever extent possible. Many vegans will not wear leather or use cosmetics tested on animals in addition to eating a plant based diet.

For this same reason, many vegans want to buy a plant based diet for their dogs. There are formulated plant based food for dogs that you can buy premade. You can also make your own vegan dog food. In his blog, Vegan Heartland, Matthew provides a recipe he uses to feed his dog and also cites some research for those who want to know more about transitioning their dogs to a vegan diet.

Weigh the Risks

Conversely, you must use caution if you take the step to make your dog eat vegan. This is a personal choice that should be undertaken with your vet’s full knowledge, even if you feel they don’t agree with you about your choice. You must educate yourself on this topic and make sure your dog is getting the nutrients it needs to thrive and not just survive.

In the first video below, controversial Raw Til 4 vegan, Freelee The Banana Girl shows her followers what she feeds her dogs. Please keep in mind that the diet Freelee follows herself is quite radical, and I offer this only for perspective and not as something you should necessarily do.

Unlike Freelee, Dr. Becker cautions against feeding dogs a vegan diet in her video directly below. She lays out serious concerns about this practice. As I said when we began this discussion, there is no easy answer. As usual in life, moderation or a combination of both practices is generally safe, especially when you change your dog’s diet under the supervision of a vet.

Healthy Vegetables for Dogs

All that being said, you don’t have to go full vegan to let your dog eat some tasty veggies. Even feeding your dog a vegan diet two days out of the week, or simply supplementing their regular diet with vegetables that are safe for dogs is a good compromise.

Obviously, before you can begin incorporating vegetables into your dog’s life, you have to know which ones are safe. Here is a list you can use as a guide when you speak to your vet for the final seal of approval.

  • Tomatoes: ok in moderation;
  • Corn: ok in moderation, but always remove corn from the cob, which can cause dangerous bowel obstructions in dogs;
  • Carrots: yes, carrots contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Be sure pieces are small to prevent choking;
  • Potatoes: ok in moderation if they are peeled and cooked. The stems, leaves, and skin of the potato plant contain solanine which is not safe for dogs to eat;
  • Cucumbers: yes, cucumbers are safe for dog, especially if peeled. This makes them easier for dogs to eat and digest. Cucumbers are a great doggie treat on a hot day;
  • Asparagus: ok in moderation. Most dogs tolerate asparagus in small amounts just fine;
  • Green beans: yes, green beans are safe for most dogs. Green beans add vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese to your dog’s diet;
  • Peas: yes, peas are also safe for dogs. You may wish to remove the pod if the peas are fresh to eliminate any choking and digestion concerns;
  • Sweet potatoes: yes, cooked sweet potatoes are healthy and safe for dogs;
  • Pumpkin: yes, canned pumpkin can be added to your dog’s regular food to help them feel full. Pumpkin contains vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.

So… Can Dogs Eat Celery?

Did you notice one veggie is conspicuously absent from the list above? It’s the very one you came here to ask about! Because of that, I thought it deserved its own section. The answer is yes, you can feed your dog celery. It is perfectly safe from a nutrition standpoint.

Although celery is safe, you should always cut it up into small pieces before feeding it to your dog. The strings in celery can easily choke animals or be hard to digest after it is eaten. Cutting up the celery into bite sized bits will eliminate any worries.

What About Fruit? Can I Feed It To My Dog?

We will be taking a look at feeding fruit to your dog in the next article, actually! Stay tuned for all of the information I’ve found on the topic. I will give you a list of safe and healthy fruit to feed your dog and briefly review what we’ve covered here about vegan diets and dogs. I’m looking forward to seeing you back here for that discussion.

To wrap things up, you now know that the answer to the question, can dogs eat celery is yes! Just cut it up for them. If you do add a new food to your dog’s diet, monitor their behavior and bowel movements to be sure they aren’t having any type of strange reaction. If you see something weird, call your vet sooner rather than later.

If you don’t see it on this list or the coming list of fruits to feed your dog, avoid it or do your own research including asking your vet. Some plant-based foods like avocado should never be fed to your dog. Just because they can eat some does not mean they can eat everything you eat.

Also read: Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes? There Is No Simple Yes/No Answer

Do you have friends with dogs? I'd love it if you shared this article with them over social media so we can all be informed about safe doggie feeding. I'd also love to connect with you on Twitter. You can follow the page at @lovablepawclaws. Once we are connected, you can send me your comments about this article. I look forward to hearing from you.


Lauren is a young woman with a true passion for animals. She has kept many pets over the years and has intimate knowledge of their needs both emotionally and physically. She loves that her dogs keep her so active and satisfy her desire to spend lots of time in nature.

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