Can horses eat celery? If you find yourself pondering over this question, it is very likely that you had celery for dinner yourself and naturally your brain jumped to whether or not it was something you could feed your horse. Don’t worry; it isn’t nearly as unusual a question as you might think. After all, wanting to feed your pets ‘people food’ is completely normal and if you’re going through the trouble of finding out whether it’s actually safe for them to eat and good for their health instead of just adding some to their feeding bowl, you are surely a very conscientious pet owner.
Coming back to the point at hand; yes, your horse can absolutely eat celery. Whether it will want to is, of course, a separate matter altogether.
Can Horses Eat Celery?
Absolutely! Celery does not contain any chemical compounds, great quantities of sugar, excessive carbohydrate concentrations, pits or seeds. Nothing that can serve as a choking hazard, pose a threat of poisoning or upset the digestive system.
Do Horses Like To Eat Celery?
While some horses enjoy the texture and crunchiness of celery, others are not particularly fond of it. It all depends on the individual horse. Since celery is neither extremely sweet nor particularly strong-tasting, your horse may not like it. This rejection does not necessarily mean your horse has deemed it unsafe, but simply that it just doesn’t like the taste. You can even make an effort to reintroduce your horse to celery at a later date. Adding it to others foods to make the taste less bland often tends to work.
Method of Preparation
Like with all fruits and vegetables you feed your horse, always make sure to wash and dice the celery into small pieces. You don’t want your horse choking on it after all and larger pieces may get lodged in his throat.
While many people may choose to not use celery leaves in their cooking, this does not mean that they aren’t edible; or that your horse will not relish their crunchiness. When prepared properly, your horse will happily eat both the celery stems and leaves.
Another method is to feed your horse the celery stems by hand. Long enough to keep your fingers out of harms reach (chomping range) celery can easily be used to train your horse. And it doesn’t even cause harm to your horse’s health, unlike larger amounts of sugary fruits and store-bought treats.
An excellent addition to your horse’s balanced diet, celery has great nutritional value, particularly in terms of fiber. And fiber is essential for the working and upkeep of your horse’s digestive system.
It is also full of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Folate or vitamin B9 which aids in the development of white and red blood cells and helps break down carbohydrates to release energy
- Vitamin C, that is useful in the production of collagen and repair of damaged tissues.
- Collagen, an essential protein, helps build the skin, ligaments and tendons in your horse’s body.
- Phosphorus is necessary for the growth, repair and maintenance of your horse’s teeth and bones.
- Magnesium helps maintain functions of the muscles and nerves.
- Vitamin A exists in the form of Retinol which looks after your horse’s eyesight and skin and Beta carotene, an antioxidant which prevents harmful substances from damaging the cells in your horse’s body.
Celery also contains a great quantity of water, which will keep your horse well hydrated.
That being said, celery is no doubt a much healthier and nutritional treat in comparison to the sugary fruits and store-bought treats you must normally feed your horse.
All the benefits withstanding you must still keep in mind that celery is not a regular component of the everyday diet of your horse. And as such it is best to only feed him moderate amounts as a treat. By this I mean not more than 2 pounds per feeding. You don’t want your horse gorging himself on treats instead of filling up on nutritionally balanced foods.
Substitute to Store-Bought Treats
Diabetes or insulin-resistance is a common condition in horses. What this basically means is that the horse’s body finds it difficult to process sugar. This sugar doesn’t just come from store-bought treats either. Recent studies show that not only do hay and grasses contain such sugars and carbohydrates but that these carbohydrates can lead to a disease called laminitis.
Therefore, if your horse is diabetic you should make sure that any substances that can cause him harm are not present in his diet. A good substitute consists of vegetables that are low in sugar and high in fiber, celery is a leading example.
Coming back to the original question, yes horses can eat celery in moderation. And, a stalk or two can serve as a great substitute to the sugar laden store-bought treats normally used.