Things you should never feed your horse

Just like humans, there are certain foods that don’t agree with a horse’s stomach. Whilst we all enjoy treats every so often, you may want to consider choosing the foods that will protect their overall health.

Certain food groups are poisonous to horses and cause them to become seriously ill if they’re consumed, so you should steer clear of them.

Whilst you may not be able to keep a watchful eye on the things your horse comes into contact with when they’re alone in their paddock, there are a number of things that you should never intentionally feed your horse, including:

1. Chocolate

As with dogs and cats, if a horse consumes chocolate it can make them seriously ill.

This is because large quantities of chocolate contain theobromine; an ingredient that is toxic for most animals.

2. Fruits with pips

Whilst you may think that your horse would love to eat a fresh watermelon on a hot summer’s day, you may not have realised that fruits with pips can be dangerous for a horse to consume.

This is because the pips that are found in many fruits contain small levels of toxins that your horse’s immune system could react to.

There’s also the risk that your horse may choke on the pips.

Two horses eating hay

3. Tomatoes

As a horse owner, you may have heard of deadly nightshade poisoning. Tomatoes are within the same family as the nightshade plant and contains the same chemical – atropine.

Atropine is extremely dangerous for horses and can cause colic if it is consumed. It can also cause anorexia, disorientation and death in severe cases.

4. Old hay

Because the bulk of your horse’s diet may consist of hay, you may be surprised to learn that old bails can also be dangerous for your horse to eat.

Hay that has been left for too long and has become mouldy or dusty can cause irreversible damage to your horse’s respiratory system. In the long-term, your horse could suffer with health complications.

Never feed your horse old bales of hay

5. Garden clippings

You may assume that garden and grass clippings are safe for a horse to eat, but they can cause your horse to suffer with colic or other serious health issues.

This is because many grass clippings contain small toxic plants which can disagree with your horse’s body and cause poisoning. Also, when grass or lawn clippings are fermented and left for a while before being given to your horse, the gases can result in stomach ruptures.

As you can see, there are a variety of poisonous foods for horses. Remember that having horse insurance can protect you and your pet if they ever accidentally consume one of the items listed above; ensuring that they’re back to their happy and healthy self in no time at all!


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