What foods horses Cannot eat?

Answered by Jason Smith

When it comes to feeding horses, it’s important to be mindful of their dietary needs and avoid giving them certain foods that can be harmful to their health. Here are eight foods that you should never feed to your horse:

1. Chocolate: Just like dogs, horses are sensitive to the chemical theobromine, which is found in cocoa used to make chocolate. Consuming chocolate can cause heart problems, seizures, and even death in horses, so it’s best to keep it far away from them.

2. Persimmons: This fruit contains tannins that can form a sticky mass in a horse’s stomach, leading to gastrointestinal blockages. Feeding persimmons to horses can result in discomfort, colic, and potential surgery.

3. Avocado: While avocados are a healthy snack for humans, they can be toxic to horses. Avocados contain a substance called persin, which can cause respiratory distress, heart damage, and even death in horses.

4. Lawn Clippings: Although it may seem convenient to feed your horse freshly cut grass, it can be dangerous. Lawn clippings can ferment quickly, leading to a buildup of gas in the horse’s digestive system. This can result in colic or other digestive issues.

5. Fruit with Pips and Stones: Fruits such as apples, pears, and peaches are usually safe for horses to eat, but it’s crucial to remove the pips and stones. These can cause choking hazards or blockages in the horse’s digestive tract.

6. Bread: While bread may seem harmless, it lacks nutritional value for horses and can even lead to digestive problems. The yeast in bread can ferment in a horse’s stomach, causing gas and discomfort.

7. Potatoes and Other Nightshades: Potatoes, tomatoes, and other nightshade plants contain a toxic substance called solanine. Ingesting these can cause severe gastrointestinal upset, colic, and even neurological issues in horses.

8. Yogurt and Other Dairy Products: Horses are lactose intolerant, so feeding them yogurt or other dairy products can lead to digestive upset, including diarrhea. Stick to horse-specific feeds and treats instead.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other foods that horses should avoid. If you’re ever unsure about whether a particular food is safe for your horse, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist.

Ensuring that your horse’s diet consists of appropriate and safe foods is crucial for their overall health and well-being. By avoiding chocolate, persimmons, avocado, lawn clippings, fruit with pips and stones, bread, potatoes and other nightshades, and yogurt and other dairy products, you can help prevent potential health issues and keep your horse happy and healthy.