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Can Horses Eat Pears?

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Horses are notorious for loving to eat treats and once they know about them, they will want them all the time! Sometimes, we need to get creative when it comes to choosing healthy treats for our equine friends. Pears are a healthy fruit for humans, but how exactly do they fare as a horse treat?

pears in a basket

Can Horses Eat Pears?

Horses can eat pears!

Pears are an excellent treat for horses, and they are extremely healthy for them. Like any horse treat, pears should only be fed in moderation, and safety precautions should be taken. Pears can be dangerous to horses if fed incorrectly or in the wrong amounts.

Many horse owners enjoy giving treats to their horses and most horses enjoy them just the same. Natural treats like pears can be a great way to train and bond with a horse, but they can be risky options for some horses.

The more you learn about pears and horses, the better prepared you will be when it comes to choosing the right treat for your own horse.

Are Pears Safe for Horses?

Pears are safe for horses to eat, if they are only fed a limited amount each day. Pears are natural fruits that are easy for horses to digest.

In small quantities, pears usually do not cause digestive issues in healthy horses.

Large pieces of pears can pose a choking risk in horses, so make sure you always feed pear treats in small, easy to swallow pieces.

How Healthy are Pears for Horses?

Unlike sugar cubes or processed horse treats, pears are a great natural horse treat that contain several healthy nutrients. Pears contain fiber along with antioxidants, potassium, calcium and magnesium!

The antioxidants found in pears are great for helping to build the immune system of the horses that eat them. Fiber helps keep a horse’s digestive system in top working order. (source)

Can Horses Eat Raw Pears?

bunch of pears

Horses can eat raw, uncooked pears! In moderation, raw pears are perfectly healthy and safe for horses to eat as a treat. Pears do not have to be cooked in order to be eaten by horses.

Although raw pears are safe for horses, they should not be fed to horses whole. Make sure you always cut up the pear into smaller pieces before you feed it to your horse.

Can Horses Eat Pear Seeds?

While a few pear seeds will not hurt your horse, most people recommend avoiding feeding them to your horse.

Pear seeds contain substances can that produce small amounts of natural cyanide, a dangerous substance that in larger quantities can be dangerous to all animals and humans. (source)

Of course, it would take a large number of pear seeds to cause any issues in horses, but to avoid the danger altogether, try not to feed them to horses.

Is a Pear Core Safe for Horses to Eat?

The core of a pear is not necessarily safe for horses to eat. While the fruit itself is safe, the core of a pear is hard to chew and can cause a horse to choke.

Choking incidents are extremely dangerous for horses and even if they are saved from choking, some will develop pneumonia which can be fatal. It is better to be safe than sorry and just avoid feeding pear cores to horses altogether.

Are Pear Tree Leaves Safe for Horses?

pears on a pear tree branch

Pear tree leaves are not known to be toxic to horses like some fruit-bearing tree leaves. Despite this, it is still not recommended to let your horses eat the leaves off a pear tree. In fact, a pear tree itself should not be accessible to horses.

Eating fallen pears or an excess amount of leaves can cause gastric distress in horses and even lead to colic, a potentially fatal digestive illness in horses.  

Can Horses Eat Cooked or Canned Pears?

Horses can eat cooked pears, if they are cooled down and sugar has not been added. Pears already contain plenty of natural sugar, they really do not need any more if you are feeding them to horses.

We all want our horses to stay happy and healthy, not just happy! Canned pears usually contain added sugar and added preservatives. Canned foods of any kind are not considered great treat option for horses.

Are Pears Good for All Horses?

Pears naturally contain sugar which can make them dangerous for horses that suffer from insulin-resistance disorders. If you know or suspect that your horse has an insulin-resistance issue, take pears off your list of acceptable treat options.

Pears are also not good treat choices for horses that have a disorder called hyperkalemic periodic paralysis or HYPP.

An average pear also contains around 148 milligrams of potassium which can be extremely dangerous for horses that suffer from HYPP. (source)

Pear Treat Ideas for Horses

woman slicing pears

Slice and Serve.

You can simply slice up a pear in small pieces and feed them to your horse.

Mix with Bran Mash

Pears can be added to your horse’s bran mash as an added treat. Be sure to cut them up into small pieces.

Cook and Cool

You can cut up and cook pears to make them easier for horses to eat. Cooked pears are softer and mushier than raw pears. This is a great option for horses with teeth issues. Let the cooked pears cool completely before feeding them as a treat to your horse.

Oatmeal Baked Pear Treat

You can bake your own pear horse treats by mixing few tasty ingredients.
Mix 1.5 cups of oats, 1 cups of water, and 2 tablespoons of molasses. Heat in the microwave for a couple minutes and then add some chopped up pears and a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Microwave again for a minute or two. Separate mixture into mini muffin pan and bake on 350°F for 15 minutes. Let cool completely and feed no more than two or three as a treat to your horse daily.  (source)

How Many Pears Can I Feed My Horse?

All treats should be fed to horses in moderation to avoid upsetting their digestive system. You can safely feed your horse one medium-sized chopped up pear per day.

Horses need consistency in their diets and any drastic changes, even natural foods like pears, can cause issues.

Overfeeding is a genuine concern when it comes to horse treat because it can prevent your horse from eating their regular diet. Horses need to continue eating their normal diets daily to keep their digestive systems working correctly.

Key Things to Remember

1. Chop up pears to keep your horse from choking.
2. Introduce pear treats slowly and monitor your horse’s reaction.
3. Consult a vet if you notice any digestive issues in your horse after eating pears.
4. Avoid overfeeding pear treats by limiting the amount you feed each day.
5. Make sure horses cannot access any fallen fruit from pear trees.   

Final Thoughts

Pears make a great treat option for horses. They are safe, healthy and tasty treats for horses if fed in limited amounts. Avoid feeding pears to horses with insulin resistance or HYPP. Healthy horses should have no problem eating pears as a treat.