When it comes to treats, horses are not so different from your dogs, cats, and other pets. They will gladly accept and enjoy just about any food you give them. There are plenty of trustworthy, pre-made packaged treats on the shelves for your horse, but certain horses may require healthier options. We know horses love carrots and apples, but what about other fruits?
Certain fruits like avocados, tomatoes and lemons should not be consumed by horses for obvious reasons. On the other hand, many fruits are harmless to horses and can deliver certain benefits that packaged treats cannot. For instance, strawberries are tasty, sweet, and delicious.
They are the perfect, refreshing summer snack for us humans, but how good are they for our four-legged friends?
Can Horses Eat Strawberries?
Yes, horses can eat strawberries! Strawberries are one of the safest fruits for horses to consume. If your horse lives in an area where strawberry plants are typically grown, he may already be munching away on wild strawberry plants in his pasture without you realizing it.
Strawberry plants are green, leafy, and grow little white flowers on their ends before the berries themselves pop out. Though it is not recommended to feed your horse the leaves off the strawberry plant, the wild berries are just fine (source).
Strawberries should be fed occasionally and in moderation. Strawberries, as well as all other fruits that are safe for horses to eat, can easily fit into a well-balanced diet. Coming straight from the earth with many benefits, fruits are one of the best snack options to give your horse.
However, keep in mind that strawberries are high in sugar and very acidic, so they should only be given in small amounts on occasion. Overeating any acidic fruit can greatly increase a horse’s risk of colic.
Also remember that no matter what kind of treats you feed your horse, they should be given in small quantities. The body of a horse is designed to continuously eat small amounts of food throughout the day so that they never experience a ‘full’ feeling.
Due to this, treats should always be given in controlled portions to avoid digestive issues and/or colic. When introducing strawberries to your horse for the first time, maybe give him just two or three berries to start.
Introducing new foods into your horse’s diet too quickly could be harmful to their health and digestive tract.
Strawberries are naturally full of beneficial vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are abundant in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B9, magnesium and potassium (Healthline).
Next time you’re hanging out with your horse, take a look at the ingredients of the supplements he takes and see how many of those vitamins and minerals match up.
All of these things are great for your horse’s well-being and help maintain a healthy and happy horse.
Being high in water content and low in calories and carbohydrates makes strawberries the perfect treat for a horse who struggles with keeping his weight down
Some Strawberry Snacks
There are plenty of products on the shelves of your local feed store to choose from with strawberry flavoring, including Purina Nicker Maker treats in Berry Good, Standlee makes Whinny Nicker treats in the flavor Apple Strawberry, and so on.
A personal favorite is the brand Delicious Horse Treats, which specializes in all-natural, organic, non-GMO cookies for horses. They have a special strawberry flavor called Strawberry Flowers which you can find here if interested. And remember, you can always do things the good old fashion way and bake your own strawberry horse cookies!
In conclusion, strawberries are safe for horses in moderation. They help hydrate and deliver essential vitamins and minerals to your horse. Next time you pass by your local farmstand, stop by and pick up a pacor two to share with your ponies!
- Can Horses Eat Strawberries? http://whatcanhorseseat.com/can-horses-eat-strawberries/
- Delicious Horse Treats https://www.dhtreatstx.com/shop
- Feeding Treats to Horses https://ker.com/equinews/feeding-treats-horses/
- Heathline: Strawberries 101 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/strawberries