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Can Horses Eat Grapes?

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If you love your horse, you surely want to give her so many treats. People buy processed horse treats from stores, others give their horses natural foods such as grapes.

Beautiful brown horse in vineyard eating grass

Are grapes safe for horses to eat? You know that grape seeds can cause choking in small animals, so can you give horses grapes with seeds? What are the benefits or concerns of feeding grapes to horses? Read this article.

Can horses eat grapes?

Grapes, just like apples, are a horse’s favorite fruit and safe for them to eat. Grapes provide your horse with carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, etc.

Unlike small animals such as dogs and cats, grapes with seeds do not cause choking in horses. There are, however, some concerns when feeding your horse with grapes.

What should you consider when giving your horse grapes? How many grapes are too much? Aside from grapes, can you give your horse treats made with grapes? Are there other treats that you can give to your horse? Continue reading.

Can Horses Eat Grapes - Pinterest Image

Treating Your Equine Partner with Grapes

Horses love grapes and will thank you if you give them grapes. So many horse owners use grapes to reward their horses during training.

It does not matter if the grape has seeds or not, horses eat grapes and they do not choke. If, however, you are concerned, give your horse an unseeded grape variety or remove the seeds.

What is the nutritional composition of grapes?

Nutritional Composition of Grapes

The table below shows some nutrients in grapes and how much of each nutrient is available in 100 grams of grape.

green grapes in a basket
Fat              0.16g
Dietary Fiber0.9g

Vitamins in grapes include vitamin B-complex, C, E, K, etc. Minerals in grapes include:

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Sodium
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium

As you can see, grapes are not just delicious, but also nutritious for your horse.

Using Grapes to Train Your Horse

As earlier stated, most horse owners use grapes to train their horses. Since horses love grapes, you can use grapes to reward your horses for good behaviors or during training.

For a horse that really seems to like grapes, you can use them as a “high value” or “high reward” treat for when they really do something well. This concept is common in clicker training, for example.

In the case that you are using grapes as high value rewards, do not give your horse too many grapes or give them too often else they will lose their value.

How Many Grapes is Too Many?

How much is too much? Due to the high sugar content of grapes, you should not overfeed your horse grapes.

young girl next to her gray horse in the vineyards, autumn style

Do not give your horse more than a pound of grapes at a time. 10 – 12 at a time is usually a fair amount to provide as a treat.

Are there reasons you should not give grapes to your horse? Keep reading.

When You Should Not Give Grapes to Your Horse

If any reason below applies to you, do not give grapes to your horse.

1. You Have an insulin-resistant Horse

The most common insulin-related disease in horses is HYPP. An insulin-resistant horse cannot fully use the sugars in her body, causing an increase in her blood sugar level. If the vet says that your horse is insulin-resistant, do not give grapes to your horse without checking with your veterinarian.

Keep in mind that if your horse gets into a bag of grapes, the grapes themselves don’t usually cause an issue. For an insulin resistant horse, it’s the sugars in the grapes that cause a problem.

Green grapes are, therefore, typically less of an issue than red grapes, for example. In any case, there are low sugar treat alternatives for HYPP horses.

2. If Your Horse is Allergic to Grapes

Is your horse allergic to grapes? If your horses has broken out in hives or shown other symptoms of allergies to grapes, obviously you should avoid feeding them again in the future.

Of course, usually we don’t know if a horse is allergic until we have already fed them a food and seen a reaction. Remember to always introduce your horse to new foods, including grapes, slowly so that you can monitor them just in case.

5. Unwashed Grapes on Branches

Due to the presence of pesticides on grapes, you should always wash the grapes before giving them to your horse.

While you can feed them the stems and all, the grapes are typically easy to remove and much tastier without the woody bits!

Some Good Treats Made With Grapes for Your Horse

Overhead view of woman amongst five horses in field

Do you want to know some treats made with grapes that you can give to your horse? Here you go:

  • Raisins
  • Grape jelly
  • Fruit medley
  • Frozen grapes

Follow the precautions in this article when feeding your horse with grape treats. Keep in mind that some items have added sugars and should be fed in moderation.

Other Treat Ideas for Your Horse

Aside from grapes, there are countless fresh fruits that you can give to your horse as a treat. Some of them are:

These are all delicious and healthy fruits for your horse.

Final Thoughts

Horses love grapes and will thank you for giving them grapes. You can use grapes to reward and train your horse. When giving grapes to horses, you should be careful not to increase the blood sugar level of the horse. When you follow the precautions listed in this article, you will have the best horse-grape experience.