The Dietary Requirements Of Your Horse


Like humans, a horse requires a good diet that's rich in nutrients in order to maintain their health over the long-term. Here's an overview of five key dietary requirements and the warning signs that can indicate nutritional deficiencies:

5 Dietary Requirements For Optimum Health

Your horse requires the following for optimum health:

  • Enough Water Each Day - Your horse will limit the amount of food they consume if they don't drink a sufficient amount of water each day to keep them hydrated. Dehydration slows down the digestive system, so your horse will feel full despite eating only a small amount, which limits their ability to consume enough nutrients. For optimum hydration and gastrointestinal motility, your horse requires 30-50 litres of water every day.
  • Plant-Based Carbohydrates - Carbohydrates are essential for energy uptake, but horses find carbohydrates from grain sources difficult to digest. Without enough carbohydrates, a horse that's still growing or pregnant will experience delayed development and lethargy. Ensure you provide your horse with carbohydrates from hay or other plant sources, as these are easier for their large intestine to absorb.
  • Adequate Fat - While too much fat is bad for your horse's overall health and can lead to weight gain, too little can also be damaging. Fat-soluble vitamins aren't absorbed efficiently if your horse doesn't have a source of animal fat or vegetable fat in their diet. If you're not sure what an adequate daily amount of dietary fat is for your horse, consult your vet.
  • Protein - Dietary protein provides your horse with essential amino acids that they cannot synthesise on their own. A diet rich in protein ensures your horse's skin and coat remains in good condition and improves their ability to heal after an injury.
  • Minerals - A diet rich in macro and micro minerals is vital for strong bones and healthy joints and muscles. Key minerals required for your horse's long-term health include iron, calcium, magnesium, and selenium.

Warning Signs Of Poor Nutrition

The following symptoms can indicate nutritional deficiencies:

  • Regular diarrhoea
  • Dental problems
  • Parasite infestation
  • Weight loss, which may indicate your horse doesn't like their food, they have a digestive health problem or their food is not nutritionally complete

If you're concerned your horse may be showing signs of nutritional deficiencies, schedule an appointment with your vet to have their nutrient levels checked using a simple blood test.

A high-quality pet food product can protect your horse from health problems associated with poor diet, so ask your feed supplier for their recommendation.


31 August 2015

Helping Cats and Dogs Get Along: Tips for Pet Owners

Hi, my name is Danielle. When I moved in with my partner, she had a cat and a rescue dog, but I had two feral cats that I had rescued. Due to their history, my cats were not that social, and although they trusted me, they often feared other people or other animals. I was determined that all the pets would get along so I invested time and money into the process. I set up areas where the cats could hide and feel comfortable but engage with the dog at will. I also got various treats and used a range of training methods to help the dog with the friendship-making process. I hope you like this blog of ideas and facts on pets and their care.