Are horses allowed to eat raisins?
Has your horse been eating raisins and you are wondering if this is dangerous? Or on the contrary, do you want to include raisins as a treat?
The dried, sweet raisins often taste very good to horses and provide a lot of energy. However, they are not completely harmless.
Whether and how you may use the dried fruit for your horse, we tell you in the following.
In this article you will learn whether raisins are healthy for your horse or, on the contrary, dangerous for its health. In addition, we will show you which alternatives to grapes exist and what you should pay special attention to.
Are horses allowed to eat raisins?
There is no clear answer to this question. Because as so often the quantity makes the poison.
The dried fruits are often gladly accepted by horses, because they are very sweet and therefore correspond to chocolate or sweets for humans.
However, it is precisely this sweetness that can have a negative effect on health.
We will show you why this is the case in the next sections.
Are raisins healthy for horses?
For humans, raisins are a healthy treat – as long as they are enjoyed in moderation and not in masses. The situation is similar for horses.
This is because the dried fruit is high in fiber and minerals.
However, it also contains a lot of sugar. For every 100 grams of raisins alone, there are about 59 grams of fructose. The digestive system of horses is not designed for such quantities.
The high sugar content provides energy, but too many raisins can lead to so-called false fermentation.
Possible risks for horses from raisins
Horses have a very sensitive digestive system. If it is stressed too much or by the wrong foods, it can produce serious ailments. These include:
The accompanying pain and cramps place tremendous stress on your pet. In addition, diarrhea can lead to significant debilitation.
Severe and untreated colic can even be fatal. Early recognition and intervention are therefore crucial in case of disorders.
In addition, you should generally avoid raisins – even in small amounts – in very sensitive animals. Instead, use one of the numerous alternatives available to you for your horse.
How and in what quantity can raisins be fed?
Adding a handful to the feed every now and then will not harm most horses. However, you should not exceed this amount for any animal.
Feeding directly from the hand is also possible.
In any case, make sure that the raisins are seedless. The seeds contain substances that are not well tolerated by horses.
What are raisins good for horses?
They can stimulate the appetite and are suitable for donating energy. Very thin horses, for example, that are recovering from an illness or generally eat poorly, can therefore benefit from them.
Again, though, you should only offer a handful per day per animal. Otherwise, the high sugar consumption threatens, in addition to the already mentioned disorders of digestion, among other things:
More energy is absorbed through the sugar, but the pancreas is also stressed and strained. This can affect the production of insulin.
Teeth also suffer from the sugar if your horse chews thoroughly and there is a lot and prolonged contact with the raisins.
What are the alternatives to raisins for horses?
If you want to give your horse variety and reward it in a special way, there are many options to choose from.
Suitable are, among others:
Leaves and twigs of fruit and nut trees
So, it doesn’t have to be boring when feeding your animal.
However, even with these foods, keep in mind that they are not part of the horse’s natural diet and should therefore only be fed in small amounts.
However, they can be used to keep your horse occupied, as a treat, to entice him or to stimulate his appetite. Hidden him hay ball, suspended or given on top of the feed, they are a good addition.
In the case of fennel, beet and honey, there are even positive effects that support healing.
Therefore, you can easily do without raisins and still do something good for your horse.
Raisins and horses
Occasionally a handful of raisins is neither dangerous nor harmful for horses. However, you should not offer the sweet dried fruit in larger quantities or on a regular basis.
There are several healthier, lower-sugar alternatives that horses will accept just as readily, making them a wonderful reward.
If you alternate between them and use them for feeding games, you will provide your horse with plenty of fun and enrich his life in terms of taste as well.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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