Watermelon in the summer is a wonderful snack for people and even for dogs. But can the horse also snack on the fruit?
After all, watermelon contains just 30 calories per 100 grams but over 90 percent water and is therefore more of a supplement to drink than to eat.
Whether it is suitable for your horse and when you should rather do without it, we will show you in the following guide.
In this article you will learn how watermelon is suitable for horses, how it can be fed and in what quantities it is suitable as a treat. In addition, we tell you what nutritional values melon has and what alternatives can be found to the water-rich fruit.
Can horses eat watermelon?
Yes, if you take a few factors into account, watermelon as a treat between meals is also a pleasant refreshment for your horse in the summer.
It contains numerous vitamins and minerals, has few calories and consists mostly of water. However, it should be and remain only a snack, as it can also have side effects.
How should you feed watermelon to your horse?
It is best to feed watermelon without the rind and seeds. Seedless varieties are therefore ideal as a treat.
Give the pulp out of hand as a reward or refreshment in the summer. The melon should not be left in the barn for too long, otherwise it will attract flies and other insects.
Also, test in advance with small amounts to see if your horse can tolerate watermelon. Due to the high water content and sugar, diarrhea could occur.
If this happens, you should rather give up the fruit as a snack and find an alternative.
What are the health benefits of watermelon for horses?
For humans, watermelon is healthy and easily digestible. Since it contains few calories, it can be enjoyed even during a diet.
In return, it contains all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Nevertheless, the largest component is water.
In this way, they make a contribution to a balanced diet that should not be underestimated in humans.
Horses should generally only receive small amounts of fruit, as this is not part of the animals’ natural diet.
Therefore, the micronutrients contained in melon are negligible in your horse’s diet.
However, the fruit is not completely unhealthy. However, problems can arise from its consumption.
What are the possible disadvantages of feeding watermelon?
Horses are usually not used to such a high water content in their diet. Therefore, diarrhea and fecal water may occur.
This usually only happens if you directly feed an excessive amount of watermelon without proper habituation.
If you feed the rind, there could be problems in the digestive tract, just as with the seeds.
The seeds are not digestible and the rind could be sprayed. The pesticides usually cannot be completely removed despite thorough washing.
This can quickly become problematic due to the sensitive digestive system of horses.
How much watermelon can horses eat?
There is no blanket answer to this. The amount depends on:
The size and weight of the pony or horse.
Acclimatization to fresh feed
A cold blood may of course get more watermelon than a Shetland pony.
Horses that have only been fed fresh fodder and green fodder in very small quantities or not at all should be accustomed to it slowly.
The digestion must first adjust to it. This requires patience and a gradual changeover.
With the points compatibility and health you must decide likewise always individually. Pay attention to whether your horse’s droppings change when you feed watermelon.
If there are any problems, it is better not to use the fruit as a treat. The same is always true if there are already digestive problems.
Alternatives to watermelon for horses
If you want to offer your horse variety, reward him or simply give him a treat every now and then, you have numerous possibilities.
Even without watermelon, there is a wide selection available to you.
In this you will find, among other things:
- leafy branches
- cabbage leaves
Always make sure that the food is clean and not fed in excessive quantities.
This is because, apart from twigs and foliage, they are not usually part of the normal diet of horses.
In too large quantities cause digestive disorders and should therefore always be used only as a small reward or to stimulate the appetite.
Otherwise, especially with fruit, the fructose can become problematic for your horse’s health.
Horses are allowed to eat watermelon and usually accept it well.
However, since watermelon contains little fiber and may only be fed in small amounts, it does not contribute to a healthy diet to any great extent.
It is merely a tempting change of pace and should be used as such.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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