Everyone enjoys a treat every once in a while. The same also applies to pets such as horses.
Your horse is a part of your family, and you want to ensure the food you give them is safe to eat. It doesn't just apply to their daily meals, but also the treats you give them.
Naturally, you want to buy horse treats that are safe and healthy for your loyal companion. Here, we'll cover seven safe treats for horses that are all affordable. Some you may already have lying around in your home.
1. Sage Treats
You probably haven't thought of feeding your horses sage. However, sage horse treats are actually quite healthy. This plant offers a combination of antiseptic and relaxing qualities. This plant will also help with absorbing unwanted milk your horse may have consumed.
If you own a pregnant mare, don't feed them sage as it reduces lactation. Sage is wildly available throughout North America. Therefore, finding quality sage horse treats will be easy.
Be sure to feed your horses these treats in moderation, as too much of it can make them sick.
2. Sugar Cubes
Sugar cubes are one of the oldest known treats for horses. Sometimes preferred over hay cubes, sugar cubes have little to no adverse effects on your horse. However, because they are only sugar, they also contain very little nutrition. They serve primarily as a sweet boost of energy.
Most feeds contain a form of sugar and starches. Since sugar is present in most foods horses eat, it is safe for them to eat the cubes in moderation.
Like most safe treats for horses, the sugar cube is best to give sparingly. Too much sugar can lead to health problems for your horse.
3. Hay Cubes
Hay cubes are very similar to sugar cubes. Hay cubes contain little to no dust and plenty of nutrition for your horse. The nutrient levels found in cubes tend to be more than those found in plain hay. These cubes may cost slightly more than a bale of hay but are still more cost-effective.
If you feed your horse hay cubes, the total amount should add up to no more than two percent of their body weight. These cubes are also a healthy alternative to hay for animals who may have specific respiratory issues. Because of their size and shape, hay cubes are easy to transport and feed as a quick treat for your horse.
4. Apple Slices
Apples, like many other fruits, are safe for your horse to eat. Some animals prefer fruits to vegetables such as carrots.
Apples contain an abundance of nutrition. They are very high in potassium which helps with muscle contraction as well as nerve function. Horses with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP) should have their potassium intake monitored.
Some horses tend to chew fruit, while others gulp them down. Gulping can cause the fruit to become lodged in the horse's throat, causing them to choke. That is why it is best to cut these fruit into pieces or small chunks to avoid choking hazards for your horse.
5. Pitted Dates or Fruits
Dates are a healthy and natural source of energy for horses. Typically, this fruit can be something you incorporate as a staple to their diet.
Dates and many other fruits are inexpensive and easily accessible. These treats are also easy to prepare and contain high amounts of nutrition needed for horses. For a quick, healthy, and delicious snack for your horses, try dates.
However, these treats do have one downside: the pits. It is crucial to make sure your horse's dates have had the pits removed before feeding. If not adequately pitted, the stone of a date or any other fruit can be both a choking hazard and toxic for your horse.
Additionally, most fruit seeds contain arsenic or cyanide. If consumed in high quantities, it could lead to severe consequences for your horse. The risk is why it is best to feed these fruits as a moderated snack, like most other horse treats.
Peppermint seems to turn up everywhere you turn. From toothpaste and chocolate to drinks and mints! Nowadays, there are also safe treats for horses that contain peppermint.
We suggest going with the well-known red and white mints. Many horse owners use peppermint candies as a reward for their loyal companions. These candies won't cause any problems as long as they get it in moderation (no more than once a day).
Remember that all the treats on this list are items to serve as snacks. Horses should still be getting their calories from pasture and hay.
7. Pre-Made Horse Treats
Pre-made horse treats that you buy from the store are the most convenient and safe treats for your horse. Most of these snacks maintain the nutritional standard required for the proper growth and health of your pet. Try to find products that contain whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, or nuts.
Premade treats can be easy for travel. It can make training or just getting your horse a quick snack easy, regardless of where you are. These types of treats also tend to have a longer shelf life. It allows you to get the most use out of your goodies.
With so many healthy horse foods and snacks available, it is easy to find the right nutritious snack your horse will love. Pitted dates, apples, and sugar cubes are all great options to keep your horse healthy. Always reward your horses with some healthy treats — they deserve it! But, remember that feeding treats to horses is something you should do in moderation. Otherwise, it can lead to health issues.
Every horse owner cares about their horse, and every animal has its individual needs and desires. Figure out what snacks your pet loves best and stick to them.
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