Apart from what vegetables are safe for the horses, what fruits can horses eat is the second most commonly asked question among horse owners and groomers. Being safe, healthy, and tasty for the people, as well as for many animals, it’s only logical to wonder what types of fruit might be a great dietary addition for your horse.
One of the most common questions is can horses eat strawberries. Previously considered a seasonal fruit, that can also be found in late spring and early summer, strawberries are now available everywhere, throughout the entire year. They are delicious, tasty, very healthy, and are super convenient for eating, due to their size and form – meaning they don’t have to be chopped or pre-prepared for your horse.
We will also discuss some other fruits and whether they are a good solution for your horse’s diet, so stay tuned in order to learn to take better care of your beloved animal.
Can Horses Eat Strawberries
Fragaria ananassa, or common garden strawberry, is part of the Rosaceae family, and the Fragaria genus. This is a very large family, that covers various plant species, including apples, plums, pears, cherries, roses, almonds and many of the berries. Despite what the name suggests, they are not exactly a berry, but rather considered as a flower extension.
Fun fact: strawberries contain more Vitamin C than oranges. Apart from Vit C, they also contain a large dose of Vitamins K and E, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, as well as phosphorus. They are rich with fiber and antioxidants as well.
Because of all this richness in nutrients, they are very beneficial for people’s health: they increase the good cholesterol and lower the blood pressure. They are also considered to help in cancer prevention.
Not only humans benefit from the vast nutritive richness of the strawberries – they are a great addition to the horse’s diet as well. And horses love them, too! And who can blame them? Nobody can resist that sweet taste.
Strawberries are a great nutritional and hydrating snack. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are also providing great benefits for their health. So, providing a strawberry dessert for your horse is definitely not a bad idea at all. Horses moving around mountain pastures are also keen on eating wild strawberries. If you see your horse eating some, do not be alarmed.
However, every medicine can be a poison if not dosed properly. Due to the large amount of sugar strawberries contain, horses should not be fed with a large amount of strawberries. It is also not wise to provide them with strawberries for an entire meal – even though they’re highly nutritious, they still do not contain all the nutrients recommended for their healthy thriving.
What Will Happen if My Horse Eats Too Much Strawberries?
Unlike some other types of fruits and vegetables, even if your horse eats too much strawberries, no capital damage will be done. There are consequences, though.
If a horse eats too much strawberries, they will probably become bloated and their digestive system might suffer a mild nuisance. However, this is only temporary and even though dangerous, it cannot be fatal.
A more serious threat to the horse’s health is actually the sweetness and the tastiness of the strawberry – horses cannot resist them, and they might start preferring this snack over any other snack and any other meal overall. You should pay attention if your horse suddenly loses the wish for other snacks, in particular the ones not as tasty as the strawberries and consult a veterinarian about further steps in providing a healthy and nutritious diet to your horse.
Another case where you should definitely consult your veterinarian before giving strawberries to your horse, is if they are insulin-resistant. After a thorough assessment of the condition of your horse, the professional will give you a concrete answer whether you can feed your horse with strawberries and similar food.
You can prepare this refreshing and delicious snack by thoroughly washing the strawberries, in order to remove any possible pesticides and chemicals. A medium-sized bowl will be enough for a treat.
Of course, when you provide the strawberries snack to your horse, you remove the leaves. Yet, if the horse finds some wild strawberries, they won’t be as thorough. But can horses eat strawberry leaves?
This is not a cause for concern, as the strawberry leaves are not poisonous for horses, and they won’t get any problems if they eat them. In fact, the leaves are also rather beneficial, as they also contain some of the vitamins and minerals the strawberry has.
Other Common Fruits
Can Horses Eat Raspberries? (and other berries)
Definitely! Raspberries, as well as blackberries and blueberries, same as the strawberries, are very rich in antioxidants. The deeper and darker the color, the more antioxidants the fruit contains.
The dose of these tasty little fruits should be the same as the strawberry dose – as they also contain a large amount of sugar.
Can Horses Eat Grapes?
Yes! They are also packed with antioxidants and vitamins and are also a very healthy and very convenient snack for your horse.
However, before feeding your horse grapes, make sure to remove the seed from inside – as it might be a choking hazard for the horse. Same goes for all the fruits that have little seeds inside, such as cherries.
Can Horses Eat Bananas?
Also yes! As a matter of fact, horses love the taste of bananas and it is completely safe for them. Banana peels are also safe, however, they are not as big fans of the taste.
You should also keep the amount of banana snacks moderate, as giving them too much bananas can also disrupt the horse’s digestive system.
Bananas are also a great treat for older horses, since they have a soft texture, which is easy to chew.
Strawberries, and many other fruits in general, can be a great treat for your horse. They have a large dose of vitamins and antioxidants, which are beneficial for the horses, as they are for many other animals (including humans).
However, the amount of strawberries horses eat should be moderate – as the large dose of sugar contained in them can create some serious disruption in the horse’s dietary habits and digestive system. Too much sugar, just like for us humans, is not very healthy for the horses we keep as well.
Make sure to prepare a medium-sized amount, and don’t worry too much about the leaves – as they are not a threat for your horse. Same for the wild strawberries – they cause only benefits to them.
Despite being highly nutritious, strawberries cannot substitute an entire meal for a horse, so make sure to keep them as a snack only.