Horse treats - healthy or harmful?
Every horse owner wants to offer their horse the best possible care. A nice way to achieve this is with treats as a reward or to strengthen the bond between you and your horse. But are these treats healthy or even harmful? In this blog post, we address this question and the different types of horse treats. We also explain what you should look out for when buying treats and how to feed them responsibly.
Treats: Healthy or Unhealthy?
Whether a treat is healthy or unhealthy for your horse depends on the type of treat and its ingredients. Quality treats made from natural ingredients and without unnecessary and potentially harmful additives are better for your horse's health. On the other hand, treats with a lot of sugar, artificial or inferior ingredients are not the best choice for your horse.
In addition to the composition, the amount of rewards fed is also decisive for their effect on health. After all, a small treat a day is not as harmful as a bucket full. But your horse's state of health and possible diseases or metabolic problems also play an important role.
The difference between dry treats, fruits and vegetables
Horse treats fall into two main categories: dry treats and fresh fruit and vegetables. Dry treats usually come in the form of pellets or biscuits and often consist of grains and various fruits and vegetables. In addition, fresh fruit such as apples and bananas are popular delicacies. But there are also a number of vegetable snacks that are not only tasty for horses, but also very healthy: cucumbers, celery, beetroot and, of course, carrots.
Dry treats like Montie's Horseshoe Mix are easy to store and transport. Fresh fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, are perishable and go soggy quickly, but they can add extra nutrients to your horse's diet.
What you should pay attention to when buying horse treats
It is important to choose quality treats and to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables to keep your horse's diet balanced and varied. Therefore, consider the following tips when choosing horse treats:
It is best to choose grain-free treats. Grain based treats may contain too much starch which may not be appropriate for some horses, particularly those prone to laminitis or obesity.
As with us two-legged friends, the same applies to our large four-legged friends: too much sugar can be harmful to our health. Therefore, opt for sugar-free treats and avoid those that contain molasses, apple pomace or honey. But fruit also naturally contains fructose, so you should also be economical with apples and co.
No artificial additives
Look for treats without artificial flavors and colors as these may be unnecessary and potentially harmful to your horse. On the site are natural additives, such as hemp oil in Nacani hemp treats , that can promote health and well-being.
No added vitamins and minerals
Since your horse should already be getting adequate vitamins and minerals from its regular feed, it is best to avoid treats with added nutrients to prevent over-supply.
Regional organic fruit and vegetables
But the origin of fresh delicacies also plays an important role. Therefore, prefer regional organic products, as these are not only ecologically better, but also untreated and unsprayed.
Feed horse treats properly
To ensure that treats remain a healthy part of your horse's diet, here are a few things you should do:
Only in moderation
Treats should be fed sparingly and not make up a large portion of your horse's total diet. As a general rule, you shouldn't feed more than 50-100g of treats per day, which is about a handful.
Reduce the feed ration accordingly
If you give your horse a lot of treats, for example because you want to give him a special reward, you should possibly reduce the regular amount of feed, for example concentrates or oats. This way you can compensate for the extra calories.
Pay attention to the individual needs of your horse
When choosing and feeding treats, consider their specific health status, weight, and dietary needs. If your horse suffers from allergies, laminitis, Cushing's disease or other metabolic diseases, it is best to keep your hands off sugary bites. If you are unsure, speak to your veterinarian or a nutritionist for feeding recommendations.
In summary, when chosen carefully and fed in moderation, horse treats can be a healthy and enjoyable addition to your horse's diet. If you feed high-quality treats without unnecessary additives or fresh vegetables and at the same time take into account the individual needs of your horse, you can spoil him with tasty treats - without any pangs of conscience.