Can Horses Eat Dog Food?

Every proud horse owner takes pride in healthy horses. One way of keeping your horses fit is by giving them the right food. It is essential to note that they have a different digestive system from humans and carnivores, including dogs. Understanding how your horses’ digestive system functions will go a long way towards allowing you to choose the right food.

Your horses can stumble upon dog food despite your best efforts to keep it away. You are likely to start panicking when your horse eats dog food. Keep reading to discover whether horses can eat, dog food and what should to do if it happens.

First, it is vital to note that dogs and horses have very different dietary needs and digestive systems. Dogs are carnivorous with a short digestive system and one stomach compartment, while horses are herbivorous with a long digestive system and two stomach compartments. This is why they require a high-fiber diet. The diet should be consumed in small quantities over a long period. This explains why your horse is always eating. On the other hand, dogs prefer large meals consumed to shorter periods.

Although they have different digestive systems, dog food is not necessarily harmful to dogs. This means your horses will not be poisoned or killed by dog food. Nevertheless, dog food is not suitable for horses since it will not meet their dietary requirements.

dog food for horses

What Happens When Horses Eat Dog Food?

The chances are that you are panicking if your horse has just had a nibble of horse feed. Well, you will be glad to know that it is not a big deal. In fact, you might not notice any sudden change of behavior if your horses just had a nibble because dog food contains a lot of grain. However, your horses might experience colic if they ate a whole lot.

All need to do is monitor your horses. Contact the vet if they start acting funny since they might have a belly ache. Horses love dog food because it is tasty. Most people will tell you that they find dog food for their horses all the time. Well, don’t listen to them and disregard your vet’s advice.

So what happens when your dogs eat horse food? Dogs are likely to get loose stools, gas, and upset stomachs. This is the case because horse food contains fiber and high grains, which messes with the pH in your dog’s hindgut. Likewise, watch your furry friend and contact your vet if the situation does not improve.

What Should You Feed Your Horses to Keep Them Fit?

Now that you know that dog food is not ideal for your horses, let us look at what horses love eating:

1. Hay

If you cannot let your horses graze throughout the year, then hay is a great alternative. However, you might feed good hay to your horses to keep them healthy. That is why you should have the hay tested for minerals and vitamins. You can always compensate for scarce minerals and vitamins with supplements. Always keep in mind that your horse might have colic if you feed it too much hay at once.

2. Pasture

You have probably noticed horses love pasture and soft plants. Pasture has almost every nutrient that will keep your horse fit. What is more, it has silica, which promotes dental health. Like hay, you should make sure he or she gets just the right amount to eliminate the chance of laminitis, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Always follow the vet’s recommendations to keep your horse happy.

3. Grains

Horses can eat several grains, from oats to corn. However, some grains like wheat and processed grains are not ideal for horses. Always remember that feeding too much grain to your horses can lead to several problems, including dental issues, founder, and colic.

4. Treats

Treats, including vegetables, fruits, carrots, candies, apples, a nibble of dog food, and many more, will work well for your horse. However, avoid giving meat and many sugary treats to your horses to keep them healthy. It is best to provide them with goodies in small amounts. It is also prudent to ensure your horses get enough water, salt, and mineral supplements every day.

Key Takeaway

Nothing major will occur when your horses eat dog food. However, they might get colic and stomach upset if they overeat dog food. Contact a vet right away, if your horse shows signs of discomfort after eating dog food.