Can horses eat pumpkins?
Yes, your horse can eat pumpkin as a treat! This is the short answer. But you may want to think twice about it. Horses may, or may not, like the taste of pumpkin. If your horse likes pumpkin, it’s perfectly OK to feed him some. Assuming you do so without going crazy overboard on the treats.
Here are some safe ways to feed your horse pumpkin:
- Chop up the pumpkin into pieces! Avoid choking hazards by making pieces small and easily chewable.
- Limit the quantity of pumpkin given, anything more than a cupful or two a day may give your horse a belly ache. This is pretty true for about anything new you give your horse. Try to resist the urge to toss a few pumpkins into his pen for rollie-pollie snack time.
- Pumpkin is generally safe for horses with metabolic issues, like Cushing’s and Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and Insulin Resistance, as well as PSSM, the “tying up” condition. While there are “sugars” in pumpkin, they do not cause a fast increase in your horse’s blood glucose when fed in smaller amounts.
- Pumpkins are high in potassium, so avoid giving your horse with HYPP any pumpkin as a treat.
- Don’t feed any pumpkin that is starting to sag, get soft, or starting to mush.
- A carved pumpkin may have candle wax spilled or mold starting to grow inside, so be careful there, too.
- Other pumpkin family members, like gourds, can be toxic to horses. If you are unsure what type of fall treat you have, better not feed it, just in case.
- You may want to skip pumpkin from a can or pumpkin in a pie, those treats might have more sugar.
You can also find pumpkin-flavored horse treats, that are not as messy as the real thing!
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