Having a pet can be a very wholesome experience. Pets provide love, care, comfort, and companionship. Many people keep cats or dogs as they make great house pets and can be trained well to live inside the house.

However, if you have the space then keeping larger animals can be great as well. In the US alone, 2 million households keep horses as pets. Horses are very intelligent and you can enjoy riding them. Many people own a horse property that is designed specifically for multiple horses and their varying demands.

Keeping a Horse as a Pet

To keep horses as pets you need to be well aware of their needs and lifestyle. For common house pets, like cats, dogs, or hamsters, there is plenty of information available online. You can conveniently get ready-made dog food or cat food from anywhere.

If you own a horse or horses as pets then the very first requirement is space. You need plenty of land. Horse property is any place that comes with a shelter, whether run-in shed or stables, as well as a large piece of land, which is fenced. The stables need to be roomy with good ventilation and drainage.

Taking particular attention to a horse’s medical needs is also important. Horses often regular regular visits from the vet, farrier, equine dentist, and chiropractor.

Aside from regular exercise, the nutrition of your horse is a key element to ensure good health. While you can find a wide variety of dog food or cat food options that fulfill the nutritional needs of your pets, for horses it is a bit more complex.

Studies into horse nutrition indicate that owners have insufficient knowledge about nutrition-related deficiencies in horses. This indicates just how critical improving nutrition is for increasing the well-being and health of horses.

6 Tips for Improving Nutrition in Horses

Here are the top 6 tips you can follow to improve the nutrition of your pet horse:

1.    Understand the Nutritional Needs

The very first thing you need to do is to familiarize yourself with the basic nutritional requirements of horses. Horses are strong and muscular animals. They are active and require a lot of nutrients to maintain their health.

You need to give your horse a balanced diet. Horses require certain main classes of nutrients. These include; water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

2.    Ensure Your Horse has Plenty of Water

Horses require a lot of water. Accessibility to clean drinking water is critical to the well-being of your horse. Horses cannot survive long without water. Your horse will typically drink 2 quarts of water for one pound of hay consumed.

The need to drink water can go up if your horse is exercising more than usual or if the weather is fluctuating. To make sure your horse is hydrated pay attention to the horse’s stool, if it is dry then it is not a good sign. Looking at the mucous membranes of the mouth is also advised, as these should not be dry.

3.    Feed Grains with Caution

As necessary as grains may be, since they provide your horse with the necessary carbohydrates, not overdoing is the key. Grains are hard to digest for horses. Too much grain can result in digestive issues. Your horse may colic as excess carbohydrates from grains are turned into a gas by the intestines.

Gas can be extremely uncomfortable for your horse and it can interfere with the nutritional intake from food. This is because horses that experience gas tend to avoid food, a side effect of the discomfort from gas.

4.    Food Intake Based on Activity

Your horse’s diet must be a reflection of the level of exercise they get. Active horses and those who normally work, require much more food. Horses that do not get as much exercise do not require the same amount of food.

This is why it is difficult to define the amount of food each horse needs since needs can vary widely. If you are still uncertain about your horse’s food intake then consulting your vet is recommended. A vet can advise on a diet based on the activity level of your horse.

5.    Forage Intake is very Important

Forage intake is key to maintaining a healthy functioning digestive system in your horse. Forage provides your horse with fiber. While fiber is a source of energy, it works wonders for the digestive system. Your horse must be taking in 1-2.5% of its body weight in the form of fiber.

Without sufficient fiber, your horse will likely face digestive issues and these can be made worse if the intake of grains is high. The key is maintaining a balance that suits your horse.

6.    Track your Horse’s Health

This is not limited to weighing your horse regularly. You must be aware of your horse’s complete body score. Your horse’s weight, height, fat constitution, and other such important variables should be tracked.

Monitoring physical health is also not enough. You must keep a close eye on your horse’s mental health. Look out for signs of stress and anxiety. This is especially true if there are any changes to the horse’s environment.

Conclusion for Improving Your Horse’s Nutrition

Ensuring the health of your horse is your responsibility and it is not just limited to making sure that your horse is healthy. While giving them ample nutrition is important, so is making sure that they get the right amount of exercise.

Another is giving your horse time and love. Horses like to be cared for and can become unwell if ignored. Simply giving them food and water does not show care. You must groom them and let them know they are appreciated.

One way you can show love and warmth is by grooming your horse. Cleanliness is essential for the overall well-being of your horse.

Keeping a horse as a pet is without a doubt a lot of hard work. It takes much effort and resources to accommodate such a large animal. Go for it if you are up for the challenge and willing to make the effort.


Myrah Abrar is a computer science graduate with a passion for web development and digital marketing. She writes blog articles for Woofspedia, dog food

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