Can horses eat strawberries? All you need to know

Strawberries are a staple for humans because they are sweet, nutritious, and delicious. Can horses eat strawberries? Is it okay for horses to eat strawberries? Horses aren’t fussy eaters, but they do have a penchant for nibbling foods they should avoid at all costs. Do strawberries fit the under-eating group of horses? Let’s find out if horses can consume strawberries.

Yes, a horse can eat strawberries. A handful of strawberries will not only delight your horse, but they might also be good for their health. Strawberry snacks are popular among humans, but are they safe for horses? No rule states every nutrient-dense, and tasty fruit is excellent for horses. Humans can eat a variety of fruits, but horses cannot. It is what prompted me to look into the effects of strawberries on horse health. Strawberries are nutritious.

We’ll look at strawberries in this article to see if they’re safe for horses to consume. Continue reading to find out.

Can Horses Eat Strawberries?

Strawberry plants are green, leafy, and have tiny white blossoms on the tips of their stems before the berries appear.

can horses eat strawberries

The common garden strawberry, Fragaria ananassa, belongs to the Rosaceae family and the Fragaria genus. It is a vast family that includes a variety of plant species such as apples, plums, pears, cherries, roses, almonds, and numerous berries. 

Yes, the horses can eat strawberries. Strawberries are safe for horses to consume. Strawberries are one of the most nutritious foods for horses.

If you live where strawberry plants are commonly produced, your horse may already be nibbling on wild strawberry bushes in its pasture without your knowledge.

Strawberry Nutritional Benefits

fresh strawberries fell out of a wooden basket outdoors

Strawberries have high nutritional content and are safe to eat in the recommended amounts. Strawberries are mainly composed of carbohydrates and sugar. 

Here is the nutrition present in one strawberry: 

  • Calories: 32
  • Water: 91%
  • Protein: 0.7 Gram
  • Sugar: 4.9 Gram
  • Carbs: 7.7 Gram

All of these nutrients are helpful to your horse’s health and assist in keeping him happy and healthy. Strawberries are also 91 percent water, making them an excellent food for hot summer days when keeping your horse hydrated.

Strawberries are an excellent reward for a horse trying to lose weight since they are high in water and low in calories and carbs. Let’s take a look at some of the nutritional advantages of strawberries.

  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B9
  • Potassium 
  • Magnesium
  • Strong digestive system 

Things to keep in mind when feeding strawberries to horses

white horse on white sand

Strawberries are beneficial to both horses and ponies, but there are certain things to remember.

According to care groups, horses should not be given more than eight to ten strawberries every week. It is because, for the following reasons, too many strawberries end up harming horses rather than giving optimum health and nutrition:

  • Horses enjoy sugary treats, but many of them may be insulin resistant. It’s advisable to consult a veterinarian before adding sweet foods like strawberries to your horse’s diet.
  • Bloat is a health issue in which your stomach swells up significantly owing to excessive gas trapped inside the digestive system’s muscles. It results in a painful and unpleasant sensation and feeling “packed” to the gills. It is a prevalent ailment in horses as well. When horses consume too many strawberries, they might develop bloat and experience gastrointestinal pain and vomiting.
  • Horses chew their food before swallowing it, but a massive piece of food might slip between the cracks and end up in the incorrect gullet. Because large chunks of strawberries might choke your horse, it’s better to cut them up before feeding them.
  • A horse might become too complete with too many strawberries, causing it to refuse to eat. Malnutrition will strike a horse if it does not receive a well-balanced diet. Malnutrition is a common cause of mortality in horses. Strawberries are heavy in sugar, and too much sugar can be hazardous to horses, whether natural or not.
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How To Feed Strawberries To Your Horse?

Strawberries may be fed whole to your horse due to their tiny size. If you cut them in half, they could be more tempted to consume them. It will release the strawberry’s scent and juice, making it more appealing to your horse.

Before feeding, all fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, should be cleaned to remove any hazardous substances like pesticides.

To minimize overfeeding and stomach issues, feed a specific amount of strawberries or other fruits and vegetables each day, no more than two cups.

Do Horses Eat Strawberries?

There’s just one way to find out whether your horse likes strawberries: give them a try! Choose a big, juicy strawberry and cut it in half after washing it. Combine with chunks of carrots and other favorite foods.

Feed the pieces to your horse by hand and see what it thinks of this new treat! One of the most crucial things about horses eating strawberries is that you can now give them a fantastic snack on a hot day.

To keep your strawberries cool, place them in the refrigerator before feeding. You can even freeze a handful of them for a few minutes to make nutritious iced treats for your horse!

What Are Horses Favorite Treats?

Horses have a craving for sweets. They will enjoy sweet treats. Any horse owner will tell you how horse loves sugary lumps as a treat.

But what are the favorite treats of horses? Horses have a strong sweet taste and will eat anything delicious! Anyone who has ever offered sugar lumps to a horse knows what we are talking about it. But what are the preferred snacks for horses?

Each horse, on the other hand, is unique and will like various goodies. The majority of horses like sweets with a nutty or herbaceous flavor. Take a whiff of a bag of horse treats, and it’ll smell eerily similar to the pot of dried herbs in your cupboard. Here is the list of treats:

  • Sugar-based horse treats
  • Raisins
  • Hard candy and sugar cubes
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Canteloup
  • Coconuts
  • Whole Apples
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Oranges
  • Lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Pears
  • Carrots
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
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What Are The Best Treats For Horses?

If your horse doesn’t have any medical issues and is in good condition, it may eat practically any fruit or vegetable. Watermelon, grapes, raisins, bananas, and strawberries are all popular fruit snacks.

Celery, peas, pumpkin, and squash are examples of veggies they may appreciate. Before feeding, remember to chop all of them into smaller pieces.

On a sunny trail ride, why not prepare a fruit salad to share with your horse? Sugary cookies, peppermints, and sweets are not the healthiest options!

Do Strawberries Pose Any Risk To Horses?

While strawberries provide horses with all of the advantages above and more, they come with specific hazards.

Strawberries, for example, may cause horses to choke if they fall down the incorrect gullet. It’s thus a good idea to slice them, especially if you’re feeding a more miniature horse.

Excessive use can also lead to digestive issues like bloating, vomiting, and gastrointestinal pain. Furthermore, strawberries should only be used as a snack and not as a meal replacement since this might lead to nutritional deficiencies.

As strawberries are high in sugar, they can cause sugar-related issues in horses, such as digestive system overload or insulin resistance.

Also, thoroughly wash the strawberries before feeding them to your horses. Insecticides and pesticides have the potential to make a horse ill. The strawberries’ freshness is also essential. Strawberries that are stale, rotting, or contain mold/fungi can potentially harm your health.

How Many Strawberries Can Horses Eat?

No more than six to ten strawberries should be fed every week, and ideally, no more than one to two per day.

It’s critical to wash the strawberries before feeding them to your horse since they contain leftover chemicals or pesticides. You should also avoid feeding your moldy horse strawberries since this may make them sick.

Fresh organic red ripe Strawberry fruit background closeup

Remember that strawberries are high in sugar and can cause colic in horses if they are overfed. Even while strawberries are healthful, they should only make up a tiny percentage of your horse’s diet, as with any treats.

As you know, strawberries are high in fiber, so if you give your horse too many of them, your pet will get bloated and full. It may lead your horse to stop eating its usual meals, resulting in vitamin deficits.

How to Prepare Strawberries For Horses?

If you don’t buy organic strawberries, you should wash them first before feeding them to horses. It will get rid of any toxins or pesticides that might affect your pet horses. Discard the rotting or sour strawberries from the good ones.

Do not give the discarded strawberries to your horse. Mold fruits have germs that might induce colic or make your horse sick. Before serving, always cut the strawberries into half or quarters. As a result, they don’t become a choking hazard.

Warnings About Feeding Strawberries to Horses

Horses are grazing animals, which means they’re built to consume a lot of grass and roughage throughout the day. It is why they shouldn’t be given highly concentrated foods like cereals. Treats, in particular, should only be a small percentage of a diet for the horse.

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If you overfeed a horse with strawberries, its digestive system might not work correctly. As they cant vomit, it may result in colic. It is why it’s critical to follow the recommended feeding schedule and never feed your horse too many strawberries at once.

Horse, Gallop, Paddock, Galloping

If your horse has any metabolic problems, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. Strawberries also have more sugar which means they might be dangerous for horses that are insulin resistant or have laminitis.

When it comes to feeding horses, we know that all fruits or vegetables can induce choking regardless of how soft they are. Strawberries are no different. It is why it’s critical to prepare strawberries before feeding them to your horse correctly.

As horses’ digestive systems are so delicate, you must gradually introduce strawberries, or any other fruit or vegetable, into your horse’s diet. Begin by offering your horse only half of a strawberry.

If you don’t have any stomach issues after 24 hours, progressively increase the serving size over a week.

Conclusion

In response to the question, “Can horses eat strawberries?” we discovered that strawberries are not only safe for horses to consume but also a nutritious pleasure. Strawberries are nutrient-dense and delectable treats that are acceptable to provide to your horse as a reward, and they may even have health advantages.

Strawberries are a favorite among horses because they fulfill their sweet craving, and adding a couple to your horse’s diet once a week can give them essential vitamins and minerals. To avoid any unforeseen danger, limit your horse to five to ten strawberries every week. It will help your horse feel better and more motivated to earn their tasty strawberry treat.

FAQs

Can Cats Eat Strawberries?

Yes, cats can eat strawberries. Strawberries are typically regarded as safe to consume by cats. Strawberries are a delicious source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.  

Can Goats Eat Strawberries?

Although goats can eat strawberries, not all goats enjoy their tart and sweet flavor. Strawberries have a relatively high quantity of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to goats’ health. When feeding strawberries to the animals for the first time, start with a bit of quantity and gradually increase the amount to allow their stomachs to adjust.

Can Cows Eat Strawberries?

Strawberries are acceptable to cows, and farmers frequently feed leftover strawberries to cows to decrease waste. Strawberries are high in sugar and should be fed to cows in moderation. Strawberries have a high quantity of manganese and Vitamin C, with traces of Vitamin B9 and potassium. They’re also high in antioxidants that aren’t present in hay or other conventional feed, assisting a cow’s immune system.

Can horses have strawberry tops?

While some top stigma is associated with eating the less-than-delicious sections of fruits, they are all generally safe to consume. Strawberries aren’t exempt from this regulation. In reality, horses can eat the tops safe to consume, but they’re also nutritious and tasty.

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Gulshan
Hi, I am Gulshan, a pet blogger, and author. I've been working with the local pet groups for the past five years. I have been fascinated by our pets and am here to share that wonder with you.