Can Horses Eat Dog Food? Everything You Need To Know

Can Horses Eat Dog Food? Everything You Need To Know

If you have multiple pets, you may be tempted to feed them the same food. After all, if it is fit to eat for one pet why not the other? Additionally, pet food is full of nutrition and health.

This thinking, however, is wrong. Many people ask whether it is all right to feed dog food to their horses, and the answer is no. It is time to clearly and definitively answer why dog food is not suitable for your horse.

Reasons Why You Should Not Feed Your Horse Dog Food

Dog food is conveniently available and comes in all kinds of different flavors. This ease and choice should make it a good option for your pets. However, only if that pet is a dog. Here are all the reasons why dog food is not suitable for your horse:

Horses Have Their Own Needs

Dog food is designed specifically to provide nutrition to dogs. Horses, on the other hand, are a completely different species. 

The nutritional needs of horses vary greatly from that of dogs. If horses are fed only dog food these nutritional needs will not be fulfilled. The result is malnutrition. Your horse will not get the appropriate sustenance and may get ill.

Horses need around 1.5% to 2% of their weight worth of food each day. Aside from this, they need a lot of water. Make sure your horse gets this amount of food.

Dog Food Is Not Suitable For Horses

Aside from being different species, horses and dogs also differ in food preferences. Dogs are omnivores while horses are herbivores. Their dietary needs vary widely. 

Since horses eat only vegetables or fruits feeding them with dog food, which may contain meat is harmful. Horses cannot digest meat. Dog food can give your horse serious stomach issues. 

Dog Food Ingredients

Different animals are sensitive to different types of food products. Dogs, for example, cannot eat chocolate or consume caffeine. This is why feeding your horse dog food is not recommended at all. You never know what might be inside the dog food. Any ingredient might cause your horse to become seriously unwell. 

Some ingredients, even in small amounts can cause an adverse reaction. There is no such concern with food made for horses specifically because you can be sure there is no such ingredient added. 

It is always best to be safe rather than be sorry later on. Horses are not picky eaters at all. They will eat whatever you put in front of them. It is your responsibility as an owner to ensure you feed the right kinds of foods. 

What To Do If Your Horse Accidentally Eats Dog Food

Now that you know that dog food is not good for your horse, you need to keep the dog food stored away securely. But what if your horse accidentally eats the dog food? 

The first thing to do is not to panic. Do not worry if it starts getting anxious. It will do nothing except make things worse because your horse might get anxious as well sensing that something is wrong. 

You need to realize that while dog food is not good for your horse, consuming it should not be a reason to raise alarm. 

You need to remain attentive and monitor your horse’s condition. But there is no need to rush to the vet. It is best to call the vet over the phone and inform them of the situation. Tell your vet how much and what kind of dog food your horse ate. 

The vet will maybe prescribe medicine to deal with an upset stomach if your horse shows any symptoms like discomfort and pain. 

The reason why eating dog food may not be a huge source of concern is the differences in their size. Horses typically weigh around a ton, while the average dog weighs anywhere between 40 to 80 pounds at most. A horse weighing 1,000 pounds needs at least 20 pounds of dry food each feeding session. 

Make sure to give your horse a lot of water. Horses can drink anywhere from 21 to 72 liters of water each day depending upon the amount of exercise they do and the weather conditions. 

Give your horse fiber-rich food to help with digestion. Aside from this, there is nothing more you can do. It is best to keep dog food carefully stored away where your horse can never reach. 

Foods You Should Feed Your Horse 

Now to answer the all-important question, what should you feed your horse?

The answer is very simple, your horse will eat most vegan foods that are not highly processed. Give them raw vegetables and fruits. Foods rich in fiber content and nutrients like vitamins and minerals are perfect. 

Grains like oats and corn are suitable. Most horses will do well with just getting lots of water and forage.

Water is needed to remain hydrated and making sure your horse drinks enough water during the day is very important. 

Forage like hay or grass also provides your horse with all the necessary nutrients. It contains fiber and all other nutrients needed by your horse. Horses can graze for up to 16 hours a day. 

Apart from water and forage, you can give healthy snacks like carrots, apples, and even nuts in between meals. 

Raising Dogs And Horses Together

It is always a good thing when your pets become friends. Dogs and horses get along well since both are friendly animals. 

Let your dog run alongside your horse freely so they can exercise together. You may even groom them together, like brushing their fur, mane, or tail at the same time so your pets can bond. Many dog grooming products are suitable for your horse. Here are the best dog detangler sprays you can use on your horse’s mane and tail as well. 

The most important thing to remember is to keep their food separate. To do so you can feed them separately. Maybe give your dog food inside the house so there is no cross-contamination.