Last Updated on May 22, 2022
We all know that horses love to eat certain fruits and vegetables, but what about nuts? Can horses eat nuts or are they toxic? And can horses eat peanut butter?
Let’s find out everything you need to know about horses eating nuts, including whether can horses eat peanut butter!
Can Horses Eat Nuts?
Like fruits and vegetables, some nuts are fine for horses to eat, whilst others can be toxic. For example, the pistachio tree can cause poisoning in horses, whilst the by-products of almond processing are a nutritious addition to horse feeds.
This means that when it comes to nuts, we need to check that every type is safe before feeding it to horses.
Another hidden danger with nuts is that some of them will grow in the wild, around our horse’s grazing land. This means that your horse may eat nuts even if you do not feed them to him.
The following types of nuts are most dangerous for horses to eat, and horses should never be grazed near these trees or plants:
- Buckeyes (also known as horse chestnuts)
- Black walnuts
- Sago palm nuts
Some nuts are perfectly safe for horses to eat, including almonds and pecans. Like all snacks, these should always be fed in moderation to avoid obesity or digestive upsets. Many horses’ feeds contain nuts or nut by-products, as nuts are high in oil and a good source of energy for horses.
Check Out Is Clover Bad For Horses?
Do Horses Like Eating Nuts? Can Horses Eat Peanut Butter?
Most horses like eating nuts, and will enjoy snacking on a few nuts every now and again. There is no harm in including a small handful of nuts such as pecans or almonds in your horse’s daily treat ration, but they should only be fed in moderation. Nuts are a very high-energy snack, and if this energy is not utilized the horse will quickly become overweight.
It is not advisable to feed nuts to overweight horses, or horses that suffer from weight-related illnesses such as equine metabolic syndrome, laminitis, or insulin resistance. These horses should be fed low-energy treats to avoid more weight gain.
Can Horses Eat Peanuts?
Let’s start with a strange fact that many people may not know – peanuts are not actually nuts! Strictly speaking, they are part of the legume family. This is the same group of plants as peas, beans, chickpeas, and lentils.
Peanuts are perfectly safe for horses to eat, along with most other plants in the legume family. In fact, horses will not only eat peanuts, but you may find that they eat the peanut plant as well!
If you want to feed peanuts to your horse, start with a very small amount initially. Any new type of food has the potential to cause bloating, as the digestive system reacts to the unusual food by creating excessive gas. Bloating can be very painful for the horse, and if it persists it can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as colic.
Any new type of food also has the potential to cause diarrhea in horses. Horses cannot vomit, and any food that reacts with the digestive system must pass out of the other end. So, if your horse eats something that he finds difficult to digest, the result may be a lot of gas and liquid feces!
Read more about Treatment For Tie-Up In Horses
Can Horses Eat Peanut Butter?
Horses can eat peanut butter, but only in very small amounts. This is because peanut butter is highly processed, and may contain unhealthy additives. It is not advisable to feed horses any type of processed food, as it can be difficult to predict how their digestive system will react.
If you want to feed your horse peanut butter, opt for an organic variety that is free from artificial additives, sweeteners, and preservatives. It is important to bear in mind that peanut butter is an energy-rich snack, so only a small amount can be given to horses at any one time.
The flavor of peanut butter can be useful for hiding the flavor of medications, and some veterinarians recommend putting distasteful medications in a small peanut butter sandwich to tempt the horse to eat. This should only ever be done under veterinary supervision, as horses with some health conditions should never be fed peanut butter.
Summary – Can Horses Eat Peanut Butter?
So, as we have learned, horses can eat peanut butter in small amounts, but this is not a healthy snack for them. Horses should be fed unprocessed foods, and it is preferable to feed whole peanuts rather than peanut butter. Peanuts are very high in energy and should only be fed to horses in small quantities.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on can horses eat peanut butter! Does your horse like to eat unusual food or is he fussy about what he eats? Maybe you’ve got a question about the best snacks to feed your horse? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
What Can You Give Horses As A Snack?
Horses will enjoy eating sweet and juicy fruits and vegetables as a snack, but it is important to check that they are safe for your horse to eat first. Fruits with stones should have them removed first, and any thick, chewy peel should not be fed to horses.
What Nuts And Seeds Can Horses Eat?
Horses can eat a wide range of nuts and seeds, but some should be avoided as they are not safe for horses to eat. The best nuts for horses to eat are pecan nuts and almonds. They can eat sunflower seeds in small quantities, but larger amounts may cause unwanted side effects.
Can Horses Have Peanut Allergies?
Food allergies in horses are very rare, and it is highly unlikely that a horse would have a true peanut allergy. It is more common for horses to suffer from allergies to specific types of cereal grains.
Do Horses Like Peanut Butter?
Horses are fussy creatures, and you will find that not all of them like the same things. Some horses love the flavor of peanut butter, whilst others will turn their noses up at it.
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse
care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since
she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local
stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She
has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in
various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the
patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went
on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in
the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of
horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for
educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN REVN RVN A1