Last Updated on April 24, 2022
Your horse might be a fan of apples and carrots, but have you ever wondered can horses eat pears and other fruits? Horses can be fussy eaters, and getting them to eat something new can be challenging. We also need to be careful not to feed anything to our horses that might be poisonous.
Let’s find out everything you need to know about can horses eat pears, and also look at other types of fruit your horse might enjoy!
Can Horses Eat Pears?
Pears are very closely related to one of our horse’s favorite treats – the apple! So, while a horse will happily eat an apple, does this mean that they can eat pears as well?
Horses can eat pears, and this fruit is a delicious and nutritious snack that horses will enjoy.
As with all treats, pears should be fed to horses in moderation. The natural diet for horses consists mainly of roughage, in the form of grass and hay. This is high in fiber and low in sugar and water. While pears do contain some fiber, they are higher in sugar and water than the basic diet of the horse.
Pears should be washed to remove chemical residue from pesticides and herbicides. They should be cut into bite-size chunks to reduce the risk of the horse choking. As with all fruit and vegetable treats for horses, the total amount should be limited to no more than two cups of pear per day.
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Pears Benefits And Side Effects For Horses
So while horses will enjoy eating pears, are they good for them? Let’s find out!
Benefits Of Feeding Pears To Horses
Pears not only taste delicious, but they are also very beneficial to your horses health. This tasty fruit is high in fiber, which helps to maintain the health of the digestive system.
Pears are also high in a soluble fiber called pectin. This helps to control the rate of digestion, resulting in better absorption of nutrients. It is also able to form a protective barrier on the stomach lining, reducing the incidence of gastric ulcers.
These incredible little fruits are also packed full of vitamins and minerals, with some great benefits:
- Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals
- Vitamin E, essential for maintaining the health of the neurological system
- Vitamin B6, which plays a role in regulating metabolic functions such as hormone production, blood sugar levels, and muscle development
- Potassium and copper, vital for a strong and healthy immune system
The final benefit of pears is their high water content. This makes them a refreshing treat for your horse, especially during hot weather. He will definitely appreciate a few slices of pear on a long, sunny trail ride!
Risks Of Feeding Pears To Horses – Can Horses Eat Pears?
So, if pears are so good for horses, why can’t they eat them all the time? A little bit of pear goes a long way, and there are some downsides to feeding pears to horses.
Firstly, many pears are grown using high levels of pesticides and chemicals. You can wash the pear to remove residue from the skin, but it is likely that your horse will still ingest some of these toxic chemicals. If you can opt for organic pears for your horse whenever possible.
Pears are also a choking hazard to your horse, particularly if they are crunchy and firm. Choke is when food becomes lodged in the esophagus, and veterinary treatment may be required to clear the blockage. To prevent this, make sure the pear is cut into smaller chunks to feed to your horse.
The other problem with pears is that they are high in sugar. Horses should only ingest a limited amount of sugar, which is why we have to feed pears in small amounts. Too much sugar can cause weight gain and metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance.
The final issue with horses eating pears is the risk of gastrointestinal disruption. Because these fruits are not part of the horse’s normal diet, the high levels of sugar and water can cause problems with the balance of bacteria in the digestive system. This may cause problems such as colic and diarrhea.
To prevent these problems from occurring, stick to pears as an occasional treat, and only feed them in the recommended quantities.
Summary – Can Horses Eat Pears?
So, as we have learned, pears are a delicious and nutritious snack that most horses will enjoy! This fruit is closely related to the apple, and most horses will happily tuck into both this fruit. Pears should be washed to remove chemical residue and cut into bite-size chunks to reduce the risk of the horse choking.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about can horses eat pears! Does your horse love to crunchy on a sweet, juicy pear? Or maybe your horse has more exotic tastes and enjoys eating some unusual fruits? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
What Fruits Can Horses Eat?
Horses enjoy eating fruit, and can eat many different types of fruit. While their diet should consist mainly of roughage - grass and hay - they will enjoy a small amount of fruity snacks every day.
Horses enjoy eating apples and pears, and will also tuck into juicy fruits like pineapples and bananas. Some horses also like to eat citrus fruits. Berries such as strawberries and raspberries are also good snacks for horses.
Do Horses Like Pears?
Not all horses will eat all types of fruit, and some horses are fussier than others. However, you will find that most horses will happily eat pears, and enjoy tucking into this tasty and nutritious snack.
How Many Pears Can A Horse Have?
The amount of pears a horse can have is very small, as these fruits can cause digestive upsets if eaten in large amounts. It is not advisable to feed more than one pear per day to a small horse, and two per day to a larger horse. The pears should be washed and cut into bite-size chunks to make them safe for horses to eat.
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