Foods Horses Should Avoid and Why

Horses are omnivores and can eat just about anything. Some, however, have negative effects and should be avoided at all costs. What these foods are and why horses should avoid them will be discussed.

  • Foods Not to Feed Horses
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Fruit stone and seed remnants


Now that we know what foods to keep away from horses, let’s talk about why certain meals are bad for them.

Avocados contain a toxin called persin that can kill horses. Persin can cause serious harm to vital organs including the heart and lungs. Horses may also become nauseous, vomit, and have difficulty breathing as a result of exposure.

Horses should not consume chocolate because of the theobromine it contains. Diarrhea, convulsions, and even death can result from theobromine poisoning. Theobromine is highly toxic to horses, even in very small amounts.

Caffeine is toxic to horses, thus they shouldn’t be given these drinks. Caffeine causes restlessness, a rapid heartbeat, and dehydration. Horses can be negatively affected by caffeine even at low doses.

Garlic or Onions
Onions and garlic both contain thiosulfate, a compound that is poisonous to a horse’s red blood cells. This can lead to health problems like anemia. In excessive amounts, it can be fatal.

Because of the solanine they contain, tomatoes can be dangerous for horses. Solanine can cause digestive problems, tiredness, and sluggishness. Even minute amounts of solanine can be lethal for horses.

Horses can be poisoned by the solanine found in potatoes. Solanine can cause digestive problems, tiredness, and sluggishness. Even minute amounts of solanine can be lethal for horses.

Rhubarb contains oxalate, which is toxic to horses. Oxalate causes drowsiness, weariness, and gastrointestinal upset. Extreme cases can lead to kidney failure.

Fruit stones and seeds
Horses are highly susceptible to the cyanide found in fruit seeds and pits. The harmful effects of cyanide include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and lethargy.

In severe cases, it might result in death due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. Miniscule amounts of cyanide are fatal to horses.

Horses may have mild to severe toxicity from these meals, depending on the amount consumed and the individual’s susceptibility. It’s possible that some horses can tolerate even relatively large doses of these feeds, while others are more delicate due to their size or other factors. But, in general, it is best to avoid feeding horses these things. Due to their poisonous nature, it is important to avoid foods that could cause unintended side effects.

To sum up, horses are delicate creatures who require a healthy diet to reach their full potential. While many of their items are fine to eat, some should be avoided due to possible toxicity. Avocados, chocolate, coffee, tea, onions, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, rhubarb, and the pits and seeds of fruits are all foods you shouldn’t feed your horse. Toxic properties in these foods cause gastrointestinal pain, exhaustion, and even death. As responsible horse owners, it is our responsibility to research and offer a healthy diet for our horses. if you are not sure if certain foods are toxic to horses, it is best to consult with a Vet who can provided you with useful information.