Can horses eat watermelon? Of course they can, it’s a fruit they particularly love. Being very juicy and sweet, it’s one of the most popular fruits for horses. A huge advantage of feeding the horse fresh watermelon is the high amount of water which makes it excellent, especially during the summer months. You can also chill it in the fridge or even freeze it for greater benefits.
How to give watermelon to the horse?
Instead of giving a whole watermelon to the horse, it’s certainly better to prepare it properly. To make it easier for the animal to chew everything, it’s possible to cut the fruit into pieces, in half, to remove the seeds and separate the pulp from the peel. Later it will be possible to create portions of watermelon to make it similar to the size of a banana or half an apple.
Can horses eat watermelon peel?
The peel of the watermelon is safe for the horse. Although some specimens prefer only the pulp, many are very happy to eat everything, including the peel. It is advisable to do some experimentation first to understand what your horse prefers.
Some horses are able to handle things with watermelon themselves, avoiding the peel on their own. Before preparing everything with care, it’s advisable to first try to give a portion of watermelon in full to see if the horse leaves the skin or not.
What about the seeds?
Watermelon seeds are not good for horses, they can even be harmful. Some seeds may cause little harm if swallowed, but, in large quantities, they should always be avoided. The reason is that when these seeds are digested, they release small amounts of cyanide which could cause health damage over time. In general, horses love watermelon and, in small quantities, both the seeds and the skin can still be eaten.
Is the sugar in watermelon bad for the horse?
This is probably one of the factors of greatest concern to horse owners: can sugar be harmful? Although watermelon is very sweet and appears to contain a lot of sugar, it actually isn’t. Watermelon derives its name from the word water, given that the fruit is composed, for the most part, of water (about 90%). This means that only 10% of the watermelon is made of pulp and sugar, as well as containing minerals, namely phosphorus and magnesium, and vitamins, including vitamin A and vitamin C.
Is this amount of sugar dangerous? Actually no, as sugar is found in most plants, fruits, and vegetables. Carrots are very sweet, but they are still given to horses: you will be surprised to know that they contain almost the same sugar amount found in watermelon. Horses eat pasture grass as their natural food, and this food also contains sugar.
During the course of the day, a horse consumes large amounts of sugar. If there is too much sugar in the grass, the horse may suffer from colic or laminitis. For this reason, eating watermelon does not cause any serious harm to the horse’s health due to the sugar contained in it.
Toxins in watermelon
The skin of the watermelon is known to contain a toxin that can worry horse owners a lot when they see it being fed to their four-legged friends. Watermelon belongs to the cucumber family, no one thinks twice before eating an unpeeled cucumber or even before giving it to the horse, in addition, watermelon peel is often eaten in brine. There are some toxins, in the peel of the cucumber and in that of the watermelon, but they are present in practically all those of the other fruits. However, this amount is minimal, so you needn’t worry at all.
To take the necessary precautions, however, carefully washing the fruit or vegetables to give to the horse is certainly the best advice. The watermelon peel may have been treated with herbicides or pesticides, it can be a vehicle for bacterial infestations, such as E. Coli, capable of sinking into the pulp, once the peel is cut with a knife. This could be bad for humans, but the horse won’t suffer any kind of damage due to its size.
Give watermelon in moderation
As mentioned, horses can eat watermelon in moderation. Too large a quantity of watermelon, of course, wouldn’t be good, so it’s best to avoid giving It too much, also because It could end up suffering from colic.
In addition, large pieces of fruit can lead to choking: it’s certainly wiser to cut the fruit into smaller pieces before serving the watermelon to the horse. Let the horse enjoy some watermelon in the hot summers, worry-free!