Can horses eat watermelon?
If you’re looking for a tasty horse treat, this question has probably entered your head.
It would be a simple way of bringing some excitement to your horse’s diet.
Let’s see if watermelons are a solution to your quest.
Related: Can Horses Eat Mango Peel?
Table of Contents
Can Horses Eat Watermelon?
The simple answer is yes; horses can eat watermelon without much issue.
In most cases, your horse will adore this delicious fruit as most humans do.
Watermelon ends up being a tasty treat for them when safely fed in limited quantities.
But it’s important to know that some horses might not be able to eat it all.
Certain health problems, such as dental or dietary issues, can prevent your horses from enjoying watermelon. I’ll dive deeper into this topic later.
Is Watermelon Nutritious for Horses?
Many horse owners might assume watermelon isn’t very nutritious because of its nearly 92 percent water content.
However, it’s a rather healthy treat to give your horses.
It also helps make a hot summer day more bearable for your favorite horse. After all, it’s an excellent liquid source that can help quench their thirst.
But the benefits don’t stop there, either. Watermelon is considered fat-free, contains very little cholesterol, and has a minimal amount of sodium.
I’d be doing a disservice by not discussing the valuable vitamins, nutrients, and minerals within watermelon, as well.
Let’s take a look at some to provide an idea of what this delicious fruit can add to your horse’s diet:
Watermelon is known for having copious amounts of vitamin A. It’s an essential attribute because it’ll keep your horse’s eyesight in good shape.
Vitamin A also offers a boost to their immune system and supports bone health. In other words, it’s something every owner wants to give their horse.
If you’re looking for an occasional treat to give a horse some extra pep, watermelon can help.
It contains vitamin B6 that’ll help convert fats and carbohydrates into usable energy.
Vitamin C is another immune system booster, which also offers other benefits.
It’s known for its ability to repair tissue and cell damage that’ll ensure your horse remains healthy.
Watermelon has sufficient iron levels to help boost a horse’s immune system. It’s a benefit that you’ll see from many of the minerals and vitamins inside this delicious fruit.
Iron can have a positive impact on your horse’s digestive system, too.
It can be a valuable commodity for producing energy to do their daily activities, which is always crucial.
As with humans, calcium works on several fronts to make your horses’ life better.
It’ll strengthen their hooves, teeth, and bones to improve their lives dramatically.
Your horse’s nerves, muscles, and heart will also require it to work correctly.
As a result, it becomes a rather important attribute offered by fruits, such as watermelon.
As many people know, magnesium offers crucial anti-inflammatory advantages. You can also expect it to help prevent depression and avoid insulin resistance.
Phosphorus is a similar mineral to calcium as it can help provide your horse with solid teeth. It’ll help efficiently manage how their bodies store energy.
Moreover, it’s known for its pain reduction abilities after your horse exercises.
It doesn’t hurt that horses benefit from it helping filter out waste from their kidneys, either.
Watermelon has levels of potassium that will help keep your horse’s heart healthy and strong.
Plus, it’ll help keep their nerves and muscles working effectively.
Everyone loves fiber, and horses aren’t any different. Watermelon represents a reliable source of fiber as 17% of its rind is made up of it.
Check our guide about horses eating apples too!
Can Horses Eat Watermelon Rinds?
Many people wonder whether horses can eat watermelon rind.
You’ll be pleased to know that horses can consume watermelon rinds without issues.
It makes an owner’s life easier because you won’t have to do much prep work. In other words, there isn’t any special way of serving watermelon to a horse.
But I would recommend washing the watermelon to remove contaminants and pesticides.
It’s the only way to ensure no side effects come from giving the fruit to your horse.
Cutting the fruit into small watermelon chunks and serving in moderation are other smart moves.
Otherwise, there’s no reason that your horse can’t enjoy watermelon with its rind intact.
Are Melon Rinds Nutritious?
You might be a little shocked to learn that watermelon rinds offer some nutritious and health benefits.
Let’s dive into a few to show why watermelon rind can be a healthy part of your horse’s diet.
Rich Source of Fiber
Most owners follow the rule that a horse’s daily diet should be 50% fiber. This crucial dietary requirement usually comes from grass and hay.
Adult horses can even get by with a fiber-only diet when they aren’t being worked. In any case, a watermelon rind can represent a good source of it.
As I mentioned earlier, a watermelon’s rind portion is an excellent source of fiber. Your horses need fiber to produce enough energy to get through the day.
It becomes an essential energy source for your horse’s normal functions.
They won’t walk, graze, or sleep as effectively without a good amount of fiber in their system.
Fiber’s also crucial for your horse’s overall well-being. A lack of fiber inside your horse’s system can lead to many issues and dangerous situations.
For instance, food won’t move efficiently through a horse’s gut without a sufficient fiber level. It can lead to issues like colic, laminitis, and dehydration.
Watermelon rinds are a reliable source of potassium, which is essential to your horse’s everyday activities.
Most horses will get this crucial mineral from eating grass, hay, or forage.
But they’ll end up losing potassium when urinating or sweating.
In fact, a horse who’s sweating excessively and eating a low forage diet can be prone to potassium deficiency.
You don’t want this situation to happen because it results in serious physical ailments. The horse will likely experience fatigue, muscle weakness, and a lack of appetite.
As a result, you’ll want to provide them access to food sources with potassium. A watermelon rind offers a simple way of helping avoid these issues.
Provides Horses with Amino Acids
The watermelon’s rind contains citrulline, which is considered an amino acid. It’s a crucial addition because it relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow.
Additionally, the citrulline will turn into arginine that your horse’s body uses to produce nitric oxide.
It’ll lower blood pressure, improve vascular health, and fight against combat fatigue.
Experts also credit nitric oxide for stimulating a horse’s immune system, helping muscle growth, fighting cancer, and quicking wound healing.
It’s relatively straightforward that watermelon rinds can offer tremendous nutritional value to your horse’s life.
Related: Can Horses Have Pears?
When Shouldn’t You Give Watermelons to Your Horse?
Watermelon represents a healthy, delicious horse treat.
But sadly, some horses don’t get to enjoy it because they have the following conditions or health issues:
As your horses age, they get more prone to having concerns with their teeth and gums. It can make biting through and chewing harder foods difficult.
These issues could make chewing through a watermelon rind a tremendous challenge.
But these older horses might not have problems with the watermelon’s flesh.
If you have a horse with dental issues, cut off the rind. Your horse can still get to enjoy the amazing taste of a well-grown watermelon.
Insulin Resistance Conditions
Horses with insulin-resistant conditions or diseases like Equine Cushing’s Disease should avoid watermelon because of the sugar content.
Other problematic conditions include EMS (equine metabolic syndrome) or PPID (pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction).
HYPP (Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis)
If your horse suffers from HYPP, they’ll need to keep their potassium levels low.
Watermelon isn’t overly rich in potassium but still needs to be avoided for these horses.
Can Horses Eat Watermelon FAQs
IS THERE A LOT OF SUGAR IN WATERMELONS?
Many people assume watermelon has high sugar content. Although watermelon does contain fructose, it’s roughly 92% water. It ends up being one of those societal myths that turn out to be a complete fabrication.
HOW MUCH WATERMELON RIND SHOULD YOU FEED A HORSE EAT?
I’d recommend sticking to the two cups per day rule when serving a horse watermelon rind. Too much can lead to colic and other issues for your horse’s gut. It’s always best to keep moderation in mind with your horse’s watermelon rind intake.
I hope our discussions on whether horses can eat watermelon answered your questions.
But if a few more pop into your head, leave a post in our comment section. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!
- Fernstrom, Madelyn. 2016. “Eating Chocolate Is Good for Your Heart: Fact or Myth?” TODAY.com. https://www.today.com/health/watermelon-loaded-sugar-what-you-need-know-about-common-food-t100982.
- “How Safe Is It to Feed Horses Watermelon?” n.d. The Spruce Pets. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.thesprucepets.com/feeding-watermelon-to-your-horse-1886490.
- “Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP) in Horses.” n.d. Extension.umn.edu. https://extension.umn.edu/horse-health/hyperkalemic-periodic-paralysis-hypp-horses.
- Link, Rachael. 2018. “The 10 Best Foods to Boost Nitric Oxide Levels.” Healthline. Healthline Media. September 25, 2018. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nitric-oxide-foods.
- “Minerals for Horses: Calcium and Phosphorus – Oklahoma State University.” 2017. Extension.okstate.edu. May 1, 2017. https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/minerals-for-horses-calcium-and-phosphorus.html.
- “Performance Horse Nutrition and Notes on Conditioning | Equine Science Center.” n.d. https://esc.rutgers.edu/fact_sheet/performance-horse-nutrition-and-notes-on-conditioning/.
- T, Gina. 2011. “Vitamin a for Horses.” The Feed Room. July 5, 2011. https://www.horsefeedblog.com/2011/07/vitamin-a-for-horses/.
- “Watermelon Rinds:).” n.d. The Horse Forum. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.horseforum.com/threads/watermelon-rinds.760370/.
Do your horses love watermelons? Share with us!
My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! I have three dogs and one old cat, plus experience with horses. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed. FIND HIM ON: TWITTER.
Read his latest ARTICLES.
Learn more about Benhere