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Can Horses Eat Honey? Everything You Need to Know!

Ashley Bates

If you’re looking for an organic snack to give your horse, you might be searching for options. Honey is incredibly beneficial to people, as we know. But sometimes, what is good for humans is not necessarily good for our pets.

So, how about something organic and natural like honey? Cannot equines eat this sweet treat with no consequence? We have some fantastic news. Honey is 100% safe for your horses to eat. The only thing you need to be mindful of is the sugar content. Let’s explore what honey can do for the horses in your stable.

Horses Can Eat Honey

Honey is a sweet, delicious treat that’s easy for your horses to lap up. You can add it as a topper to other favorite snacks, too. It is internally and externally healing with powerful properties. Granted, honey shouldn’t be an everyday treat—but it can occasionally be a healthy and beneficial food source.

Honey Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories—64
  • Carbohydrates—17 g
  • Sugars—17 g

Healing Properties of Honey

Honey is an incredibly healing substance. You might have heard of several perks of this powerful amber-colored substance. It isn’t just fantastic when it’s ingested, but also when you use it as a topical treatment on your equine’s skin.

Topical Uses of Honey

Honey is an ideal natural antibiotic, full of properties that help combat infectious bacteria. You can apply honey on your horse’s skin to heal lesions, breaks, and rashes. It has intense microbial properties that aid in wound healing. You can also use honey as a preventative for recurring skin issues.

It gets rid of inflammation and irritation if you have a particularly sensitive horse that is recovering from a current skin condition. It also has hygroscopic properties to help absorb moisture, drying out areas of the skin that might be seeping.

Medicinal Uses of Honey

As unfortunate as it sounds, 50%–90% of equines develop ulcers in their lifetime. Horses that perform in show or racing can suffer from this condition more frequently than others. That is because they aren’t left to graze in the field, so they don’t get as much natural roughage in their diet.

However, it is still common among even those who graze regularly. Honey has been proven to reduce the effects of ulcers, healing your horse’s gut from the inside out.

There is a specific type of honey known as manuka honey that many equine owners use to treat ulcers and gastritis.

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Sugar Content in Honey

As with most items that contain high amounts of sugar, honey should be used in moderation. It is a tremendous additive to your horse’s diet otherwise. You can add it to another snack or scoop as a standalone treat.

But since sugar can have so many complications in your horse’s system, it’s best to dose it out sparingly.

pouring honey on spoon
Image Credit: Pixabay

Organic vs. Processed Honey

Does it really matter if honey is organic or processed? What is the difference anyway? Research says not much, other than a few points to note.

Organic honey, or raw honey, has not undergone any heating, also called pasteurization. Pasteurization occurs when honey is heated over 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Organic honey contains all of the pollen, plants, and natural material without any treatment whatsoever.

Processed honey, on the other hand, does lack some of the natural benefits of raw honey. There seems to be some debate on whether there’s any real difference between the two, but the organic version appears to be more healthful and nourishing.

Organic honey contains no additives that could potentially degrade the quality, so it’s always best to go the natural route when in doubt.

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Horses and Honey: Final Thoughts

So now we know that horses can profit from honey both topically and internally. Honey has a wide array of benefits for your horse’s overall wellbeing. It is a terrific snack that is equally advantageous for the tastebuds and diet alike. These qualities make it a winning addition to their lives—if you offer it in appropriate portions.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.