Can Horses Eat Whole Apples?

Last Updated on April 25, 2022 by Cristina

“Can horses eat whole apples” is one of the questions you must have asked your Veterinarian. You might have wondered if horses and apples are a good fit. Yes, they are! A perfect fit, in fact. It is suspected that horses do not actually know how nutritious and healthy apples are for them. It would, however, make more sense if they somehow knew, that would explain their love for the fruit. Horses absolutely love apples. Let’s answer more questions you must have had in addition to “Can horse eat whole apples” Are you ready?

Are Apples Good For Horses? Can Horses Eat Whole Apples?

I may not have been very clear in the first paragraph but the answer is a mighty yes, as long as they are fed to the horses in a moderate amount. Too much of anything can be harmful and apples are no exception. Apart from being very tasty, (ask the horses), apples are also packed with lots of nutrients.

 They contain vitamin A which in itself is multipurpose. The vitamin A in the apple can improve your horse’s vision, upgrade its immune function and increase its blood cell function. Apples also contain vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that is useful for countering free radicals. Vitamin A is also an antioxidant.  Furthermore, these fruits contain high amounts of potassium that can improve your horse’s muscle function. They are also high in fiber, a good thing for the digestive system.

Are Apples Good For Horses

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Can Horses Eat Whole Apples?

The short answer is yes, horses can eat apple whole, the peel, the core, the seeds, everything. It is, obviously, easier the smaller the apple is. If the apple is bigger than normal, you can cut it up into small pieces. You’re probably asking if a horse can choke on whole apples? Yes, horses can choke on whole apples. You might want to cut apples into bits if you know your horse is a hasty eater. This is to prevent the apples from getting stuck in the horse’s throat. Choking on an apple can be a trigger for pneumonia.

The seeds are also, sometimes, people’s point of concern but the seed are only dangerous when consumed in extremely large amounts.

One thing you should, however, endeavor to do is rinse the apples before feeding them to your horse. This is to take care of any pesticide or toxic residue that may have been left on the fruit.

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Dehydrated Apples For Horses

Absolutely! Your horse can be fed dehydrated apples. Dehydrated apples have low sugar contents and are a high source of vitamins and minerals. Dehydrated or dried apples are also an antioxidant for your horses.

What Type of Apples Can Horses Eat?

This is not the most common question because a lot of us (I really mean me) don’t even know the difference between these apples. For those of you that do, here’s a shortlist of the type of apples that are best to feed your horses:

  • Cortland apples
  • Fuji apples
  • Gala apples
  • Golden delicious apples
  • Red delicious apples
  • Pink lady apples
  • Granny smith apples

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Can Horses Eat Whole Apples

So, can horses eat whole apples? Yes, the type of apples listed above are definitely good for horses to eat.

Other Ways To Prepare Apple For Horses – Can Horses Eat Whole Apples?

  • Frozen Apple Lick: This is basically frozen apple water. You can fill an empty container with water and then add apple slices to it. You then freeze it after which you can bring it out for your horse to eat.
  • Baked Apple Treats: We are, not surprisingly, not the only creatures that enjoy baked treats once in a while. You can make any baked apple treat for your horse as long as you make sure to use safe ingredients. Also, avoid adding too much sugar.
  • Softened Apples: You may have a horse or horses that have dental problems, you do not have to deprive this horse(s) of one of the seven wonders of its world. You can cut up the apples and cook them to make them softer and easier to chew.
  • Mixed Bran Mash: This is quite simply just adding apple slices to your horse’s bran mash.

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Things To Look Out For When Feeding Apples To Your Horse(s)

1) Overfeeding

Ever asked your Veterinarian a question such as “How many apples do I feed my horses?”. It is important to note that moderation is key with any treats. Feeding your horses too many apples at once can cause colic and stomach distress which will eventually warrant a visit to the vet. An apple or two a day is just about enough. Cutting up the apples can also give your horse the illusion of abundance. Can horses eat whole apples? Yes, but do not overfeed your horse.

2) Horses with Metabolic Issues

Metabolic issues like insulin resistance can make it impossible for some horses to take anything containing the amount of sugar that apples contain. You should look out for those horses and avoid feeding them apples.

3) Horses with Dental Issues – Can Horses Eat Whole Apples

Your horse may have dental issues, depending on the nature of these issues, you may want to modify the state of the apple or avoid feeding it to the horse altogether. For instance, if your horse has issues with chewing, you can cut up the apple into really small pieces or make it into a puree, you can even boil it.

4) Horses with Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP)

Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis makes it impossible for your horse to handle potassium and as mentioned earlier, apples are high in potassium. Answering the question”Can horses eat whole apples”, is definitely not for horses with HYPP, feeding apples to these horses is a recipe for disaster.

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What Should You Avoid Feeding A Horse?

Since we have established that apples are something you should feed to your horse, what, then, should you not feed your horse? Topping the list is chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine which can cause colic, seizures, and internal bleeding.

Following chocolate closely are the guys in the allium family; garlic, onion, leek, and chives. They contain a chemical that is capable of destroying a horse’s red blood cells resulting in anemia.

Tomatoes are also dangerous to horses. Tomatoes contain atropine which can also cause colic. They also contain hyoscyamine which can reduce saliva production, increase heart rate and cause diarrhea.

Other things to not feed your horse include potatoes, caffeine, and certain house plants.

What Should You Avoid Feeding A Horse

Conclusion – Can Horses Eat Whole Apples?

Horses love apples and most times, apples reciprocate the feelings. The question “Can horses eat whole apples”, is definitely one question I have answered as a Veterinarian. Yes, Horses can eat whole apples. Apples are one of the few healthy treats that you can feed your horse. Problems can only arise when moderation is not applied or your horse has prior issues. Feeding apples whole to a horse also doesn’t cause problems unless it is too big.

If you have any questions regarding feeding or not feeding apples to your horses, feel free to drop them in the comment section


Can horses choke on whole apples?

Horses can choke on whole apples, which can eventually trigger pneumonia. To prevent this, cut apples into smaller pieces for your horse, especially if the horse is a hasty eater.

How many apples can you give a horse?

For animals generally, moderation is the key with treats and meals. There are consequences to feeding your horses too many apples at once; this includes colic and stomach distress which will ultimately necessitate a visit to your Veterinarian. An apple or two a day is enough for your horse. You can also cut the apples into bits to give your horse the illusion of abundance.

How do you cut apples for horses?

You can cut apples into a small bits for your horses. Cutting apples into smaller pieces could also give your horse an impression of abundance.

Can horses eat dehydrated apples?

Yes! Your horse can be fed dehydrated apples. Dried or dehydrated fruits generally are a high source of vitamins and minerals. Dehydrated or dried apples act as a source of vitamins and also as an antioxidant for your horses.