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WATER: Dehydration

Water is lost from the horse’s body daily, through their waste products, the moisture in their breath and, more obviously, from sweating. If this lost water is not replenished, dehydration may occur and affect a variety of different functions of the body. Mainly, delivery mechanisms including

transporting vitamins and nutrients to cells, flushing out toxins, regulating body temperature

and metabolizing and digesting food.

Most horses require a minimum of 10-12 gallons of water per day to meet their physiological needs and horse owners should always ensure that equine’s always have access to clean, fresh water.

Horses may consume less water for many reasons such as; consuming less food in general,

reducing the amount of water required for digestion, disliking excessively cold or hot water, etc. Fresh grass is rich in water, containing up to 80% moisture, whereas hay can be as low as just 10%. When our equine’s stabled time increases and hay becomes the main food source why not soak hay and provide 1-2 gallons of water per soaked flake?

Top Tips for Avoiding Equine Dehydration:

  • Monitor the water. Provide ample buckets of water in the stable and assess how much they consume on a regular basis.

  • Soak your hay. Hay is significantly drier than grass, but you can considerably increase the water content of the equine diet and prevent dehydration by offering 1-2 gallons of water per soaked flake!

  • Increase salt. Salt can stimulate a horse to drink more, so offer a free choice salt block in the stall or field.

  • Always cool your horse off sufficiently after exercise.


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