Much like humans, all horses love a treat to eat now and then. There are many foods that horse owners can choose to offer their equine friends as a treat, but sometimes we aren’t always sure what is safe to offer. For example: Can horses eat grapes? Grapes are fantastic treats for humans and popular with all age groups, but they aren’t safe for small pets like cats and dogs. What about horses? Can our horses safely enjoy grapes as a treat?
Fortunately, horses can enjoy grapes as a treat. Among the many fruits and vegetables that are safe for our equine pals to ingest, grapes are near the top of the list. Just as we consider grapes to be a sweet snack, horses may favor grapes as a treat because of their naturally sweet taste. Unlike peach and cherry pits, which should never be offered to horses, grape seeds are considered safe in most cases, so both seeded and unseeded grapes are safe to offer as a snack.
Even though grapes are a safe treat to offer our horses, it is good to remember that offering too many treats may be detrimental to them. Just as humans can spoil their appetite for healthy, balanced meals with treats, so can we upset a horse’s balanced diet by offering too many treats. For some horses, excess treats can provide extra calories that pack on the pounds; and for insulin resistant horses, excess treats may make the problem worse. A good rule of thumb when offering grapes as a treat is to limit the amount offered to one pound or less per day. It should be noted that some equine nutrition experts count only ten grapes as a serving size for a snack! For those of us who do have insulin resistant horses, it would be best to ask our horse’s veterinarian for the best advice for that particular horse.
Now we know the answer to the question: Can horses eat grapes? They can, and the next time we are looking for something new or interesting to provide as a treat, grapes can be just the thing that we offer!