Trick or Treat - Which Halloween Candy Is Safe For Horses? - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Trick or Treat – Which Halloween Candy Is Safe For Horses?

Yesterday, millions of kids around the country hit the streets on Halloween for some trick-or-treating. Today, much of that candy is ending up in the pantry,  at their parents' offices, and, for horse people, at the barn to share with boarders…and horses?

According to Dr. Juliet M. Getty, independent equine nutritionist and consultant, while no candy is truly good for horses (or, sadly, humans), some can be a tasty treat for our equine friends, while others can be detrimental to their health.

Chocolate, for example, contains a chemical called theobromine, which can damage the central nervous system, heart and kidneys. Fruity candies, like Smarties, Skittles and Jolly Ranchers, do not contain theobromine and are a safe in small doses, just like peppermints.

One other fall-themed edible that can be a big hit with your horse is pumpkin and other types of squash. Getty says horses can eat the seeds and flesh of the fall fruit, as long as it has not been sitting at room temperature with its outer skin pierced for more than a day.

“Any time a new feed is introduced into the horse's diet, it should be done gradually, so I do not recommend giving a horse a large amount of pumpkin all at once. A few pieces as a treat are fine, but don't chop up a a whole jack-o-lantern and offer it to your horse – that's when a colic episode can happen,” says Getty. “If the pumpkin is a day old, it may be okay to feed as long as it has been outside in cold weather. If it has been indoors at room temperature, the bacterial growth may be too high to offer your horse. And be sure to only feed the meat of the pumpkin—not the hard peel.”

Read more about what to (and not to) feed your horse after Halloween at Horse Illustrated.

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