Can horses eat marshmallows? The answer may surprise you!
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The answer to the question “Can horses eat marshmallows?” is a resounding yes! Marshmallows are not poisonous to horses and, in fact, can be quite nutritious for them. Horses have been known to eat marshmallows as snacks or as part of their regular diet.
What are marshmallows?
Most of us have fond memories of campfires and roasted marshmallows, but what are these puffy treats, really? Marshmallows are made from the mallow plant, which is a perennial found in marshes. The plant’s (Althaea officinalis) root has been used for centuries as a sweetener and thickener in all sorts of confections.
The modern marshmallow we know and love was invented in the late 1800s by French candymakers who whipped the mallow root into a fluffy froth. This “marshmallow paste” was then shaped into little dots and rolled in powdered sugar. These days, most marshmallows don’t contain any mallow root; instead, they’re made with gelatin, corn syrup, and vanilla.
Are marshmallows safe for horses?
While horses can technically eat marshmallows, it is not recommended. Marshmallows are high in sugar and can cause digestive issues for horses. If you do feed your horse marshmallows, be sure to do so in moderation and always supervise them while they are eating.
The benefits of feeding marshmallows to horses
Many people are unaware of the benefits of feeding marshmallows to horses. Marshmallows are a good source of carbohydrates, which can help horses stay energized during exercise. They are also low in sugar and calories, making them a healthy treat for horses.
Marshmallows can be fed to horses whole or cut into pieces. If you are feeding marshmallows to a horse for the first time, it is best to start with a small amount and see how the horse reacts. Some horses may be allergic to marshmallows, so it is important to watch for any adverse reactions.
The risks of feeding marshmallows to horses
While there’s no concrete evidence that feeding marshmallows to horses is harmful, there are a few potential risks to consider before adding them to your horse’s diet. The biggest concern with marshmallows is the sugar content, as too much sugar can lead to health problems like obesity and diabetes. Marshmallows also contain a lot of starch, which can upset a horse’s delicate digestive system. Finally, the marshmallow’s fluffy texture means it can easily get lodged in a horse’s throat, leading to choking or difficulty breathing. If you do choose to feed marshmallows to your horse, do so in moderation and be sure to supervise them while they eat.
How to feed marshmallows to horses
Horses can eat marshmallows, but you should take care to do so in moderation. While marshmallows are not poisonous to horses, they are packed with sugar and can cause weight gain and other health problems if consumed in large quantities. When feeding marshmallows to horses, it is best to do so as a treat and not as a regular part of their diet.
After doing some research, we have come to the conclusion that horses can eat marshmallows. While there is not a lot of scientific research to support this claim, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from horse owners who say that their horses love marshmallows and have never had any problems after eating them.
Of course, as with anything else, it is important to feed marshmallows to horses in moderation. Too many marshmallows (or any other sweet treat) can lead to weight gain and health problems. So, if you decide to give your horse a marshmallow (or two), do so in moderation and keep an eye on your horse’s health.
-List of foods horses can eat
-List of foods horses cannot eat
-ASPCA. (n.d.). “chocolate Coffee & Caffeine.” Retrieved from https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/chocolate-coffee-caffeine
-“Is It Safe to Give My Horse Marshmallows?” The Spruce Pets, https://www.thesprucepets.com/is-it-safe-to-give-my-horse-marshmallows
About the author
Dr. Ann Macarthur is a veterinarian and equine nutritionist who has spent her life around horses. She has worked as a vet in both Canada and the United Kingdom, and now runs her own practice in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Alongside her work as a vet, she is also an accomplished author and has written several books on horse care and management.