Donkeys and horses may belong to the same family, but there are quite a few differences among the two. Beyond the obvious of their bray and large ears, donkeys have a few more unique qualities that separate them. Many people don’t even realize some of these characteristics. Here’s your chance to learn something new!

Five Differences Unique to Donkeys

1. They need pain medication at a more frequent dosage!

Donkeys require pain medicine to be administered twice daily, compared to the normal once daily of a horse. This is also true of sedatives and anesthetics. They have a high drug metabolism rate.

2. Their feet are different.

Make sure you find a farrier who understands donkey hooves. The structure of their hoof is not the same as a horse. In fact, their hooves appear different on x-rays. Most lame donkeys won’t response to hoof testers either.

3. Burros gather in pairs and small groups.

Unlike horses who form large herds, a wild burro prefers the company of just one other or a small group. You should not separate a bonded pair, as it can be very stressful.

4. They’re at a high risk for excessive weight gain.

Originally from arid conditions with sparse food and water, they’re at an increased risk for overeating in a domestic environment. Make sure to provide slow feeders, as their body can’t handle excess weight easily.

5. Stoicism is a defense mechanism.

In order to avoid being attacked by predators, they remain calm and normal even in pain. Their lack of expression reduces their risk of becoming prey. Owners should be aware that something could be wrong if their donkey is especially quiet.

Looking for some more fun facts? Check out: ‘10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Donkeys‘.