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Feeding Garlic To Horses: Yay Or Nay?

The garlic debate continues...

June 18, 2018

During the summer, you might hear the word garlic around the barn. It is commonly referred to as a natural fly repellent when consumed by horses. While there are many benefits of using this plant, you should also be aware of the concerns. It seems to be a hit or miss, depending on who you are talking to. It’s time to get the facts!

The Benefits

With many natural healing properties, garlic is said to have anti-septic and anti-inflammatory effects. It can improve respiratory issues and reduce blood pressure. Some say it even relieves pain and swelling. One of it’s more popular abilities is to ward off insects. When consumed by horses, the smell of their sweat will act as a repellant. It keeps flies, ticks, and midges away. Other benefits include:
  • Increased appetite
  • Blood cleanser
  • Boosts the effects of antibiotics
  • Treats joint problems
  • Aids in improving allergies

The Disadvantages

Too much garlic can cause anemia in horses. Some vets claim a low dosage over time can cause mild anemia in horses with symptoms that are hard to notice. Garlic contains a toxic element, N-propyl disulfide, that can alter your horse’s red blood cells.

How to Feed It

There are feed supplements in the form of powder, capsules, crushed cloves, and freeze dried granules. The amount depends on how it is being fed. Most products, such as Equi-Garlic, recommend one scoop daily during fly season. The scoop is provided. Speak with your vet for the correct dosage. When monitored correctly, garlic has many benefits that make it a great supplement!
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