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Can Horses Eat Blueberries?

Can Horses Eat Blueberries

Are you looking to spice up your horse’s diet with something sweet and nutritious? Look no further than blueberries.

These tiny fruits pack a punch of vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your horse’s health. But before you start tossing handfuls of berries into their feed, you need to know the do’s and don’ts.

In this blog, we’ll dive into the benefits of blueberries for horses. We’ll also discuss introducing them safely and share fun ways to include them in your horse’s meals.

Let’s get started on this berry exciting journey.

Can Horses Eat Blueberries?

Yes, horses can eat blueberries.

Blueberries are safe for horses to consume in moderation. They are a good source of vitamins, such as vitamins C and K.  They are also rich in antioxidants, which help support the horse’s immune system. 

However, due to their sugar content, you must feed them to your horse in limited quantities. Slowly introduce new food into your horse’s diet to monitor their tolerance.

Can Horses Take Blueberry Juice?

Yes, horses can have blueberry juice, but it should be in moderation. When feeding blueberry juice to horses, ensure it is pure and free from added sugars or artificial ingredients.

The natural sugars in blueberry juice are more concentrated than in whole blueberries. So, the quantity offered should be limited to avoid issues related to high sugar intake, such as obesity or metabolic disturbances.

As with any dietary addition, gradually introduce blueberry juice into your horse’s diet and monitor for adverse reactions. 

Can Horses Eat Frozen Blueberries?

Yes, horses can eat frozen blueberries. Like fresh ones, frozen blueberries are a tasty treat packed with good nutrients for your horse. 

However, ensure you thaw them first to prevent any choking hazards. Also, remember that moderation is key, as the sugar in blueberries can add up. 

Introduce them slowly into your horse’s diet and watch for any signs of digestive upset. Remember, variety and balance are essential for maintaining a healthy diet for your horse.

Can Horses Take Dried Blueberries?

Yes, horses can eat dried blueberries. These are a handy and enjoyable treat for your horse, but there are a few things to remember. 

Dried blueberries are higher in sugar and lower in water content compared to their fresh counterparts. It’s also smart to check that the dried blueberries don’t have any added sugars or preservatives, which aren’t good for horses. 

Like any new treat, start with a small quantity to see how your horse reacts, and always aim for a balanced diet.

How Many Blueberries Can Horses Take?

When it comes to how many blueberries to feed your horse, less is more. Start with a small handful, about 10 to 15 blueberries, especially if it’s a new treat for them. 

This small amount lets you see how they handle it without going overboard. Since blueberries are sweet and have sugar, keeping them as an occasional treat rather than a regular part of their diet is best. 

Always monitor their overall health and ensure they get a balanced diet daily.

Benefits of Blueberries for Horses

Blueberries are a super treat for horses, offering several health benefits. Here are some of the benefits:

Antioxidants. Blueberries have loads of antioxidants. These help fight off free radicals, which can damage cells. This means a stronger immune system and better overall health for your horse.

Vitamins and minerals. They’re packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin K, plus they’ve got some manganese in there too. These boost your horse’s immune system, help with bone strength, and support blood clotting functions.

Low in calories. Compared to other treats, blueberries are low in calories. This makes them a good choice for maintaining a healthy weight.

Fiber content. They’ve got fiber, which is great for digestion. It helps keep everything moving smoothly in your horse’s gut.

Natural and tasty. Blueberries are a natural, tasty treat. Most horses find them delicious, and they can be a nice way to mix up their snack time without adding artificial flavors or preservatives.

Nutritional Content of Blueberries

Here’s a table displaying the nutritional content of blueberries per 100 grams:

NutrientAmount in 100g
Calories57 kcal
Water84.21 g
Protein0.74 g
Total Fat0.33 g
Carbohydrates14.49 g
Sugars9.96 g
Fiber2.4 g
Calcium6 mg
Iron0.28 mg
Magnesium6 mg
Phosphorus12 mg
Potassium77 mg
Sodium1 mg
Zinc0.16 mg
Vitamin C9.7 mg
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)0.037 mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)0.041 mg
Niacin (Vitamin B3)0.418 mg
Vitamin B60.052 mg
Folate (Vitamin B9)6 µg
Vitamin A3 µg
Vitamin E0.57 mg
Vitamin K19.3 µg

How to Introduce Blueberries to Your Horses

Introducing blueberries to your horse’s diet is easy and should be done gradually to ensure they handle it well. Here’s a simple way to do it:

Start small. Begin with just a few blueberries. You might try giving them 10 to 15 berries to see how they like them and ensure no adverse reaction.

Watch for reactions. After feeding your horse blueberries, watch for any signs of discomfort or allergic reactions. This could include changes in their behavior, digestion, or overall health.

Increase slowly. If your horse enjoys the blueberries and shows no negative signs, you can slowly increase the amount over time. However, remember that blueberries should still be a treat, not a major part of their diet.

Mix with regular feed. To make it even more exciting and to ensure good mixing, you can add blueberries to their regular feed. This distributes the taste and makes it a fun surprise in their meal.

Consistency and moderation. Once you’ve established that your horse is fine with blueberries, you can offer them regularly but in moderation.

How to Prepare Blueberries for Horses

Preparing blueberries for horses is straightforward and doesn’t require much fuss. Here’s how you can do it:

Wash them. First, wash the blueberries thoroughly to remove any pesticides or dirt. Then, rinse them under cold water.

Check for quality. As you wash, check for any squished or moldy berries. You want to feed only the fresh, good-quality ones to your horse.

No need to cut. Since blueberries are small and soft, chopping them up is unnecessary. They’re the perfect size for a horse to enjoy as is.

Serve them fresh or frozen. You can serve fresh blueberries, or if you have frozen ones, ensure they are thawed to room temperature to prevent choking hazards.

Mix with other foods. Mix blueberries with other horse-safe fruits or their regular feed to make mealtime more exciting for your horse.

Creative Ways to Feed Blueberries to Horses

Adding blueberries to your horse’s treat repertoire can be fun and nutritious. Here are some creative ways to incorporate blueberries into horse treats:

Blueberry mash-up. Mix crushed blueberries into your horse’s usual bran mash. The juicy berries add flavor and color, making the mash more appealing.

Frozen blueberry treats. Blend blueberries with water and pour the mixture into ice cube trays or molds. Freeze them and give these chilly treats to your horse on a hot day. They’re refreshing and help with hydration.

Blueberry carrot bites. Grate some carrots and mix them with whole or crushed blueberries. Form the mixture into small balls or patties and bake them on low heat until they’re dry and slightly crunchy. These make great bite-sized treats.

Blueberry oat cookies. Mix oats, crushed blueberries, a bit of honey, and a small amount of flour (just enough to bind the ingredients). Shape the mixture into cookies and bake at a low temperature until dry. Ensure that all ingredients are safe and suitable for your horse.

Blueberry hay cubes. Soften some hay cubes with water, then mix in mashed blueberries. Press the mixture back into cube forms or small balls and let them dry. This treat combines hay’s fibrous benefits with blueberries’ nutritional goodness.

Apple and blueberry mix. Chop up some apples and mix them with blueberries for a fresh and fruity treat. You can serve this mix as is or add it to their feed for an extra special meal.

Potential Risks of Feeding Blueberries to Horses

There are potential risks to be aware of when feeding your horse blueberries. Here are some of the main concerns:

High sugar content. Blueberries contain natural sugars, which can be a problem for horses that are overweight, insulin-resistant, or prone to laminitis. Feeding blueberries in moderation is key to preventing these health issues.

Choking hazard. Although small, whole blueberries can pose a choking risk, especially for horses that tend to gulp their food. To minimize this risk, ensure your horse chews the berries properly or mash them before feeding.

Pesticide exposure. If the blueberries are not organically grown, they may contain pesticide residues. Wash them thoroughly before feeding them to your horse to reduce exposure to these harmful chemicals.

Allergic reactions. While it’s rare, horses can have allergic reactions to any food, including blueberries. Introduce them slowly and watch for any signs of allergy, such as hives, swelling, or digestive upset.

Gastrointestinal upset. Introducing any new food item can disrupt a horse’s digestive system. Start with a small amount of blueberries and monitor your horse for signs of gastrointestinal discomfort.

Other Safe Fruits for Horses

Horses can enjoy a variety of fruits as treats, adding some diversity and enjoyment to their diet. Here are some other safe fruits that horses generally love and can eat without any major issues:

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple

Horses that Shouldn’t Take Blueberries

While blueberries are safe and beneficial for most horses, there are specific conditions where you might want to avoid feeding them this fruit:

1. Horses with metabolic issues

Horses with metabolic conditions like Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or insulin resistance should restrict their intake of sugary fruits, including blueberries. The natural sugars in blueberries can exacerbate these conditions.

2. Horses prone to laminitis

Horses susceptible to laminitis need to maintain a diet low in simple sugars and non-structural carbohydrates. Due to their fructose content, feeding them blueberries could trigger a laminitis flare-up.

3. Overweight horses

For horses that are overweight or obese, managing calorie intake is crucial. While blueberries are not very high in calories, their sugar content can contribute to weight gain if fed in large quantities.

4. Horses with allergies

Although rare, if a horse has been allergic to blueberries (or any other food), they should not be given blueberries. Signs of an allergic reaction can include hives, swelling, or gastrointestinal upset.

5. Horses with dental issues

Horses with poor dental health might find even small fruits like blueberries difficult to chew, potentially leading to choking hazards.


Can horses eat strawberries?

Yes, horses can eat strawberries. They are safe and generally enjoyed by horses, but due to their sugar content, they should be fed in moderation. Clean them well to remove dirt or pesticides, and cut them into smaller pieces to prevent choking.
Read also: Can a horse eat a strawberry?

Can horses eat lettuce?

Yes, horses can eat lettuce. It is a low-calorie vegetable that can add hydration and variety to their diet. However, it should be introduced slowly as it can cause diarrhea in some horses if they are not used to eating it.
Related read: Can horses eat lettuce?

Can blueberries cause colic in horses?

Blueberries are not commonly associated with causing colic in horses. They are safe when given in moderation. However, new food, including blueberries, should be introduced gradually to monitor how the horse’s digestive system handles the new addition. Sudden changes in diet can lead to digestive disturbances, including colic.

Can horses eat celery?

Yes, horses can eat celery. It’s a low-calorie snack that provides hydration and some essential nutrients, such as vitamins A and C. Celery can be a crunchy, refreshing treat for horses, and it’s safe for them to consume, including the leaves.
Interesting read: Can a horse eat celery


So, can horses eat blueberries? Absolutely. Blueberries are packed with vitamins and a hint of sweetness, making a fantastic treat for your equine friend. 

Remember to keep it to a sprinkle. A few berries here and there are a great way to say ‘good job’ to your horse. Like any treat, moderation is key. Too much of a good thing can lead to trouble. 

So, mix it up, throw in some variety, and always monitor how your horse handles new snacks. 

Here’s to happy, healthy snacking for your horse! Enjoy the journey with those tasty little blue gems.

Picture of Dr. Noman Tariq

Dr. Noman Tariq

Dr. Noman Tariq, a seasoned veterinarian with a DVM from ARID University and an MPhil in Animal Nutrition from UVAS, specializes in equine health. His deep passion for horse nutrition and well-being drives his work, offering invaluable advice for horse owners. Dr. Tariq's expertise ensures horses lead vibrant, healthy lives.
You can read my full bio here

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Can Horses Eat Blueberries?