5 Ways to Prevent Dehydration in Horses During Summer

Prevent Dehydration in HorsesHelp your horse beat the heat this summer and prevent dehydration. The heat can wreak havoc with your horses health including dehydration, lethargy, and general illness. Severe heat stress can result in diarrhea and in some cases, colic. The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine offers up these 5 tips to keep your horse cool during the summer heat.

Prevent Dehydration: 

  • Shade. If your horse lives outside or if it must be outside during the day, provide some shade or relief from the sun. Trees are good, but as the sun shifts, so does the shade.  A run-in shed is best.
  • Keep hoses with longer hair coats clipped short, especially those with Cushings Disease. While your horses coat does provide protection from the sun, a long, thick coat tends to hold heat and makes it difficult for the horse to cool down.
  • Offer electrolytes. If your horse is sweating a fair amount, offer water laced with electrolytes to keep their body in balance. When using electrolytes remember to have plenty of fresh water on hand. Too many electrolytes can be harmful to your horse.
  • Lead your horse to water. Make sure you are providing fresh, clean and cool water to your horse. Stagnant water left in a bucket is not appealing. Consider providing a salt block or misting hay with salt water if your horse is uninterested in drinking.
  • Mist it. Consider a misting system for your horse.  The moisture is absorbed into the horses skin, cooling them down.

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