can horses eat banana peel

Can Horses Eat Banana Peel?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton

You want your horse to be happy eating snacks. But it is much more important to keep your horse healthy and safe.

Can horses eat banana peel?

The short answer is yes, but the bitter taste may not be popular with them.

Banana peels are just as healthy as the banana itself and also contain potassium and vitamin B.

Nutritional Facts of Bananas

The nutritional facts for 100 gram bananas according to the U.S. Food and drug administration are as follows:

Nutrient NameAmount
Total fat0.3 g
Saturated fat0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat0.1 g
Sodium1 mg
Potassium358 mg
Total Carbohydrate23 g
Dietary Fiber2.6 g
Sugar12 g
Protein1.1 g
Vitamin A1 %
Magnesium6 %
Vitamin C14 %
Vitamin B620 %

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Can Horses Eat Banana Peels?

Some horses might love the flesh of a banana but turn their nose up or spit out a banana peel. Others genuinely can’t wait to eat a banana, peel and all. Make sure you’ve rinsed the banana skin and removed any stickers before feeding it to your horse.

Remove the stalky part of the banana peel, as this could choke your horse. Bananas are soft which makes them the perfect treat for an older horse that might not be able to chew coarser food.

Benefits of Feeding Bananas to Horses

When fed in moderation, bananas can aid digestion, gastrointestinal problems, and are a good energy source.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A promotes better eyesight and eye health, healthy skin, and a strong immune system.  It also helps to break down unwanted materials in the body. 

Potassium:

Bananas are high in potassium which helps regulate blood pressure and the nervous system and also helps keep your dragon’s muscles working and retain proper water retention.

Fiber

Bananas are rich in fiber, bulking up the stool for optimal digestion and preventing constipation.  

Vitamin B6 

Bananas are rich in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 aids with building muscle mass, and also assists with hemoglobin production, and is essential for generating energy

Magnesium

Bananas provide magnesium to your horse. Magnesium also supports the horse’s nerve and muscle function and is a significant mineral in bone. It plays a role in insulin resistance and also prevents metabolic disorders. Magnesium also has a soothing result and is found in many supplements that help relax your horse.

Risks When Feeding Horses Bananas

Bananas contain high levels of starch. Too much starch in a horse’s diet can negatively affect digestion. Therefore, keeping this treat in moderation is essential.

Sugar Spikes

If your horse eats multiple bananas in one sitting, it will likely experience digestive issues and possibly sugar spikes.

A sugar spike can cause your horse’s insulin to become dangerously high, especially in horses with pre-existing insulin issues. It can also cause hyperactivity because of the excess sugar, making your horse more excited and active than usual, which could lead to them causing harm to themselves or the people around them.

HYPP Horses

Horses that should have controlled banana consumption suffer from Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP). These horses must keep their potassium levels very low. As bananas, and even their peels, have high potassium levels, it is best to avoid this treat altogether for HYPP horses.

Too much potassium can also affect a healthy horse. High potassium levels can affect a horse’s muscles preventing relaxation and leading to stiffness. It can also reduce absorption through the gut wall of other essential nutrients, such as calcium.

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How Often Can Horses Eat Bananas?

We recommend that you give your horse a maximum of three to four bananas per week as more than this might make your horse unwell.

Although bananas are perfectly safe for most horses, that may not be the case for all of them. If you want to feed your horse a banana, introduce the food slowly into their diet and closely monitor how they react. If you have any medical concerns after your horse has eaten bananas.

Some people feed whole bananas to their horses without any adverse effects. Still, we recommend chopping the banana into smaller chunks or mashing it up before feeding it to your horse. The smaller pieces will reduce the chance of choking.

A good option for feeding your horse bananas is using them as a reward or a treat to help curb the number you feed.

How to Feed Bananas to Horses

When introducing any new food to a horse, first give it a tester. Ensure that your horse doesn’t have an allergic reaction or upset digestive system from eating the banana. Once you confirm your horse can safely eat banana peels or their flesh, gradually increase the amount to a whole banana over time.

Giving a horse medication is a challenge, and some horses will sniff out something unwanted in their food very quickly. Using some bananas to hide medicine is an excellent trick for hiding pills or powders.

Conclusion

It is safe to say that horses can eat banana peels if they don’t have any underlying health concerns. However, if your horse doesn’t like the peel, it doesn’t mean it won’t like the soft, sweet banana flesh.

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