As a horse owner, you want only the best for your livestock. Proper diet and nutrition are an incredibly important part of keeping your horses healthy, and it’s no different than it is with us, humans. But when we’re feeding our horses, we oftentimes only pay attention to the major components of the diet – such as does the horse consume enough hay, pasture, charr of hard feed. And when we want to get more peculiar about the diet, we oftentimes refer to the amount of protein in the feed, but not the other nutrients. However, it’s the intake of these “other” nutrients that help horses stay healthy. The intake of vitamins and minerals, in particular, can be crucial factors to their performance, growth, reproduction and immune function. Here’s what horse vitamin and mineral supplement products can do for your horse.
Minerals are divided into two broad categories – macro and micro minerals, based on the amount required in the horse’s diet. Macrominerals are required in greater quantities, and some of the more known ones include calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulphur, phosphorus, potassium and chlorine. These minerals are essential to the activity of the nervous system, development of the skeleton, acid-base balance, muscle contraction, hair and hoof growth. Micro minerals, on the other hand, are only required in smaller dosages. Some of the necessary micro minerals include iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine and selenium. The purpose of micro minerals is to help the body metabolise nutrients, maintain joint and connective tissue, act as antioxidants and assist in oxygen transport.
Vitamins are just as important in the horse diet. They’re classified as either water- or fat-soluble based on how they’re stored inside the body. Notable fat-soluble vitamins are A, D and E. These three vitamins are crucial for calcium regulation and absorption, vision and antioxidants within the body protecting muscle function and cells. Fat-soluble vitamins, as their name implies, are stored inside the fat deposits of the body and can result in unwanted effects if overfed. Water-soluble vitamins are also known as B-vitamins, and they include riboflavin, thiamin, biotin, niacin and folic acid. These vitamins serve a purpose in almost every chemical reaction in the body and are therefore of utmost importance in growth, metabolism and energy generation. B-vitamins are “created” by healthy bacteria inside the digestive system of the horse, and specific requirements have been established for riboflavin and thiamin only.
Detecting Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Many horse owners are oblivious to the mineral and vitamin content, simply because mild deficiencies are difficult to notice visually. For instance, a calorie deficiency in the diet of the horse can easily be noticed through weight loss. Deficiency in protein can be noticed as poor growth or rough hair coat. But deficiencies in vitamins and minerals are more difficult to notice until the conditions become severe. However, there are some less obvious signs that are present if you look closely. For instance, brittle, cracked hooves can be the result of zinc deficiency. A crooked legged foal, on the other hand, can be the result of trace mineral deficiency of a broodmare diet.
The Simplest, Ideal Solution
So how do you make sure your horses’ diet is properly fortified with all the essential vitamins and minerals. The easiest approach would be to feed them a prepared feed or supplement them with horse vitamin and mineral supplement products. There are many different supplements available nowadays, so you should compare products based on concentration and variety of minerals and vitamins included. If the goal of supplementation is to increase the nutrient content of the horses’ diet, pick a supplement that has a broader variety of minerals and vitamins. However, if there’s a lack of a specific mineral or vitamin, then a targeted supplement with a higher concentration of the said vitamin or mineral would be more appropriate.
How to Properly Feed Your Horse Their Supplements
It’s important to pay close attention to the recommended feeding rates, usage instructions and use-by dates. Using supplements that aren’t meant for horses, or overfeeding the supplement can be wasteful, if not straight out dangerous for your horse. Horses have limited capacity when it comes to absorbing some nutrients, like iron, for example. Over supplementing can lead to the excess nutrients being eliminated. While there are some nutrients that have unlimited absorption, such as iodine, over supplementing them can be toxic for your horse. Also, vitamins can become unstable over time and the vitamin content can’t be guaranteed past the product’s use-by date. It’s best you consult with a veterinarian or an equine nutrition expert so they can give you the recommended dose for your horse. At the end of the day, supplements are a great, easy way to make sure your horse gets the extra nutrients it needs in their diet, to ensure proper growth and optimal health.
A lot of the times, when plush toys come to mind, you immediately think of a child. After all, one of the key hallmarks of childhood is the presence of a fluffy stuffed friend that you were inseparable with and used to take everywhere you went. As we grow up, we tend to replace these toys we once couldn’t live without with other things, but almost everyone has that one plush toy that they can’t seem to throw away.Read More
Speaking from personal experience, the process of pet relocation can be pretty confusing and daunting. I still remember the time when my boyfriend imported his little fella here in Australia, and let me tell you, it was devastating, a real mess especially with all the conflicting information we got about the needed paperwork. After a month of trying, we gave up and hired a professional pet transportation company, and trust me, it was the best thing we could do for us and for our furry friend. If you are facing the same dilemma as I once did, here are the two main reasons why you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a professional pet transport company.
As a horse owner, I have found that hay nets are a wise option for feeding and encouraging more natural eating habits. Let me walk you through the many benefits this type of stable products offers.
Horses are natural foragers. When in the wild, they can spend a lot of time (around 14 hours a day) eating and their digestive tract is designed accordingly. Consequently, for maintaining the healthy digestive tract of the horse, frequent and small meals are the best option. While eating, horses continually secret hydrochloric acid inside their stomachs. Saliva from chewing contains bicarbonate that buffers the acids. So, a constant source of food (like a hay net) that requires a lot of chewing will consequently increase the production of saliva, which helps in the reduction of the risk of gastric ulcers. Moreover, the small openings of the hay net provide constant but restricted access to food – this concept is closely mimicking how horses eat in the wild.
What I particularly find interesting is that out of the many stable products that are needed for smooth operation of the entire barn, the hay net is the one that reduces waste, and provides enormous health benefits for my horse at the same time. Besides being beneficial for the horse’s digestive system, the process of slow feeding is also beneficial for both over and underweight horses. Slow feeding prevents gorging and it will take the horse significantly longer time to eat the same amount of hay. And as for underweight horses, proper digestion is easier to achieve when the hay is eaten slowly. By improving digestion, the horse will increase the absorption of calories and nutrients that promote weight gain.
Now, let’s move on to which type is the best. First, you will need to consider how often you plan to change the net. If you want to fill the net to last for the most part of the day and only want to refill at breakfast and dinner, then you should get a larger capacity hay net. Second, you need to think about durability. Hay nets can be made of many different materials. From nylon, polyester to a poly/cotton blends. Out of all these, the most recommended type when it comes to sturdiness are the ones made of nylon or in some cases, polyester.
And lastly, I have found that slow feeding hay nets are also a great solution for boredom. Namely, while you are transporting your horse, it is a good idea to include a hay net in the trailer where the animal is carried in so it has something to do until you get to the destination.
Bringing a new kitten home is super exciting. I know the feeling very well because I have recently become the owner of a cat too. Believe me, there is nothing cuter than a cuddly, playful little furball. Without a doubt, you and your new family member will become best friends for many years to come, but you should first make sure to start this relationship right. In other words, to have all the supplies for cats you will need once your new friend arrives home.
For me, this was a quite stressful process. Since I didn’t have any experience with cats before, I found myself a little nervous about whether I was choosing the right items. However, worry not – even if you do have some experience in this you can still get confused as nowadays there really is a wide selection of supplies for cats. To make it easier for you, here is a short list of some of the basic supplies you will need when your kitten arrives home. Read More
A puppy wearing a colourful sweater sure looks cute, but do dogs really need clothes? After all, they already have their own natural clothes in the form of fur, right? While in many cases a dog won’t really need the extra layers, there can be very good reasons to dress up your pet. So, while putting your dog in a silly costume just for the sake of looking fashionable isn’t a great idea, dog clothes are acceptable and even preferable in the following cases. Read More
A large number of horse owners are in doubt whether they should use protective boots, which type is the most helpful and should they use them on all four legs. Well, my suggestion would be that every horse owner should seriously consider using leg protection on all four legs. These can help prevent muscle and bone injuries – the splint bone, the tendons, and the ligaments can easily get damaged if there is no external support. The types of protective boots vary, and each type serves its own purpose. In order to get detailed information, keep on reading about how each type of horse boots can help your horse stay protected and offer maximum performance.
Bell boots are usually made of heavy synthetic material, leather or rubber. In order to keep the horse safe from injuries, this type of protective boots encircle the pastern and the bell shape covers the entire hoof. They are particularly handy when the terrain is muddy or rough, and in cases when a horse has the tendency to overstep/overreach, which could damage the hoofs. If you can’t adjust them properly, there are types of bell boots that can be pulled on.
Knee boots are an effective complement to protective boots. It is knee boots horse owners use in order to avert bumps and bruises, thus keeping equine knees healthy and sound. The usage of knee boots horse enthusiasts should always keep in mind since they offer protection against injuries caused by knee-to-knee interference without added bulk. Additionally, by providing knee boots you will guard your horse’s lower legs against kicks, knocks, falls, hard stops and other impacts that can cause even permanent damage. A very convenient type of knee boots are the therapeutic ones. They are ideal for injury recovery or prevention in the tough-to-wrap knee area. The material used for this type of boots is neoprene for the exterior and special Weltex material for the interior – which increases blood circulation. Moreover, for the reduction of knee inflammation and increased mobility, you can consider magnetic knee boots. These come with 11 magnets that treat the knee area and are recommended to be used 30 minutes to 1 hour a day.
Skid boots are used on the hind legs during work, especially for cases when horses can get their legs intertwined. They protect the lower legs, the fetlock joint, and the pastern. Skid boots are most often used for protection from contact with the riding surface during fast stops and turns. The material these come in is leather or fleece, or a synthetic material that provides cushioning.
Finally, none of these features would be useful if the horse boot is not the correct fit. They often come with straps that allow you to adjust them. But, always be aware that before purchasing you need to take your horse’s measurements in order to find the best fit to meet its needs.
Dogs are man’s best friend for plenty of reasons: they lift your mood when you’re sad, and keep your heart healthy and stress levels down by taking YOU for walks, or doing some goofs dogs know best, and of course, we can’t forget the fact they are willing to give their lives to protect you.
Dogs have the instinct when they have to defend the property or the owner, letting us know something’s amiss with their barking, but what happens when the barking turns into a behaviour problem, excessive and without reason? There’s one Cesar Millan, so what are those of us, not dog whisperers, left to do?
There’s always the help of dog professionals as an option, but if you’re willing to give cheaper solutions a try, you can start with the puppy spray collar. The effective and harmless collar (it’s pet safe!) has an in-built microphone sensor so every time your dog barks it activates the sensor and the painless spray is released in front of the snout.
It’s great with training also, teaching the dog the spraying is a consequence of the barking. Sometimes, though, it depends on the breed of dog or the dog itself meaning what works for some dogs may not work for others, and if it doesn’t work with the puppy spray collar you might find the static correction bark control collar more useful.
How this behaviour problem goes also depends on you as the owner. It’s advisable to do a bit of training whenever you can if you want to see some improvement. A situation like this requires determination, as well as patience; you can’t expect to see results overnight.
You have to show your dog when it has to stop barking by correction, and giving treats when you see progress is made to reward the effort. It’s necessary to stay attentive to when your dog starts barking, how long the barking goes to see if there is a pattern and uncover the reason behind it.
In some instances, it may be just excess of energy expressed as boredom or loneliness through barking, signalling your dog needs more activities and spend more time with you so it’s up to you to come up with more fun stuff for your furry friend to be able to restore peace again.
In other cases, there may be a health issue behind it which requires special care, and you would have to do some tests and check ups at the vet to be sure.