Can Horses Eat Candy? Avoid These Sweet Perils!

No, horses should not eat candy due to the high sugar content and potential health risks. Horses should not be fed candy as it contains high levels of sugar, which can be harmful to their digestive system and overall health.

The equine digestive system is not designed to process large amounts of sugar, making candy an unhealthy choice for them. Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can lead to issues such as obesity, insulin resistance, and laminitis in horses. Additionally, candy often contains artificial ingredients and chemicals that can further impact their well-being.

It is essential to provide horses with a balanced diet consisting of hay, grass, and specially formulated horse feed to meet their nutritional needs.

Can Horses Eat Candy? Avoid These Sweet Perils!


1. The Dangers Of Feeding Candy To Horses

Feeding candy to horses can pose potential health risks and complications. Sugar and artificial sweeteners can have harmful effects on horses. These substances can increase the risk of colic and laminitis, both of which can be serious and even life-threatening conditions for horses.

It is important to understand that horses have a different digestive system than humans, and certain foods that are safe for us may be harmful to them. Candy, with its high sugar content, can disrupt the delicate balance of a horse’s digestive system and lead to these health issues.

As responsible horse owners, it is crucial to provide horses with a proper diet that consists of nutritious food specifically formulated for their needs. Avoiding the temptation to feed them candy will help ensure their overall well-being.

2. Common Types Of Candy To Avoid For Horses

While horses have a unique digestive system, it’s important to avoid giving them certain types of candy. Chocolate is particularly dangerous for equines due to theobromine, a substance that can be toxic to horses. Hard candies can pose a risk of choking, as they are difficult for horses to break down.

Additionally, candy containing xylitol should be strictly avoided, as this sweetener is highly toxic to horses and can cause severe health issues. As a responsible horse owner, it’s crucial to prioritize their health and well-being by refraining from offering them any candy.

Instead, focus on providing them with a balanced diet of hay, grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients.

3. Healthy Alternatives For Treating Horses

Horses can eat candy occasionally, but it is not a healthy choice. There are several nutritious and safe alternatives that can satisfy their sweet cravings. Instead of giving them candy, you can opt for natural options like apples, carrots, or watermelon, which are not only tasty but also provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Another option is to make homemade treats using horse-friendly ingredients like oats, molasses, or hay cubes. These treats are not only healthier but also allow you to control the ingredients and ensure they are safe for your horse. So, the next time you want to treat your horse, steer clear of candy and choose one of these healthier alternatives.


Candy may be a tempting treat for humans, but when it comes to horses, it is best to proceed with caution. While small quantities of certain candies, such as mint or natural fruit-flavored candies, may be safe for horses as an occasional treat, the majority of candies are not suitable for equine consumption.

High levels of sugar and artificial additives found in many candies can disrupt a horse’s delicate digestive system and lead to various health issues, including dental problems, obesity, and metabolic disorders. It is essential to prioritize a horse’s health and well-being by providing them with a balanced diet of nutritious forage and specialized horse feed.

Instead of offering candy as a reward or treat, opt for horse-friendly alternatives like carrots, apples, or commercial horse treats formulated specifically for equine needs. Maintaining a proper diet and avoiding unnecessary risks is crucial for ensuring the well-being and longevity of our beloved equine companions.

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Dr. Shahriar Kamal is a doctor of veterinary medicine with 8 years of experience in poultry and dairy animal medicine. Now he has been doing PhD in Nagoya University, Japan Under 文部科学省 MEXT.