Can Horses Eat Banana?

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Updated: August 15, 2023
Share on:

Advertisement


Horses are grazing animals whose diets primarily consist of grass, hay, and other forages. However, we all love going above and beyond for our fur babies, which may leave you wondering what treats to feed your horse. Can horses eat bananas, and are they healthy for them?

Horses can eat bananas as treats, but too many can cause stomach issues or high blood sugar. It’s recommended to feed no more than four bananas a week. They’re high in potassium and other key nutrients, but also high in sugar–so talk to your vet first if your horse has issues with their blood sugar levels.

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of bananas for horses, how much they can eat, and more.

Are Bananas Toxic to Horses?

horse eating banana

Horses can eat bananas in moderation.

©Hippiekoala/Shutterstock.com

Bananas are non-toxic to horses, but this doesn’t mean they can eat as many bananas as they want! Too much can raise their blood sugar or cause stomach issues, kind of like a kid eating too much ice cream.

Instead, you should use bananas as a treat to reward your horse for a job well done or as a tasty surprise during their week.

Pros and Cons of Bananas for Horses

Bananas are healthy for most horses. Pros of bananas include:

  • Potassium: Potassium gives horses energy, which is why racehorses are often fed bananas before a race. It also helps to promote heart, muscle, and nerve health.
  • Fiber: Horses need a ton of fiber in their diets, most of which they’ll get from grazing on grass or hay–but bananas are also rich in fiber. It helps your horse’s digestive system to stay active and healthy.
  • Vitamin B6: Bananas are a source of vitamin B6, which helps promote brain, heart, and eye health. It also reduces cancer risks and gives horses an energy boost when eaten.
  • Vitamin C: Horses can produce their own vitamin C, unlike humans and some other animals. However, it’s also found in bananas. Vitamin C helps the body grow, heal, and maintain a healthy immune system.

Bananas are also low-fat, so they’re a great treat to feed if you want to avoid weight gain.

However, bananas also have their drawbacks. Cons to feeding your horse bananas include:

  • Sugar: Bananas are high in sugar, so they’re not appropriate for horses who have diabetes. They can also cause blood sugar issues for healthy horses if fed in large amounts.
  • Stomach Issues: Too many bananas can cause stomach upset for horses. It’s important to introduce bananas into their diet slowly and not to ever feed bananas in high quantities.

How Much Banana Can a Horse Eat?

Lady finger bananas (also known as sugar bananas, fig bananas, or date bananas) are diploid cultivars of Musa acuminata. They are small, thin skinned, and sweet.

Horses should only eat a few bananas a week, at most.

©asss sssa/Shutterstock.com

Bananas are a healthy treat for most horses. As with all treats, they should only be fed as a tiny portion of your horse’s diet.

Limit your horse to two to four bananas a week, depending on their size, health, and whether they’re eating other fruits or sugary foods.

If your horse is eating a banana for the first time, feed only a small piece and watch for signs of stomach upset or allergic reaction.

If your horse gets into a bunch of bananas, they may feel sick to their stomach. Horses who are diabetic or otherwise sensitive to sugar might not be able to eat bananas, as they can raise the horse’s blood sugar.

Always speak with your veterinarian if you’re unsure about something your horse has eaten, especially if they have health issues that require a restricted diet.

Can You Feed Horses Banana Peels?

Yes, horses can eat banana peels! Some of them like the taste, while others find it too bitter and will only eat the fruit.

Be sure to wash the peels before feeding. Humans don’t usually worry about washing bananas since we only eat the fruit inside, but the peel often contains pesticides.

Which Fruits Can’t Horses Eat?

Supersweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes, Zone 6

Tomatoes and some other fruits are toxic to horses.

©Shannon Birchler/Shutterstock.com

Horses can safely eat most fruits, but some are dangerous or toxic to them. Below are some fruits and fruit parts that you should never feed your horse.

  • Avocado fruit, stems, and leaves are toxic to horses.
  • Tomato fruits and plants are toxic to horses.
  • Fruit pits, such as cherry or peach pits, pose a choking hazard and may contain toxins.

Always slowly introduce new foods into your horse’s diet, and consult with a veterinarian if you’re unsure about offering a new treat. If your horse gets ill after eating a new food, even one that is typically horse-safe, please call a veterinarian for help.

Thank you for reading! If you have feedback on this post, please contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Hippiekoala/Shutterstock.com


Share on:
About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.