Do you Know How Much Garlic To Feed Horses?

May 20, 2021

Garlic is a powerful little plant.  It has amazing healing, disease-inhibiting, and natural fly-repelling properties that can improve your horse’s health and quality of life. In fact, garlic is considered one of the most effective natural healing elements we know of. But can a horse eat too much garlic?

It's a great question, and one that's asked often by horse owner's researching or venturing into equine garlic supplementation. In this article, we'll discuss the powerful benefits of garlic for horses and what the right amount to feed is

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The Question of Garlic and Horses

Garlic is a great equine supplement and has been used for generations. A quick internet search will provide pages of info about its uses and benefits but may also raise questions about safety when feeding garlic to horses.

Since launching our new Redmond Rock Crushed with Garlic product, a loose mineral salt supplement and natural fly repellant for horses, we’ve heard your questions about how much garlic is proper to feed. You want to provide your horse with the benefits of garlic and do it safely.

So how much garlic is too much? It’s a good question—and we have some straight answers to help you feel comfortable and confident supplementing your horse with Redmond Crushed with Garlic.

How much garlic should I feed my horse?

Benefits of Garlic for Horses

Garlic is a potently aromatic... spice? Vegetable? Bulb? However you classify it, garlic, which comes from the onion family, packs a powerful punch. It’s been used for ages to flavor food, but also for medicinal purposes of both humans and animals—and it’s not hard to understand why.

Garlic has impressive health-promoting capabilities and helps support a strong immune system. While more research is needed, here are some of the potential benefits garlic can offer your horse:

  • May aid the respiratory system and help treat and prevent lung diseases and infections
  • Acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.
  • May assist with pain relief.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Rich in selenium to deliver antioxidant defense.
  • High in sulfur to help with blood purification.
  • Improves gut health in horses by promoting good flora.
  • Acts as an antibacterial and antimicrobial.
  • Helps keep flies away from horses.

Side Effects of Too Much Garlic in Horses

While garlic touts a catalog of beneficial qualities, some studies like this one have shown too much of it in horses may be detrimental.

Why? Garlic contains N-propyl disulfide. It’s an element that, in high doses, can alter your horse’s red blood cells, causing Heinz body anemia. When the cells become damaged, the body removes them, and over time your horse may develop anemia.

Garlic-induced anemia can happen quickly if your horse is snacking on wild garlic or onions growing in pastures, or slowly, as a result of over-supplementing.

According to the Merck Vet Manual, anemia symptoms in horses may include:  loss of energy, weakness, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, pale gums, low blood pressure, or jaundice.

Recommended Garlic Dosing for Horses

So how do you avoid garlic toxicity in a horse supplement? Correct dosing is the answer. Proper supplementation can be done safely and will ensure your horse gets all the benefits of garlic without any negative side effects.

According to the National Research Council (2009) (1), an average 1,100-pound horse can conservatively consume 7,500 milligrams, or 7.5 grams, of garlic per day. In these amounts, studies have shown garlic supplementation is very safe and there is no danger of horses developing anemia, even if they consume garlic long term.

Redmond Rock Crushed with Garlic

So how does Redmond Rock Crushed with Garlic stack up against the NRC’s guidelines? The table below shows a breakdown of how much product we recommend you feed your horse, how much garlic is in each dose, and the garlic amounts the NRC suggests based on the indicated weights.

As you can see, Redmond Rock Crushed Garlic contains levels of garlic that fall within the NRC’s safety guidelines. So reap the benefits! With Redmond, you can feel confident your horse is getting the health-promoting and pest-repelling properties of garlic, and doing it safely.

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Learn More

Want to learn more about the different forms of garlic used in horse supplements? Read this post on Garlic for Horses

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