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Providing Salt and Equine Electrolytes to Your Horse During Summertime

June 10, 2021

Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D., of Getty Equine Nutrition, is an independent equine nutritionist offering nutrition services for all life stages and integrative support for disorders and diseases. In this article, Dr. Getty discusses the need for salt to protect against dehydration in horses.


 

Your horse sweats more during the summer, making electrolyte supplementation worth considering. But electrolytes alone will not protect against dehydration. Your horse needs to also have enough sodium (salt).

Supplementing Salt Blocks/Rocks for Horses

One ounce per day (two tablespoons) is adequate for maintenance during cool months, but hot, humid weather calls for at least two ounces per day, and more if your horse is in work of any kind.

One way to accomplish this is to provide a plain white salt block, Redmond Rock mineral salt, or Himalayan rock salt in close proximity. But make sure your horse licks it; many horses do not, due to tiny scratches that form on the tongue.

An even better option is to offer coarsely granulated horse salt (like Redmond Rock Crushed) free-choice by pouring some in a small bucket. You can also add loose salt to each meal.

Note:  Iodized table salt and Redmond and Himalayan rocks offer a small amount of iodine. Take this into consideration if your horse already receives iodine from another source. Total iodine intake for horses should not exceed 5 mg per day. 

Salt vs electrolytes-1

Supplementing Electrolytes for Horses

Be aware that equine electrolyte supplements should be given only to a horse that is already in good sodium balance. They are designed to replace what is lost from perspiration and should contain at least 13 grams of chloride, 6 grams of sodium, and 5 grams of potassium per dose.

If your horse works more than two hours at a time, provide a dose of electrolytes after exercise by adding it to a gallon of water, top-dressing a feed, or offered via syringe. (Check out Redmond Rein Water drink additive and Redmond Electrolyte syringe for equine electrolyte products.)  And always, be sure to keep fresh, clean water nearby.

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Learn More

Want to learn more about keeping horses hydrated using salt and electrolytes?  Read this blog: Salt vs. Electrolytes for Horses.

Want to get more horse nutrition tips from Dr. Getty? Find a world of useful horse information at www.GettyEquineNutrition.com. you can sign up for Dr. Getty’s free e-newsletter, browse her library of reference articles, search her nutrition forum, and purchase recordings of her educational teleseminars.