Horses need a significant amount of water every single day in order to stay healthy. You never want to risk your horse not having enough water to drink. Nor do you want to give them dirty water, as this can negatively impact their health. There are many questions that people have about horse water consumption, from how much horses should be drinking to whether or not horses can drink too much water.
Here are some interesting facts about horse water consumption that can help you ensure that your equine companion can stay happy and healthy. Let’s get into it!
#1. Horses Drink 5-10 Gallons Of Water A Day
On average, horses need about a half-gallon to a gallon of water for every 100 pounds of body weight. Thus, the minimum amount of water your horse needs is 5-10 gallons a day, if not more.
Of course, this can vary depending on your horse’s needs. For instance, a horse that is sedentary won’t need as much water as one that is active. The climate your horse lives in affects how much water they need too. If you live somewhere hot where your horse can sweat a lot, they need more water in order to compensate for this.
Lactating mares need more water in order to make enough milk for their foals. Horses that graze on fresh grass may drink less water, due to the moisture content in the grass. But come winter, they may drink more, as forage and hay is dry. The bigger your horse, the more water they need to stay hydrated.
The reason why horses need so much water is to keep their digestive system running. If your horse doesn’t drink enough, this can lead to impaction colic. This is where fiber blocks their digestive system. Colic requires immediate veterinary care.
#2. Dehydration Can Be Fatal
While horses can survive almost an entire month without food, this isn’t the case for water. After 3-4 days without water, a horse’s organs begin to shut down. This can lead to irreversible damage in their tissues and organs. If horses don’t have water, they can refuse to eat after a day or two and start showing signs of life-threatening problems, like colic.
Horses without water only live about 3-6 days. Access to clean, temperate water 24/7 is absolutely essential in order to ensure the health and wellness of your horse. It’s important to monitor horse water consumption so that you know whether or not they are getting enough.
#3. Horses Can Indeed Drink Too Much Water
With how much horses drink, many people wonder whether or not it’s even possible for a horse to drink too much water and if they should be concerned if their horse is gulping down water. The answer is yes, horses can indeed drink too much water. Horse water consumption is significant – but if your horse has too much, this can indicate underlying health problems.
Cushing’s disease can cause your horse to drink too much water. Cushing’s disease is a progressive dysfunction of your horse’s pituitary gland, and horses with it tend to have other health problems too.
If your horse has too much water, this can stress their kidneys. It can also lead to dilution of the electrolytes in their body. What this means is that your horse is less able to regulate their body temperature.
In general, though, horses don’t drink beyond what they need. For instance, it’s a popular myth that you shouldn’t give your horse water right after exercising them, lest they drink too much. However, your horse won’t drink more than their stomach can handle. You generally need to worry about whether or not your horse is getting enough water far more than you need to worry about the possibility of too much horse water consumption.
#4. Clean, Temperate Water Is The Best Way To Get Your Horse To Drink Enough
There are many reasons why your horse may refuse to drink water or isn’t drinking enough of it. We’ve covered these issues in detail in our previous blogs: 6 Reasons Why Your Horse Isn’t Drinking Water and Why Is Frozen Water Bad For Horses?
Horses are prey animals. They’re constantly on the alert for threats. They won’t drink water that they’re suspicious of. They also may not drink water to isn’t at a comfortable temperature or that is dirty. The best way to ensure that horse water consumption is enough is to always provide them with fresh, clean water.
Automatic horse waterers are an excellent way to do this. Bar Bar A provides automatic horse waterers that connect right to your water line. This prevents concerns of dirty water. It also allows you to rest assured that your horse is getting water that’s a good temperature all year round.
These are but 4 interesting facts about horse water consumption. We’ll make another blog with more information that you should know in the future, so watch this space. Contact us today to learn more about our automatic horse waterers and let us help you keep your horses happy, healthy, and hydrated.