Water is one of the most important aspects of a horse’s diet. Horses need to have adequate amounts of water to keep their systems functioning. There are many dangerous consequences of dehydration in horses. Organs can begin to shut down in as little as 3 days of severe dehydration.
How Much Water
On average, a horse drinks anywhere from 5-10 gallons per day. This can change depending on external factors, like the temperature and the amount of physical exertion. Horses use sweating to regulate their body temperature, just like people do.
Most studies have shown that healthy horses will not consume more water than their body can handle. Unfortunately, there are many things that can result in them not drinking enough water. Failure to drink enough water can lead to a loss of appetite and organ problems, among many other serious consequences. Horses can live for nearly a month without food, but can only survive around 5 days without water.
Signs of Dehydration
There are many signs that indicate dehydration in a horse. If you can’t necessarily monitor your horse’s water intake, you must pay close attention to the signs of dehydration. These signs include:
- Sunken eyes
- Changes in gum color
- Skin elasticity- if you pinch the skin and it doesn’t return to its original location immediately, there is an excellent chance that your horse is dehydrated
It is important to know that your horse is getting enough water. Providing clean water is necessary to prevent illness. An easy way to keep your horse hydrated is with an automatic watering system, such as the Bar-Bar-A Horse Waterer. This will ensure that your horse always has access to clean water at the appropriate temperatures.
The amount of water your horse drinks can completely disrupt their health. Dehydration has serious consequences and can be fatal for your horse. To learn more about the importance of keeping your horse hydrated, contact us today!