can horses eat watermelon

Can Horses Eat Watermelon

Last updated on March 11th, 2023 at 10:27 pm

Can Horses Eat Watermelon

It is common to give your horse some fruit as a special treat— apple slices are usually a popular choice. However, there are plenty of other fruits that your horse might want to try. Another popular fruity treat for horses is watermelon!

Just as we love cutting up a watermelon on a hot summer’s day, many horses enjoy this treat, too.

If given to your horse in moderation, it can be a welcome change from apple slices or sugar cubes.

Below, we will go over horses and watermelon in some more detail, as well as how to best give this snack to your equine friend. 

Can Horses Eat Watermelon

The first question, of course, is whether watermelon is a suitable snack for horses! Luckily, this is one of the fruits they can eat, along with the other fruits in the melon family. It is a popular snack for horses, and the horses are able to eat all parts of the watermelon without it harming them— unlike with humans, where we are unable to eat the rind of the fruit. Of course, it is still important that you only give your horse watermelon in moderation. Too much of the fruit, just as too much of anything, will make horses sick. 

can horses eat watermelon
can horses eat watermelon

Drawbacks of Watermelon for Horses

There are a few different drawbacks to giving your horse watermelon, which is why it is important to only give your horse a little watermelon at a time. In moderation, these concerns are not concerns at all. Take a look below to learn more. 

Fruit Sugars

The first thing to watch out for is fruit sugars. Sugar can be found in high amounts in many fruits, watermelon included. However, this is less of a cause for concern as you may believe. Horses do consume sugar in their daily diet, too, so it is not something that they are unused to. However, if your horse were to eat too much sugar, it can lead to issues such as colic, which can be very uncomfortable, and laminitis, too. Laminitis is the inflammation of the tissue located between the hoof and the underlying coffin bone.

Watermelon Toxins

Another cause for concern in watermelon is watermelon toxins. This is essentially just a fancy name for the toxins that are located in the watermelon. Watermelon is not poisonous to horses, but some may be concerned that exposure to too much of the toxins can be harmful. Many fruits have toxins in their rind and seeds. The rind of the watermelon does not have any toxins inside, but it does have very small traces of the toxins in the seeds. Luckily, these toxins are not harmful to your horse, and the amount of them is much too small to do any damage. 


If you are feeding the rind of the fruit to your horse, there could be pesticides or other chemicals on the rind of the watermelon. Luckily, all you have to do is wash off the rind of the fruit before giving it to your horse, and you should be just fine! 

How to Feed Your Horse Watermelon

Now, you may wonder how you can best administer this treat to your horse. It is recommended that you do not feed your horse any more than the equivalent of a few slices of watermelon at a time, so that you can avoid inadvertently giving them too much. You can either slice it up, or cut it into chunks and cubes to give to your horse. Your horse will also be able to eat the rinds and the seeds— though some horses may choose not to eat the rind— so you do not need to worry about removing these first.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much watermelon can a horse eat?

Watermelon can be a tasty treat for your horse, but you do still want to be sure to only feed it this fruit in moderation. Be sure that you chop up the watermelon into small chunks that are easy to chew. There is not necessarily a specific amount that you should feed your horse, but a whole watermelon is too much. Try to only give your horse a few segments of watermelon in a sitting. 

Can horses eat all of the watermelon?

All parts of a watermelon are safe for your horse to eat! This even includes the seeds and the rind of the fruit. Watermelon rind should only be given to your horse in small quantities, though. Not all horses will like the rind of the watermelon, or the fruit itself, as horses have their own senses of taste, just like we humans do! However, watermelon is usually a pretty popular equine treat. 

What fruit can horses not eat?

Horses can eat lots of different fruits. These fruits include grapes, raisins, melon, bananas, and more. There are, though, some fruits that are not safe for your horse to eat and should be avoided. These include the fruits that have stones, or pits, in them. Avocados, whole peaches, and cherries. The pits of these fruits can pose a danger to your horse as a choking hazard. In addition to that, they can also lead to issues such as painful gas or colic issues, which can be incredibly uncomfortable for your horse to deal with. It is best to avoid these fruits because of this. 

Does watermelon cause colic in horses?

Colic can be a very uncomfortable issue for your horse to deal with, so of course you want to avoid this whenever possible. Certain foods can often lead to colic in animals or in humans, too. Watermelon can be one of the foods that cause colic, so it is important to be aware of this if your horse is already predisposed to such issues. That being said, a horse will usually be fine if they eat watermelon in moderation. The equivalent of a few slices of watermelon should not lead to colic or gas issues for your horse.