Would a Sacramento Vet Recommend That I Give My Horse Salt in Winter?
Horses need salt year-round, and they will seek out the salt that they need. Making certain your horse has access to salt in the wintertime is especially important to protect against dehydration, and subsequently, impaction and colic.
When the temperature of your horse’s water supply falls below 45 degrees, they are less apt to drink, and can become dehydrated. When a horse is not lactating or sweating from exercise or heat, they should consume at least ½ gallon per/hundred lbs. of weight of water per day. Providing access to salt will make the horse drink more water and therefore stay more hydrated.
Even a Sacramento Vet needs to remind their clients during the winter months to watch their horse’s water source and make sure it is not frozen over. Unlike in the summer months when you want their water to stay cool in the shade; their winter water source can be moved to an area that will receive sunlight. If it does not automatically refill, monitor the level to see if it is decreasing each day.
Many horse owners provide salt in the form of salt blocks. It is important for a Sacramento Vet to inform their clients that salt blocks were originally designed for cows, which have rough tongues. Horses don’t naturally consume through licking, and are more likely to chew on the blocks.
Loose salt is easier and more natural for a horse to ingest in adequate quantities. They get trace minerals mostly from their diet. Trace mineral/salt mixtures generally do not provide enough trace mineral, but are mostly salt.
Horses do like the taste of salt. Table salt can be added to their feed, or water source to increase their water intake. Just make sure that unsalted water is also available.
Even though you may live in the milder temperatures of California, a Sacramento Vet should encourage you to give your horse access to salt to promote adequate hydration.