Can Horses Eat BANANAS?

Horses are well-known for their love of fruit, and, as many people consider bananas to be a fruit, it’s common for owners to wonder if bananas are healthy treats for horses. So, can horses eat bananas?

As it turns out, horses eat bananas, and you can feed them banana slices or plantain as part of their daily diet. However, like with any food that you want to share with your horse, there are some things that you should keep in mind when feeding them this nutrient-rich fruit choice.

Let’s take a look at the benefits that these horse snacks have to offer horses.

The Nutritional Value of Bananas to Horses

Bananas are rich in nutrients, including sugars, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium chloride, vitamin C, and B vitamins, especially niacin.

Because of these nutrients, bananas are an excellent choice for senior horses who may be picky eaters and do not always get the nutrients they need.

Bananas can also help to provide your horse’s body with energy, which may make them a good option for working horses or those who do regular strenuous exercise.

Can Horses Eat Bananas?

Yes, horses can eat bananas.

While there are some precautions to take when feeding your horse bananas, do not be afraid to let them enjoy this healthy fruit choice.

Just remember that too much of any one thing can lead to problems and that you should always introduce new foods slowly into your horse’s diet.


Are Bananas Good for Horses?

Yes, bananas are good for horses, especially senior horses or those who do regular strenuous activity.

As with all new foods, do not feed your horse too many bananas at first, and do not introduce them to the food all at once.

Work up to larger servings over time to ensure no adverse side effects from overeating this healthy treat.

How to Safely Feed Your Horse Bananas

If you decide to feed your horse bananas, as long as you do it in moderation and introduce them slowly into their diet, you should do just fine.

Start by feeding half of what you typically do when introducing new foods at each meal. Then, if they do not show any signs of having a negative reaction to the food, you can increase their portion size that day and then every few days.

You can feed your equine friend one whole banana ten minutes before every meal, but do not do so more than twice a day. If your horse starts to gain weight, do not give them bananas at all.

How Many Bananas Can Horses Eat?

If you decide to feed your horse bananas, do not give them more than two a day.

If they eat too much of this fruit, you risk them suffering from diarrhea and other problems that can come from an upset or sensitive stomach.

Count out the correct number of bananas ahead of time before you let your horse enjoy their sweet treat.  Afterward, count the amount remaining to make sure they do not eat more than two. 

If you are unsure how many bananas are in a serving, speak to your veterinarian before feeding them to your horse.

Can Horses Safely Eat Banana Peels?

Yes, horses can eat banana peels. After all, the inside of a banana is where they get everything they need—the nutrients, sugars, and potassium. While this is true, many horses don’t like eating the peel and, as a result, do not typically do so.

To avoid potentially choking on the peel or having it become caught in their throat, do not give your horse banana peels whole. Instead, break them into pieces first.

You should also remove any stickers on the peel first and ensure the banana is organic.

For horses with teeth troubles such as dental issues, do not give them banana peels or any other parts of the fruit that might be difficult for them to chew.

If they refuse to eat the peel after you have broken it up, do not force them. 

Just remember that no fruit or vegetable is an “essential” part of your horse’s diet. If they are getting all of their nutrients from their regular feed, do not worry about it.

horse eating banana

Can Horses Eat Banana Stem?

Yes, horses can eat the banana stems. But, just like with the peel and any other part of the fruit, break it up first to avoid potentially choking on it or having it become caught in their throat.

When Should You Not Feed Bananas to Your Horse?

There are some instances when you should not feed your horse bananas.

If they do not have much appetite or fail to eat their regular feed, do not give them bananas.

Doing so may leave your horse feeling full without getting the nutrients they need. It is also important to remember that too much sugar can lead to obesity and other stomach upsets or teeth rotting problems.

Also, do not feed your horse bananas if they suffer from joint swelling or any type of arthritis. While the fruit does provide healthy nutrients that may benefit these ailments, do not do so without first speaking to a veterinarian.

If your horse is suffering from Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP), do not feed them bananas. HYPP is a condition in which the horse must maintain a diet low in potassium. Since bananas are high in this nutrient, do not give your horse the fruit if they suffer from this disease.

Horses suffering from metabolic problems like insulin resistance do not do well with bananas or other types of fruit. This is because bananas are naturally higher in sugar, which does not mix well with these diseases.

Lastly, do not give your horse bananas or any other types of fruit if they have allergies to them. This reaction could be deadly and should always be avoided by those who do not want their horses to get sick.

Side Effects of Feeding Your Horse Too Many Bananas

As with any new food, do not give your horses too many bananas at once. Doing so can lead to some rather unpleasant side effects, including:

Stomach Upset/Bloating/Wind Pouch

If you feed your horse too many bananas or other foods high in sugar, they may become bloated or have an upset stomach.

To help with this, do not give them too much at once and do so only on an empty stomach. Then, if your horse is still having trouble after a couple of hours, do not give them any more of the fruit. In fact, do not feed your horse anything else until their symptoms have gone away entirely.

Heightened Risk of Fatigue/Lethargy

Although bananas do contain a lot of sugar, it is essential to remember that they provide a good source of healthy nutrients. Still, if your horse eats too many in one sitting, this can lead to feelings of tiredness and lethargy.

If your horse keeps eating bananas all the time, this can leave them feeling tired and not doing well when exercising.

So if your horse is acting like they don’t have much energy or are slowing down when you ask them to do something, do not feed them any bananas until they correct this issue.

Potential to Getting Stuck

Horses can choke on food that they are trying to eat. This can include any type of fruit, but bananas are especially dangerous because of their size and shape.

If your horse is not used to eating something that can get caught in its throat, do not give them bananas until they have become accustomed to them. Do so slowly and only feed your horse the fruit in small amounts.

Gaining Excessive Weight

Many horses love the taste of bananas and do not think twice about eating the whole fruit at once.

If you have a horse that is an aggressive eater, do not let them do this when they have bananas around. Doing so can cause them to gain more weight than is healthy for their body and lead to health issues, including laminitis, which means your horse’s hooves do not receive enough blood flow.

For this reason, do not feed your horse bananas if they are overweight or obese already. Doing so can make their problems worse and do not do anything to improve one’s health.

Nerve Damage

Bananas do contain a good amount of potassium, which most horses do not get enough of. However, do not feed your horse too many bananas, or they may be at risk for nerve damage.

This type of damage can lead to problems with the nervous system, including paralysis and difficulties breathing due to parts of the respiratory system is useless.

To combat this issue, do not feed your horse bananas if they also suffer from any type of respiratory disease.

High Sugar Levels

Bananas contain a good amount of healthy nutrients, but they also have a high amount of sugar. For this reason, do not overfeed your horse bananas since they do not need large amounts of this nutrient.

Increased high sugar levels can lead to your horse being more prone to illness, especially if it has diabetes already.

If you suspect a spike in sugar levels in your horse, do not feed them any fruits at all until their levels are back to normal again. This way, they do not get more sugar than their body can handle and become ill.

These are just some of the conditions that may arise if you feed your horse too many bananas.

However, do not let these issues scare you away from feeding your horse this fruit since their health can benefit greatly from the nutrients that they do contain. It is just important to do so in moderation to avoid these side effects and do everything to keep your horses healthy.

peeled banana

Final Thoughts

Bananas are healthy treats for horses, just as they are healthy foods for people. As long as you start slow and do not feed your horse too many bananas at once, you will do just fine.

To do this, do your best to cut up the fruits into small pieces and do not let them eat too many at once. From there, you can work your way up to a whole banana and do everything in between.

As long as you do this, you do not have to worry about any of these potential side effects and will be able to do everything you can to keep your horse healthy.

Of course, you still need to make sure they are getting all of their nutrients from other foods. So be sure to give them a well-balanced diet, including oats, hay, and other fruits. This way, your horse does not develop any health issues or deficiencies that could lead to further problems down the line.

If you follow these tips, your horse will be sure to live a long and healthy life.

Please feel free to share this information with others and tell them that horses can eat bananas—just not too much!