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Water Intake in Horses - Mad Barn - Vet Talk
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Water is the most important nutrient needed to sustain life! It is involved in every physiological process essential to life. Horses are no exception – adequate water intake and hydration is crucial for health and performance.

The average-sized horse will drink 6-10 gallons (23-38 liters) of water daily. This amount may double, or even triple, for horses living in hot or humid climates, horses in exercise, and mares that are lactating.

Many factors influence water intake. Intuitively, ambient temperature, physiological status (exercise or lactation), and access to fresh, clean water all impact water consumption. But diet composition and individual variation, can also play a role.

Many horse owners struggle with horses that are “poor drinkers”. Inadequate water intake and dehydration can impair your horse’s health and performance, so it’s critical to ensure that they’re drinking enough water each day. Dehydration increases the risk of impaction colic, electrolyte imbalance, and muscle disorders (such as tying-up).

Horse owners can look at how much water their horses are drinking from water buckets, monitor manure consistency, and check mucous membranes to assess their horse’s hydration. Learning your horse’s normal drinking habits allows you to catch changes quickly and intervene accordingly.

Join Dr. Fran Rowe, one of Mad Barn’s Veterinary Nutritionists, to learn more about water intake in horses. She’ll discuss six tips for increasing water consumption, which can be implemented for all horses!

Interested in learning more about water in horses? We have a few blog articles online:
👉 https://madbarn.com/how-much-water-should-horses-drink/
👉 https://madbarn.com/water-quality-testing-for-horses/
👉 https://madbarn.com/dehydration-in-horses/

Want to submit your horse’s diet for evaluation? Follow this link to get connected with an equine nutritionist:
👉 https://madbarn.com/analyze-diet/

Have ideas for topics to cover or questions about your horse’s health? We would love to hear from you! Please send any questions or comments to vet@madbarn.com
Mad Barn Academy is dedicated to supporting horse owners, handlers and practitioners through research, training, and education.

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