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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: can horses consume artificial sweeteners?

Hello Marilyn,

I generally do not like to use artificial sweeteners in any significant quantity, but if it is only in a treat, this may be acceptable.

But, allow me to suggest that you do not include any sweetening agent. If you are adding anything starchy, such as oats, for example, this is digested down to sugar and is not appropriate for a horse who has metabolic syndrome (like diabetes, but not exactly). Use ingredients such as flaxseed meal, beet pulp, and alfalfa -- horses do not have access to sugar in the wild and don't require it in their treats. And also avoid anything sugary such as apples or carrots.

If you must use an artificial sweetener, I prefer Stevia which is an herb and well tolerated. But, please consider avoiding starchy and sugary ingredients and allow the horse to enjoy the true taste of feeds that he is designed to enjoy.

You may wish to browse at Skode's Horse Treats for examples of low starch/low sugar treats.

All the best,

Dr. Getty [:-]
Author of Feed Your Horse Like a Horse

Marilyn Finn
Please tell me if artificial sweeteners are harmful to horses. I make horse treats and have a customer with a horse that is diabetic or sensitive to sugar?
Suggestions of what foods could be used for treats would be helpful
Thank You
marilyn Finn

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO