Can Horses Eat Onions?

Ever thought onions and garlic that are an integral part of our dishes can make a healthy treat for the horses or the farm animals? Yes? Not sure if this rewarding vegetable is safe or not? We have you covered. We have enlightened you about several fruits and vegetable treats earlier, as this is not a widely discussed topic we decided to shed light on feeding onions this time. So without further ado, let’s get you enlightened.

Can Horses Eat Onions?

No, horses can not eat onions at all. Onions are extremely harmful to horses, they should be avoided at all costs. There are some other fruits and vegetables that can be fed as a treat, so why put this poor creature’s life at risk? The horse enthusiasts can opt for apples, carrots, raisins, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, melon, pumpkins, and celery instead.

Do Horses Like Onions?

Not really, onions are neither usually fed nor do they like it. Why would a horse prefer a sharp pungent flavor when the other options look more appealing and flavorful. There would be horses that like onions but the majority of them do not like onions.

Just knowing that onions are injurious to the horses is not enough, there is still a lot each horse admirer out there needs to know.

So, let’s discuss it a little more so our readers get more aware of the dangers and can speak about it confidently.

Here’s what else you need to know;

Onions are not suitable for horses and some other domestic animals

Onions are extremely harmful not just for horses but for some other domestic or farm animals as well. Onions are known for causing “onion poisoning” in beef cattle, horses, cats, dogs, and other farm animals like pigs. Onions are immensely harmful to wildlife as well.

Onions belong to the list of vegetables that can not be digested even in the smallest quantities
Unfortunately, the vegetables like garlic, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions that are an essential part of dishes are not “really” as beneficial for horses as they are for us.

Cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are known to cause colic, gastric, digestive, and urinary system issues. Garlic and onions are more serious cases that can lead to death.

Onions should be avoided for this legitimate reason

It’s time to reveal the reason why onions are being looked down upon in this post, they are not desired because onions and other plants from the Amaryllidaceae plant family contain a chemical called N-Propyl disulfide that damages red blood cells in the horse’s body.

If the horse enthusiast ignores the warning, he may have to see his beloved horse suffering from Heinz’s hemolytic anemia. If the condition remains untreated, it can lead to death.

Best healthier alternatives

If onions are that harmful for horses, there is no point to feed them anyway. It’s better to look for other healthier fruits and vegetable treats.

The healthier alternatives are carrots, green beans, turnips, lettuce, sprouts, fennel, peas, beets, parsnips, pumpkins, apples, grapes, strawberries, bananas, pears, raisins, and melons, etc.


Onions and garlic are immensely healthy for humans but not horses

It’s just horses and a few other animals that can not process onions, garlic, and other members of the Amaryllidaceae plant family. Since this brief post is about onions, we would like to mention what vitamins and minerals onions have. It contains a noticeable amount of
Vitamin C
Vitamin A
All these above-mentioned vitamins and minerals are demanded by horses to live a healthy balanced life.

According to recent studies, Potassium is needed to maintain acid and base balance, improve muscle and nerve function, calcium for the structural integrity of skeleton, muscle contraction, blood clotting, and enzyme regulation, phosphorus for bone development and skeletal health, copper for bone formation, healthy immune system, and reproduction, manganese to develop stronger bones, folate to regenerate cells, and tissue repair, vitamin C to be able to fight against free radicals, and vitamin A is demanded better vision, reproductive function, and equine immune system.

As you have judged, all these vitamins and minerals onions have played an important role in maintaining the horse’s health, onions still would not be a fine option to choose.

If fulfilling the nutrients needed is the horse enthusiast’s concern, the other fruits and vegetables that are deemed to be safe can be considered.

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The presence of N-Propyl disulfide overtakes the good side of onions. So it is advised to avoid onions at all costs.

In brief, No horses can not eat onions because they are injurious to the poor animal’s health. Onions and other members of this family contain a chemical called N-Propyl disulfide that damages the red blood cells and makes horses anemic.

Even though onions contain phosphorus, potassium, calcium, copper, manganese, folate, vitamin C, and A, the darkest spirit (N-Propyl disulfide) of this Amaryllidaceae plant family can still not be beaten.


Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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