Can Horses Eat Peanut Butter

Can Horses Eat Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is made from ground peanuts. Peanuts undergo two grinding processes, after which, it is mixed with a little sugar, salt, and vegetable stabilizer. The rich and creamy flavor makes it a popular human treat.

But can horses eat peanut butter? Is peanut butter safe?

Continue reading to find out the answers.

Can Horses Eat Peanut Butter?

It is a topic of many debates. But yes, they can if given in moderation. Horses love to eat peanut butter.

Peanut butter contains lots of health benefits that can contribute to your horse’s health. As long as peanut butter is feed to horses in moderate amounts, it will not cause any health issues.

Even so, horses like humans need to steer away from eating foods with high caloric content. Feeding peanut butter in large amounts can cause your horse to become overweight and develop secondary health problems.

What are the health benefits that horses can get from eating peanut butter?

If you’re wondering what nutrients your horses+ can derive from peanut butter, here they are.


Two tables of spoons of peanut butter contain about 7.02 grams of protein.

Horses are active beasts. They need optimal levels of protein to function. Protein helps regulate metabolic function, boost the immune system, transport nutrients into the bloodstream and cell membrane.


Peanut butter contains 107 milligrams of phosphorous per serving. Phosphorous is a mineral that is essential for the body’s enzyme system. It helps repair and maintains cells and tissues.


Peanut butter and raw peanuts have magnesium which is beneficial in a horse’s body. It is a mineral that horses need for muscle function and nerve transmission. It helps horses stay calm.

Deficiency in magnesium leads to muscle tremors, wariness, excitability, and nervousness.


A decent amount of zinc is present in peanuts and peanut butter.

Zinc is essential for a horse’s health in various ways including:

  • It counteracts the effects of too much iron in the diet.
  • It supports bone development.
  • It keeps the hooves healthy.
  • It keeps the joints healthy.
  • It regulates insulin levels and insulin sensitivity (because horses are insulin resistant).
  • It improves skin health.
  • It improves the quality of the coat and its pigmentation.


Niacin is a micronutrient otherwise known as vitamin B3. It is found in peanut butter. It helps the nervous system to function properly. It also facilitates digestion and keeps the digestive tract healthy.

Vitamin B6

Eating peanut butter will give your horses a good amount of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps in the production of hemoglobin and also helps the digestive system.

What are the health risks of eating too much peanut butter?

Peanut butter should be given as an occasional treat to horses. Excessive amounts can make a horse unwell and trigger severe lifelong diseases. It can also exacerbate existing common horse health problems your steed already suffers from.

Peanut butter can cause Diabetes and Obesity

Peanut butter has a high-fat content, feeding your horse too much of it can cause drastic weight gain and obesity.

Peanut butter can cause Laminitis

Laminitis is a painful and recurrent condition that affects ponies, donkeys, and horses. This disease targets the tissues that bond the hoof wall to the pedal bone. It can result in sinking or rotation of the bone under the weight of the horse.

Do not let a horse with laminitis eat peanut butter. The sugars and protein in this treatment can worsen this condition.

Peanut butter can trigger Nut Allergies

If your horse has an allergy to nuts, do not give it peanut butter treats. Nut allergies are unlikely to go away with age. So if your colt has a nut allergy, you cannot feed it a treat that contains peanuts even when it becomes an adult.

Severe cases of allergies (anaphylaxis) can be fatal.

Peanut butter can cause Equine Metabolic Syndrome

It is a disease that affects the metabolic process of a horse. Horses with equine metabolic syndrome become resistant to insulin.

The high sugar content in peanut butter can worsen this condition and even lead to death.

Peanut butter can cause Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a result of ingesting too many toxins and sugar. These substances damage the pancreas and cause inflammation. When the pancreas is inflamed it cannot produce enough insulin which causes a spike in the blood sugar. High blood sugar levels can be fatal for horses.

Can horses eat peanut butter made from organic peanuts?

Yes, horses can eat organic peanut butter. Homemade organic peanut butter is healthier and has less risk because it underwent less food processing and contains only natural ingredients. Organic peanut butter contains fewer amounts of sugar and salt.

Additionally, pesticides and chemical agents in inorganic peanut butter can irritate the digestive tract.

Can a horse eat a peanut butter sandwich?

Yes. Horses can eat peanut butter sandwiches if given in moderation. Peanut butter in itself already contains a lot of glucose and fat, the bread in a sandwich will add to that.

Can horses eat peanut butter cookies?

Yes, horses can eat peanut butter cookies. But the same with sandwiches, cookies contain a lot of sugar and fat. So, be sure to limit the number of peanut butter cookies that you give your horse.

How much and how often should you feed peanut butter to horses?

The safe amount of peanut butter to give to your pet is at most two tablespoons pew a week.

If your horse is suffering from equine metabolic syndrome, laminitis, and nut allergies, even a little can cause unwanted side effects.

If you are introducing peanut butter to your horses, you need to start feeding it just a little bit. Check for any adverse effects for the next 12 hours. If your horse is okay, you can continue to feed it.

But if you notice any unwanted reaction, you can call for a vet.

Do not feed colts peanut butter because they have sensitive digestive tracts. Peanut butter can cause tummy problems.

What are other food and treats that are safe for a horse to eat?

When caring for an animal, owners should know the proper diet. New pet owners especially need to be aware of the food that their pets can safely eat.

We collated this information for recent posts on equine and medical websites. Here are other alternatives to food and treat that will provide the optimum benefits.

Grasses and tender plants

Pasture grasses provide the most nutrition. In the wild, it’s their natural food source. Wild horses can live on with sparse rations of grasses. It is why they do not suffer from equine metabolic syndrome, laminitis, and obesity.

Pasture grass contains silica that horses need to maintain good dental health.

Providing good pasture grass to horses gives them the amount of fiber and calories that they need. But there is a potential risk to introducing this type of food to horses that are not familiar with it.

If you plan to introduce pasture grass to your horse, do not overwhelm. Start with small amounts and let your horse become familiar with it first.


Most horse owners do not have access to pasture grass the whole year-round. It is where hay comes in. It’s the next best food for horses.

The problem with hay is, it can be hard to find one of good quality. Though, you can have your hay tested to know the vitamin and minerals it contains. If you know what nutrients are lacking, you can give the correct supplement to your horses to ensure that they get everything they need.


Horses cannot eat all types of grains. Oat, barley, and corn are good for horses.

Wheat should never be given to your pets because they have contents that can be harmful to a horse’s digestive system.

In their natural environment, horses eat plant seeds. These are the closest thing they can get to a grain.

Concentrate mixes

Concentrates mixes contain an assortment of nutrients that keep your horse healthy. Concentrates are a mix of:

  • grain
  • flaxseeds
  • beet pulp
  • molasses
  • bran

You can make homemade concentrate mixes to feed your horse. You can also buy a bag of commercial concentrates. For people who have a lot of horses to feed, they can go to feed mills which offer to mix concentrates according to individual preferences.


Horses need salt to enable their tissues and organs to retain water. Research shows that horses consume more salt during the hot seasons.


Horses will eat almost anything. They especially love fruits, peanut butter, candies, and sugar cubes in their diet.

Human foods can also be given as treats. But in limited amount, because horses cannot process food like humans.

Avoid giving horses bananas because their high potassium content can be toxic to horses.

And while these treats will make your horse happy, they might not make them healthy. The occasional treat is fine, but too much can be dangerous especially sugary foods.

Final thoughts on “Can horses eat peanut butter?”

Yes. Feeding peanut butter is safe for horses. Peanut butter and peanut butter products are tasty horse treats, and horses love them. It can provide several health benefits. Peanut butter contains phosphorous, protein, zinc, and other vitamins and minerals.

Despite having essential nutrients, peanut butter can cause serious health issues for your horse. Severe nut allergy can lead to fatal results.

When feeding peanut butter to your horse, remember to give in moderation. Two tablespoons a week is enough.

If your horse suffers from unwanted side effects after feeding it peanut butter, immediately call a veterinarian.

Photo credits:

“Peanut Butter” by NIAID is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

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