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Water tips for traveling

Jennifer Johnson, DVM, University of Minnesota

Several of you have asked for tips on getting your horse to drink water while away from home. Below are some helpful hits: A 1000 pound horse should drink about 8-10 gallons of water a day. However, when horses are traveling, or in a strange environment, they may not drink enough water to meet their daily requirements. Also, a horse will need more water when it's hot, or if they are exercising. Some consequences of dehydration can include poor performance, organ dysfunction and colic. When traveling for vacation or show, here are some tips to encourage your horse to drink:

  1. Take water with you from home.
  2. Add 20 ounces of clear soda to new water.
  3. Add electrolytes to new water .
  4. Carry electrolyte gel/paste and administer as needed.
  5. Add a small amount of salt to grain.
  6. Wash buckets with a little added Listerine; horses like the minty taste!
When adding soda to water, it needs to be soda that does NOT contain caffeine. Caffeine is illegal, and can possibly trigger a positive drug test under AQHA & USEF drug testing programs and in racing jurisdictions.
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