“Owners must choose treats for senior horses with dental issues carefully”
By Erica Larson | TheHorse.com
Since my family got our first horses many moons ago, my mother has had an affectionate nickname that resulted from the fact that—regardless of what coat, sweatshirt, pants, etc., she’s wearing—she can almost always reach in her pocket and pull out a horse treat. That’s right—Mom is “The Cookie Monster.” But in all fairness to my dear mother, my father and I are just as Cookie-Monster-like: Yes, we all love giving out horses treats.
Fortunately, all our horses also love receiving treats (that said, I’ve known less than a handful of horses that didn’t like treats!), and none of our seniors have become nippy or pushy in anticipation of consuming a delicious morsel. Yes, there are many occasions on which 20-year-old Dorado will turn on the charm and give the “look-how-cute-I-am face” when he thinks there might be a treat around, but that’s the extent of his “pushy” behavior.
Something else we’ve been very fortunate with is that all our aging horses have had, and continue to have, a good set of teeth. Brandy, our Miniature Horse who died in 2013 at the age of 24, was the only one who’s had any dental problems, and hers were mostly solved by pulling a couple teeth. She learned quickly how to chew with a gap in her mouth, and sure didn’t lose any weight because of her teeth!
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