How warming weather affects horses
(Family Features) Increasing heat and drier conditions mean outdoor animals of all kinds are forced to adapt as the summer season marches on. The sweltering temperatures in many parts of the country can have a multitude of effects on these animals that are in the sun and heat throughout the day.
Horses are a primary example of outdoor animals that experience the effects of the temperatures and must adapt. However, there are ways that owners can help ease the strain of summer on their horses in a few different key areas.
Oftentimes, a horse’s diet will require adjustments during the hot temperatures of summer, especially during extreme heat. Perhaps the largest nutritional concern for horse owners is making sure to provide plenty of fresh water to ensure proper hydration.
As temperatures climb, horses, like most animals, will naturally feel the need to consume higher volumes of water. However, it’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure the proper amount is available.
Typically, as seasons change and the weather starts to get warmer, hooves will start to grow and develop at normal rates after the lull in growth throughout the cooler months. During this time, it is especially important that horses receive consistent trimming and maintenance from hoof care professionals.
In addition, it’s equally as important to make sure that hooves aren’t wearing away too quickly. Providing extra support inside the hoof cavity by using pour-in-pad materials, such as Equi-Pak, which can be injected under a pad or used as standalone pads, can help provide extra protection and support throughout every season.
While a man-made shelter can be of obvious use to provide shade and protection during hot days, even structures as simple as trees can help horses regulate their body temperatures.
Horses naturally work to maintain their body temperatures as temperatures rise by sweating, increasing their respiration and increasing water consumption. They’ll also seek shady areas when available to help quickly cool down. Providing multiple areas and structures for horses to seek shady comfort can be a simple solution for the hottest of days.
With a few adjustments and careful attention, owners can ensure they’re giving horses the right treatment throughout the summer. Find more ways to take proper care of horses’ hooves throughout the changing seasons at vettec.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images