Integrity Adult/Senior - More than just a Senior Feed
By Dr. Bray, the Nutritionist behind Integrity and Dr. Bray’s Corner
Many horseowners are under the false impression that senior horses require specific nutrients.
Nutritional requirements for adult horses are actually categorized by working or non-working, not by their age. Horse owners should not assume that a horse becomes a senior at some specific age and requires extra nutrition.
I have fed 14-18 year old show horses similar to a 6 year old; ridden horses in the High Sierras that were 18 & 19 years old and packed with mules that were 25-28 years of age.
Then why does Integrity have a product called Adult/Senior?
If you compare the attributes of a senior formula to an adult pleasure horse feed, the standards are very similar. A formula for senior and adult pleasure horses should contain a modest amount of fat and protein, higher fiber, low or no grains, and vitamins & minterals that are balanced for required nutrients and soluble fiber. That's exactly what Integrity Adult/Senior offers.
Should I Worry If My Dog Eats Horse Feed?Although dogs and horses have different nutritional requirements it's generally not an issue if a dog nibbles at the horse feed. But there are exceptions.
Feeding Horses vs. Dogs
An animal's digestive system defines what and how it eats. Horses are herbivores so their diets are plant-based. For example, the main ingredients in Integrity products are beet pulp, soy hulls, rice bran, soybean meal, wheat bran and flaxseed meal, with select additional ingredients in each blend. There's nothing in the recipe that's harmful to dogs.
But don't be mistaken: Horse feed isn't suitable to be a dog's main source of nutrition. And you don't want your dog to overindulge.
Dogs are carnivores and have a short digestive tract and one small storage compartment the stomach which works well with their preference for meat. Horses have a longer digestive system that includes two compartments the stomach and the cecum. This dual system is ideal for horses because they have to digest a diet that's heavy in carbohydrates and fiber.
What to Expect
You probably won't even notice if your dog has a nibble of horse feed here and there. But, if your dog eats too much he may get gas, upset stomach, and loose stools. This happens because foods with high grain and fiber content, such as horse feed, can change the pH in a dog's hindgut. This alters the amount of digestive bacteria in the dog's gut and shifts it into overdrive.
However, if you notice your dog vomits or has diarrhea after eating horse feed, it may not be what he ate but rather how much he's eaten. Dogs can experience these side effects from overeating anything. So don't get too worried, especially if you notice the doggy dish is empty too.
When You Need To Be Cautious
As I noted earlier, horse feed generally isn't harmful for dogs. However, when the feed contains non-food items, such as herbs and over-the-counter ingredients or if you top-dress the feed with products, such as dewormer or medication, it is important to prevent your dog from eating any of it.