Why Should You Feed Your Horse Garlic?


Garlic is one of the most used herbs in the horse industry and is one of the most effective natural healing substances in the world. Garlic is rich in selenium and sulphur. Sulphur is recognised as having blood cleansing properties that are useful in treating and preventing equine diseases. 

Using garlic as a supplement in your horse or pony’s diet has many benefits. Many horse owners feed an equine garlic supplement for its insect repelling qualities. When a horse fed on garlic sweats, they give out an odour that keeps flies, ticks, and midges away.

Benefits of Feeding Garlic to Horses

  • Acts as a fly repellent, keeping away midges, gnats, flies, and mosquitos away.
  • Used to help to increase a horse's appetite.
  • It can reduce blood pressure.
  • Helps to purify the blood.
  • It is a natural source of methysulfonylmethane (MSM), commonly used to treat joint problems and allergies.
  • Can kill bacteria. 
  • It can be used to help prevent blood clots. 

How to Feed Garlic To Horses

Garlic comes in two main forms for equine use: garlic powder and freeze-dried garlic granules. Click here to shop our WCF Garlic Powder.

(This guide is for a medium sized horse weighing between 600-1,200lbs. The dosage will change depending on the weight and size of your horse or pony)

  • Sprinkle 1tsp of garlic powder on the top of the horse's feed. This will allow the horse to experience the taste and smell without being overwhelmed. Continue adding 1tsp to the food for the next 3 days. 
  • Increase the amount of garlic powder to 2tsp. Continue sprinkling 2tsp on the food for approximately 3 days.
  • Increase the amount by 1 tsp every 3 days not exceeding 9tsp per day. Make sure you don’t exceed 9tsp per day.  

It is important that you monitor your horse’s feeding area to ensure that they are eating their food and not throwing it on the floor. If you discover that your horse is not eating, reduce the amount of garlic you are feeding by half. You should also monitor your horse while increasing the dosage to see if the number of flies irritating it are reduced or non-existent.

Dangers of Feeding Garlic to Horses

It is important that you are aware of the dangers and possible side effects of garlic before you start feeding it to your horse.

  • Overfeeding garlic can be dangerous to your horse as it may allow unfriendly bacteria to flourish affecting the health of the horse's gastrointestinal tract. 
  • Garlic fed in large amounts can also be harmful. This is because it can cause toxicity and body anaemia. This is a condition resulting from oxidative damage to red blood cells. 
  • Horse garlic should not be used as a natural wormer. It can put them at risk of internal parasites.
  • Garlic should not be given to a horse that is pregnant. 
  • Do not feed garlic for sweet itch. Garlic stimulates the immune system, however sweet itch horses already have an overactive immune system.

We also have a blog on how you can control flies around horses, click here to find out more.