Can Horses Really Eat Ice Cream? You Must Know This Info

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 07/31/23 •  4 min read

All of us who own horses want to occasionally treat our canine companions to snacks and treats. Even while it could be alluring to seduce them with a taste of your preferred ice cream flavor, you might be unsure about its safety for them to consume. 

This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of giving ice cream to horses and offer substitutes that will keep your horse healthy and content.

Can horses eat ice cream?

The quick response is that horses shouldn’t have ice cream. Ice cream is not an essential part of a horse’s nutrition and can result in digestive issues along with other ailments. 

Because ice cream comprises a great deal of sugar and fat, it could help you gain weight and trigger other health problems which include insulin resistance and laminitis. 

Horses may also be harmed by ice cream additives such as artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors.

A person holding an ice cream cone in front of a grassy field for horse.

Nutritional value of ice cream

A delicacy made from dairy called ice cream often has sugar, cream, and flavorings. Ice cream might be tasty, but it doesn’t provide any nutritional advantages for horses. 

In fact, if drunk in high quantities, it can be rather hazardous. Since horses demand a diet that is wealthy in protein and low in sugar as well as fat, offering them ice cream may upset their intestines and cause a wide range of diseases.

Related: Are you curious about feeding apples to your horse? Get the facts on whether this sweet fruit is a safe and nutritious option for your beloved equine.

What are the dangers?

The risks of feeding ice cream to horses include digestive upset, weight gain, and metabolic issues. 

Horses who consume too much sugar and fat may experience equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) and other metabolic issues that include resistance to insulin. 

Laminitis, a painful and even fatal hoof ailment, can be brought on by EMS. Additionally, dangerous components including artificial sweeteners and colors that might be poisonous to horses can be found in ice cream.

Alternatives to ice cream for horses

There are several solutions that will save your horse’s sweet craving without doing them any damage if you’re seeking a healthier and safer substitute for ice cream. 

Bananas, apples, carrots, watermelons, and other kinds of fruits make terrific decisions.

These fruits are an excellent supplier of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that horses need in addition to maintaining a low level of sugar.

You can give your horse homemade snacks like oatmeal biscuits or bran muffins in addition to fruits. 

Just be careful not to add too much sugar or other damaging ingredients. Additionally, there are commercial horse treats that are created expressly to fit their dietary requirements.

Related: Discover if horses can safely enjoy raspberries. Learn about the benefits and potential risks of feeding raspberries to horses.


Q: Can I give my horse a small amount of ice cream as a treat?

A: A modest serving of ice cream might not immediately hurt your horse, but it’s still not advised. Although the fact that there are numerous healthier options available, the excessive sugar and fatty content can upset the stomach and lead to a number of medical issues.

Q: Can horses have dairy products like milk or cheese?

A: While they are not poisonous to horses, dairy items are not a staple of the animal’s diet and can irritate the stomach. It is suggested that you keep away from giving your horse dairy products and only feed them foods that have been customized to meet their calorie needs.

Related: Wondering if horses enjoy peppermint? Get ready to be amazed by their love for this irresistible flavor. Find out more here!


In conclusion, it is unsafe and unhealthy to offer ice cream to horses. It may result in gastrointestinal distress, weight gain, and further medical conditions like insulin resistance and laminitis. 

Offer your horse healthier alternatives instead, such as fruits and handmade treats that are high in nutrients and low in sugar. You may support your horse’s long-term health and happiness by attending to its nutritional requirements.

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

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