Can Horses Eat Grapefruit? Understanding the Science Behind Equine Digestion

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 07/15/23 •  7 min read

Horses are outstanding animals with exceptional digestive health and dietary needs. They can eat any kind of food and digest it. They eat different fruits like apples, pears, bananas, watermelons, and cherries. 

This writing mainly aims to find out the answer: can horses eat grapefruit? You will be happy about that, the answer is yes. You can feed grapefruit to horses without removing or chopping the seeds into pieces if they face no issue with it. 

You know horses just love to eat it for its’ sweet taste. Feeding grapefruit is more like a hassle-free diet for your horse’s taste buds. Now, let’s know the diet chart of horses in detail.

Can horses eat grapefruit?

Yes, horses can eat this delicious fruit. This is even safe for them. It contains 82% of water, which works as a great hydrating source for horses.

Horses like to eat grapefruit once it becomes a part of their taste bud, and you may also want to feed them knowing the nutritional value. This grape is rich in vitamins A, C, and antioxidants.

But be careful, don’t feed it too much. It can be quite acidic to horses due to the presence of lactic acid gets produced from the microfiber and oleic acid in the seeds.

So, sometimes grapefruit can be a bit problematic to digest for some horses. If you continue to feed grapefruit in a large amount daily, this may result in some digestive issues like Colic or bloating. Hence, Feed it in a moderated way to this majestic animal.

Can horses eat grapefruit

Related: Can horses eat bok choy? The answer is not what you’d expect! Dive into the fascinating world of equine nutrition and discover something new today.

Nutritional value of grapefruit

Grapefruit contains a great nutritional value, even greater than your imagination. You will be mesmerized by knowing its food value to horses.

Grapefruit contains vitamins A, C, Minerals, and Antioxidants. Red and black grapefruits contain a special antioxidant called anthocyanin, which helps horses fight against illness.

The green grapefruit contains resveratrol, which improves blood circulation and reduces inflammation in horses.

Horses love this fruit ripe because its ripe fruit is sweeter and softer than unripe fruit.

Nutrition in Grapefruit

Vitamin C43%
Vitamin A8%
Dietary Fiber8%

Related: Looking to expand your horse’s menu? Explore our guide to learn which veggies are safe and beneficial for your equine friend.

Risks of feeding grapefruit to horses

Though this fruit serves way more benefits to horses, still, there are some risks to be concerned with. Here, you go with the risks of feeding grapefruit to horses:

Intake of Sugar

Grapefruit is very sweet, so sometimes it can be an issue for a horse’s sugar resistance. It would be a smart step if you consult with a vet or an equine nutritionist.

Allergic reaction

Some horses may be allergic to grapefruit. In that case, this fruit is a strict no for them.


There may be pesticides on the peel of this fruit. The sellers use it to protect the fruit from insects. If you don’t properly wash this pesticide before feeding your horses, then they may suffer from stomach problems and vomiting.

Food habit

Like kids, if you offer too much grapefruit as a treat to the horses, then that would turn into a bad habit for them and they might become reluctant to eat regular food. So keep this in mind before feeding them grapefruit.

The problems of grape seeds

Some horses may face indigestion issues due to consuming grape seeds. So it is wise to remove seeds before feeding them.

How to serve grapefruit to your horses?

As it is mentioned, you don’t need to remove seeds or chop this fruit to feed your horses. You can generously take one to three grapefruits in your palm, then call your horse and offer it.

For safety, if needed, you can peel off the grape or take out the seeds, before feeding your horse.

But don’t forget to wash the fruit, because there can be pesticide which is bad for the horse’s stomach. Otherwise, there is no particular system to serve grapefruit to your horses.

In brief, you can serve grapefruit to your horses in the following ways:

Alternatives to grapefruit for horses

If you can’t provide grapefruit to your horses, then there are several alternative suggestions for you, that you can offer to your horses as treats, these alternatives are as sweet as the grapefruit, and the horses will love these in the same way:

Strawberries: It is wise to feed your horses strawberries in moderation because this fruit is very sweet and can cause sugar resistance issues. This red fruit is resourceful with vitamins C, E, and K, folate, and potassium.

Raisins: Basically, raisins are dried grapes. You can easily feed them.

Melon: Melon is an excellent source for hydration horses during summertime. Both the flesh and the rind of this fruit are safe for them. But, take out the seeds before feeding them.

Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe is a great treat for horses. Take out the seeds while you feed them because seeds can cause digestive issues.

Fenugreek: This fruit is a great source of muscular function and can be useful for fussy eater horses to have a better appetite. If your horses are underweight, then it is a good source to gain weight. Seeds are also helpful to soothe and calm the stomach.

Apple: Horses just love to eat apples, both red and green. But while feeding, try to remove the seeds. If you feed apples often, then try to feed them green.

Chamomile: This particular fruit has an amazing medication power to help restless horses and their nervous sourcing and colic. You can also feed them herbs, or infused tea with their regular diet.

Parsnips: Parsnips can be added to the list as an alternative to grapefruit. They are root vegetables and can be fed to horses, providing fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Remember to introduce them gradually and monitor your horse’s response.

How many grapes you can feed your horses at a time?

Grapes are so sweet that they make the horses very addictive. If you take a bunch of grapes and offer them, they will keep digging in it until finishing the entire bunch.

So, horses simply overeat this appealing juicy fruit, once they become habituated to it. But, eating too much is not a healthy sign for the horses. As an owner, you must keep single ingredients that your horses eat precise and adequate.

Offering 10 to 20 grapes once or twice a week can be a potential starting amount for your horses to eat grapefruit. Please, don’t feed for than this.

Is it wise to feed grapefruit right after the exercise?

No, it is a bad idea to feed not only grapefruit but also any other food right after the exercise. Yes, you can allow your horses to drink water.

You also don’t take your horses for exercise right after feeding them. Whenever they eat, give them time to take rest, and whenever they come back from exercise, let them rest for a while.


Grapefruit is a very generously sweet fruit for horses. It does not only taste good, but it is also rich in food value. Your horses will be acquainted with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and hydration if you feed them this amazing fruit.

Nevertheless, don’t make hotchpotch with their daily diet, and don’t make this fruit disturb their regular eating habit. Make sure, you are feeding them with proper hygiene and precision.

Horses are one of the most disciplined and wisest herbivores on the planet. So, they deserve a reward for their discipline with a sweet treat like grapefruit!

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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