Horses are complex, but majestic and beautiful creatures. Just like with any other pet, a responsible owner ensures the health of their pets.
While horses are much more complex than the average household pet, the same rules apply, and we’ll be discussing a few handy tips on how to maintain proper equine health.
Our pets deserve only the best, and we highly advise that you work together with your veterinarian to provide the best care for your horse.
Annual Physical Exam
The annual physical exam helps your veterinarian to determine your horse’s health on a year-around basis, and allows for a basis to compare any changes in health over a period of time.It’s essential that your horse undergoes a routine annual physical exam, where your veterinarian will perform a thorough visual inspection of your horse.
No one likes going to the doctor, but an annual physical examination play an important role and component in achieving wellness – especially in your horse.
After all, our horses and pets can’t really communicate verbally, so it’s up to us to be responsible pet owners and to ensure the status of their health with your veterinarian.
Commonly, an annual physical exam is a thorough evaluation of the overall health and condition of your horse, which may include body weight, dental evaluation, ocular (eye) health, heart health, hoof care, lungs and gut, as well as sheath and genitalia health.
The annual physical exam may also evaluate the temperature and heart and respiratory rate.
A routine annual physical exam can help you catch and address subtle symptoms of a much more serious health condition before it progresses further and becomes problematic.
Too much stress on a horse can cause diarrhea, bad behaviors, ulcers, depression, or even damage to the immune system.
Just like in humans, stress can take a toll on our health, and for horses, it’s important that stress is kept to a minimum. Here are a few pointers to help keep your horse relaxed and happy
By nature, horses are naturally herd animals and enjoy the company of other horses. In some cases, horse owners may not afford more than one horse, but there are a few options you can pursue to help lessen your horse’s loneliness.
Lack of social life for a lone horse can lead to many conditions further down the line, and one of the most prevalent conditions is known as depression.
Just like in humans, dogs, and even cats, horses can experience depression as well. Here are a few tips on how you can help.
Provide a Companion Animal
In this case, some horse owners board another friend’s horse on their property so that both horses can have a companion.
Horses don’t necessarily need another horse companion, but they definitely do a lot better in a herd. Owning one horse can be costly, and it’s understandable that a horse owner may not be able to afford another horse, yet alone the expenses that come with maintaining the health of another equine.
In some cases where a horse may need to be housed alone or you do not have the option to board another horse, it is still possible to provide a companion animal for your horse.
Goats are amongst one of the most popular companion animals for lone horses. Some horse owners also use cats, sheep, pigs, and even miniature horses to provide a companion for their horse.
It is important to note that if you provide a non-equine companion for your horse, you will have to consider his or her individual personality.
Some horses do not like having non-equine companions, and in some cases, will not get along well with non-equine companions or even become more stressed – some horses naturally just like to be left alone to graze in their own habitat, and it’s important you take note of this and discuss with your veterinarian.
Vaccinate Your Horse Annually
Horse vaccinations don’t offer 100% protection from diseases and eliminate them, but they definitely can reduce the possibility of contracting dangerous diseases. A common myth amongst most pet owners goes, “My pet doesn’t go anywhere and doesn’t come in contact with other animals, so I don’t need to get them vaccinated” is a false belief.
There are many contagious diseases that are airborne or transmitted with indirect contact, and whether or not your horse comes in contact with other animals is not a basis to conclude whether or not you’ll need to get them vaccinated.