If your horse’s digestive health needs a boost, his hooves are looking poor or his joints are creaky there’s a supplement to suit. Here’s how to spend wisely and choose the right one for him:
- Look at how much you’ll need to feed each day to see how long a tub will last you. Some manufacturers state the price of a dose per day, and check whether you need to give a loading dose for a certain period.
- Legally, ingredients must be listed in order of their inclusion, ie largest first, so check how high up on the list any expensive ingredients are (such as chelated minerals, which are more easily absorbed by the horse), and look for filler ingredients used to add bulk.
- The ‘active’ ingredients are the most beneficial from a nutritional point of view, so check how much of each active ingredient is included in the recommended daily serving – you can use this measurement to make an accurate comparison between products. Cheaper products will often contain a weaker dose or inferior quality raw materials.
- Ask the manufacturer for details of any research used to back up claims, and ask your vet for advice on choosing a product if your horse has a specific health problem, such as arthritis or COPD.
- Look for the Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS) logo, which ensures high standards of manufacturing and the traceability of ingredients.
- Many manufacturers offer a free helpline manned by nutrition experts, so call for advice on a particular product and how it should be fed.
- Remember that it can take weeks for a supplement to take effect, so don’t expect speedy results – they’re not a magic potion.
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