No Added Sugar
The amount of sugar in food can contribute to poor health. And that’s true of food for horse’s too. Ailments such as Laminitis, obesity and Cushing’s Syndrome are all associated with too much sugar in horse feed. So what should you do to reduce the sugar in your horse’s diet?
Think about the sugar content when deciding what to feed a horse
Many of us are trying to cut down on sugar. A teaspoon less of the sweet stuff in our coffee or tea and giving the cake and cookie aisle at the supermarket a wide berth is a good way of working towards a healthier lifestyle. Thanks to regular media reports, we know that tucking into food and drinks that are high in added sugar will contribute to weight gain – and being overweight can increase the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes!
How much sugar is in your horse’s food?
Have you ever given much thought, though, to how horse feeds with added sugar affect the health and wellbeing of your horse? We’re not talking about naturally occurring sugar in a horse’s feed because it is rarely, if ever, completely sugar-free. Even straw, alfalfa, grass, hay and haylage contain some sugar! We mean horse feeds where the manufacturer has added extra sugar in the form of molasses, for example.
Energy for horses: how much is too much?
Excess sugar in our horses’ diets can provide too much energy for horses, resulting in them becoming fizzy, over-excitable and overweight. It is also suggested that Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), which occurs as a result of chronic obesity, is a contributing factor to the onset of PPID (Cushing’s Syndrome). For further information and advice on obesity in horses we recommend browsing the articles in our friendly feed advice pages.
Feeding the laminitic horse or pony
No added sugar and low starch diets are essential for horses and ponies prone to laminitis. Diet-related laminitis usually occurs as a result of the horse or pony consuming too much sugar or starch, found in cereal based horse feed. Grass is the main source of sugar in the horse's diet and it is often the main source of energy too. As obesity is a predisposing factor to laminitis, restricting grass intake is essential if you are ever going to win the battle of the bulge. Dengie’s nutritionists have written specific advice about how to control grass intake and more information on feeding horses and ponies prone to laminitis.
Horse feed without molasses
Dengie cares about your horse as much as you do. That’s why we have developed a fantastic range of high-fibre feeds with no added sugar that are perfect for providing horses and ponies with a healthy, balanced diet to suit their workload.
Healthy Hooves Molasses Free
Dengie Healthy Hooves Molasses Free is the only complete fibre feed without molasses that provides essential nutrients for healthy hooves and is approved by The Laminitis Trust. Healthy Hooves Molasses Free is the safest horse feed option today for horses and ponies prone to laminitis. Healthy Hooves Molasses Free is high in fibre and low in calories, is packed with essential nutrients such as B vitamins including biotin, for healthy hooves but with no added sugar. High in fibre helping to promote efficient gut function and naturally low in starch at just 1.5% and naturally occurring sugar at just 2.5%, Healthy Hooves Molasses Free promotes quality hoof horn and when fed at the recommended levels no additional supplements are required. Garlic and pellets are included for interest and great taste.
Hi-Fi Molasses Free
Dengie Hi-Fi Molasses Free is the lowest combined sugar, starch and energy Laminitis Trust approved feed making it the ideal choice for leisure horses and ponies and good doers. It is formulated from chopped and pelleted alfalfa, with a blend of soft straw and a light coating of oil with added mint and fenugreek for great taste. Hi-Fi Molasses Free contains no added sugar and has very low levels of starch. Added oil and the fibre supply slow-release energy which is great for horses and ponies prone to fizzy or excitable behaviour. Approved by The Laminitis Trust, naturally occurring vitamins and minerals will help improve hoof quality and coat condition.
Alfa-A Molasses Free
Dengie Alfa-A Molasses Free is a medium-calorie feed – with no added sugar – for working horses and ponies or those needing to gain or maintain weight. It is made from a blend of chopped and pelleted alfalfa, with a sprinkle of real mint and fenugreek to really make things tasty, and a glug of oil, which helps to deliver a super, shiny coat. Energy is provided from fibre and oil and at 11.5MJ/kg is comparable to a medium energy mix or cube but is on average ten times lower in starch than the cereal alternatives. This popular feed – approved by The Laminitis Trust and preservative-free – is packed with naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, is great for increasing chew time and improving hoof condition.
Energy for horses, without the added sugar
Alfa-A Molasses Free is joined by four other Dengie feeds that are perfect for fuelling hard work yet contain no added sugar: Alfa-A Oil, Healthy Tummy, Alfa-Beet and Alfalfa Pellets:
Dengie Alfa-A Oil is a fantastic conditioning feed that provides the same amount of energy as a conditioning mix or cube. With no added sugar and preservative-free, combines alfalfa with a coating of oil. It can be fed as a sole bucket feed or alongside a supplement from Dengie’s Natural Vitality range.
Dengie Healthy Tummy is a complete fibre feed with no added sugar that is perfect for promoting optimum digestive health. Made from pure alfalfa, which is naturally low in sugar and starch; alfalfa is proven to be a natural buffer to acidity in the digestive tract. Also included is Protexin In-Feed formula, with prebiotics and live yeast encouraging good bacteria in the gut to flourish. The feed also contains high-specification vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins including biotin, with a light coating of oil and the herbs oregano, cinnamon and ginger, which make Healthy Tummy highly palatable.
Dengie Alfa-Beet is made from a combination of alfalfa and sugar beet, is high in fibre and low in starch with no added sugar. It’s a great conditioning feed and ideal for older horses who struggle to chew or aiding hydration. Approved by The Laminitis Trust it has a natural sugar level of less than 5%, which is less than half of what you would expect to find in hay, and has a comparable energy level to cool mix or cube.
Dengie Alfalfa Pellets are a high-fibre source for horses and ponies made from pure alfalfa, with its naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. The feed is low in starch and has no added sugar; Alfalfa Pellets can be fed as a mash for those that struggle to chew or can be used in snack balls to help alleviate boredom in the stable.
Help and advice for a no added sugar, low starch diet for your horse
The friendly Dengie Feedline is on hand to offer additional help and advice. Our expert nutritionists are on hand to help guide you towards a no added sugar, low starch diet that your horse or pony will love – call 0845 345 5115 or chat online.
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