Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Back to results
Enter Your Information All fields are required

While efforts are made to answer all questions as quickly as possible, if an immediate answer is required or if your pet is in need of urgent or emergency care, contact your pet's veterinarian immediately.

*Please note: Questions submitted and the answers will appear on our website as a benefit to all pet owners. Please make sure not to include any personal information in the box where you enter your question.

Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Thank you! Your question has been submitted.

You will receive an answer from Dr. Dym and our vet/tech team as soon as possible, usually the same day.

All answers are provided for informational or educational purposes only, and are intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your pet's veterinarian.

It may be necessary to consult your pet's veterinarian regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your pet's symptoms or medical condition.

Close
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Oops! Your question has not been submitted.

An error has occurred, please reload the page and try again.

Close
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Got questions? Ask Dr. Dym & our Vet Team:

While efforts are made to answer all questions as quickly as possible, if an immediate answer is required or if your pet is in need of urgent or emergency care, contact your pet's veterinarian immediately.

Do these answer your question?
Showing of | See All
Have another question, or can’t find your answer?
Submit your question
We're Sorry!

There is no answer related to your question

Can’t find your answer?
Submit your question
Category Hide All Show All

How To Get Your Horse Ready For Winter

The days are getting shorter, and riding season is coming to an end. Even though your horse has innate ways of coping with cold weather, they may need some help staying warm. Here's what you can do to get your horse ready for the winter:

Feeding Your Horse In The Winter
Your horse's digestive process helps them maintain body heat. They'll need more calories in the winter to stay warm. The average horse needs 25% higher energy intake during the coldest months, though it varies from horse to horse depending on their age, how much time they will spend outside, how well they tolerate the cold.

Your horse will need at least 1.5-3% of their body weight in forage. They should also have access to a salt block and water. If your horse's trough tends to freeze over in the winter, you can invest in a trough heater to make sure they're never without water.

Winter Hoof Care
In the winter, your horse's hooves will typically grow more slowly. You may notice that you do not need visits from the farrier quite as often.

Even so, your horse may be vulnerable to weather-related hoof issues. Exposure to moisture can cause the hoof to expand and contract, and this can allow bacteria to enter the hoof capsule, sometimes leading to an abscess.

When your horse encounters snow, it may melt and refreeze between the soles of their hooves and the shoes, forming ice balls. Anti-snowball rim pads form a barrier that pushes out ice balls.

If you do not plan to ride your horse as much in the winter, you can let them go barefoot. This can give their hooves a break and prevent ice balls from forming.

Should I Blanket My Horse In The Winter?
The start of winter is a good time to make sure your horse's blankets still fit and that they have not been damaged in storage by mold, mildew, mice, or moths.

Your horse's winter coat will grow in until around December 22, after which the days will gradually start to become longer again. The temperature influences the rate at which your horse's hair grows, so if you blanket before then, it may not grow in as much. Even so, you may still choose to blanket your horse earlier in the season.

An older horse may no longer be as good as regulating their temperature. A hard keeper may not have enough body fat to stay warm and may have trouble staying warm. If your horse's coat is clipped, they'll also need a blanket. Also be prepared to blanket your horse if it gets unusually cold out.