A healthy horse is a happy horse, and one that’s less likely to get sick. Here are seven important things you should do to keep your horse strong and healthy.

1. Have your horse vaccinated and keep them up to date.

Like any living creature, horses are prone to infectious diseases that may or may not be fatal. Thankfully, many of these serious illnesses can be prevented through proper vaccination.

Get your horse vaccinated for Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis, equine herpes, equine influenza, rabies, and tetanus.

2. Never skip an annual physical exam with the veterinarian.

Just because your horse is feeling fine doesnt mean that its absolutely healthy. Only your vet can find out whether there are any hidden issues. Having these early-stage problems addressed before they become full-blown illnesses isnt only good for the welfare of your horse, it can also save you money.

3. Pay attention to your horses dental health.

An annual dental exam is just as important as a physical exam. Your veterinarian is also trained to determine if there are any mouth or tooth problems. Dental problems, if left untreated, can cause decreased performance, weight loss, and undesirable behavior.

4. Keep your horses weight in check.

While its unlikely that youll let your horse starve, giving too much food also has some undesirable consequences. Excess weight puts unnecessary stress on joints and legs, and increases the risk of several health problems.

If your horse is overweight, reduce its intake of calorie-rich grains or make it exercise more frequently. You can also give it vitamin and mineral supplements to balance its diet.

5. Exercise your horse daily.

If you keep your horse in a barn, daily exercise is a must. Regularly scheduled exercise helps your horse lose some weight (if it’s overweight), relieves stress, and develops a pleasing attitude.

6. Make sure that the stable is clean and dry.

Many diseases can be prevented if you keep your horses shelter sanitary. An example of such disease is rain rot, a painful skin infection that’s common in horses. The organisms that cause this condition stay on the horses skin. If left in a moist and humid environment, they multiply rapidly and the skin can become infected.

7. Interact with your horse regularly.

Attention and affection helps reduce stress and anxiety in horses. By routinely interacting with your horse, youre also teaching it to be open to interaction with other people. If your horse is accustomed to attention and human touch, your veterinarian will have an easier time examining it.

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