This article was previously published February 9, 2015, and was updated with new information on April 22, 2022
Does iodized salt help support a healthy horse?
.All full-sized horses require at least one ounce (2 tablespoons) of iodized salt per day.
As the iodine content of grass is way too low to measure, and with so much of the nutrition in the soil stripped away or contaminated these days, your best bet is to rely on supplementation, either from salt or other sources, to ensure your horse’s needs are met.
The ideal diet for a healthy horse is one that contains 1 to 6 mg of iodine daily, which keeps the thyroid gland working properly.
However, remember that as many supplements and fortified feeds already contain iodine, you need to be sure of exactly how much your horse is consuming, as too much in the diet can have the opposite effect and actually damage the thyroid gland.
Iodized salt is a great way to add iodine and provide the much needed salt.
One teaspoon of iodized table salt contains 0.4 mg of iodine (3 tsp = 1 Tablespoon = 15 ml) and it’s as easy to obtain as picking up granulated salt from the grocery store, which comes in both iodized and non-iodized versions. Additionally, be sure that you only use iodized salt from reputable sources that guarantee their iodine analysis in writing.
Here’s a little help as you navigate the field:
* Blue and red salt blocks contain iodine
* White and brown salt blocks generally do not
* Sea salt, kelp, and other natural salt sources can vary tremendously in their iodine content
Be sure to read the labels carefully and protect your horse’s health.
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Looking for more advice on optimal nutrition for your horse?
For more than 20 years, Dr. Juliet Getty has taught and consulted on equine nutrition. Her comprehensive book, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse: Optimizing Your Horse’s Nutrition for a Lifetime of Vibrant Health, is available in hardcover and CD through her website, Getty Equine Nutrition. Horse owners and managers will find a library of helpful articles, the “Ask the Nutritionist” forum, and a calendar of appearances, teleconferences and interviews; register at the website for Dr. Getty’s popular (and free) monthly e-newsletter, “Forage for Thought.”
This article courtesy of HorseChannel.com
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