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Horse Nutrition

July 2020 SmartPak SmartTip of the Month: SmartSalt and SmartLytes for Salt and Electrolyte Loss

Photo Courtesy SmartPak

Salt (aka sodium chloride) and electrolytes play a key role in the health and well-being of your horse, so it’s important to ensure that his daily requirement is being met. However, pasture, hay, and fortified grain provide very little sodium chloride, which means many horses’ diets come up short. A salt lick may help, but some horses don’t lick them at all, and others lick them excessively or bite off chunks, so you never know if they’re getting the correct daily amount.

Adult horses in no work need at least one ounce of salt per day, and that need goes up with exercise and warm weather because of the loss of these minerals in sweat. There are two types of supplements that can help meet your horse’s salt requirements consistently, day in and day out: salt supplements and electrolyte supplements.

Salt supplements provide the two macro-minerals that make up salt (sodium and chloride), ensuring that your horse is always getting a consistent amount to help meet his daily requirements. In addition to supplying the salt your horse needs, a salt supplement may help encourage normal drinking. Proper hydration is essential to your horse’s digestive function, muscle performance and recovery, and overall health, no matter what season it is.

When your horse sweats, he loses salt and other key minerals—including potassium, calcium, and magnesium—that are essential to normal nerve and muscle function, If these macro-minerals aren’t replenished, your horse could be left with a nutritional imbalance and won’t be in optimal health or able to perform well.

Photo Courtesy SmartPak

Electrolyte supplements are a smart choice when your horse is sweating, because they are carefully formulated to mimic the mineral losses in equine sweat, helping to bring your horse back into balance. Along with replacing the minerals your horse loses in sweat, the salt in these supplements may also help encourage your horse to drink.

While sweating is most common during the hot days of summer, horses that compete heavily throughout the winter or live in warm climates may benefit from a comprehensive electrolyte supplement all year round.

SmartPak offers both supplements in convenient, easy-to-feed solutions. If you’re looking to provide your horse with strictly salt, SmartSalt Pellets provide the daily needed 1 oz of salt in a tasty apple-banana-flavored pellet.

If you’re looking for an electrolyte, SmartPak offers SmartLytes in pellets, powder, and even paste. This comprehensive formula not only supplies the sodium chloride your horse needs, but it also includes the addition of other electrolyte minerals that are lost in sweat—potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

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