Can a Horse Get Drunk?

It is not uncommon for horses to be fed beer. And, this is done for different reasons. Beer is known to contain some beneficial nutrients and Guinness beer is specifically believed to treat anhidrosis. Some racehorse trainers give beers to horses as a form of reward or energizer after a race. Horses seem to enjoy having a drink as well so you and your horse can become drinking buddies.

The straightforward answer to the question “can a horse get drunk” will be a yes. A horse can get drunk. However, there are other things we should consider. Factors like how much beer it’ll take to get a horse drunk and if their drinking capacity and alcohol digestion are similar to the process in humans.

Horses probably like beer because it contains ingredients that are also present in their regular diet like oats.

So, while serving your horse beer will keep it happy, they may have their specific preferences. While horses will enjoy consuming beer, it’s difficult to what their limits are. So it’s best to prevent that from happening by restricting the amount of beer they can have access to.

How much alcohol can a horse drink?

A horse will have to take a really large amount of beer before they get intoxicated or to a completely drunken state. Unlike humans, they break down alcohol quickly due to the abundance of alcohol dehydrogenase present in a horse’s liver.


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Horses don’t easily get drunk. A 12-ounce beer serving in a bucket won’t impact your horse’s mental state or cause them to behave abnormally.

You won’t get a positive drug test from horses because of beer even if they have some before a competition. However, it is wise you confirm with the organizers that it’s not against the rules before doing so. Your fellow competitors may also point fingers even when nothing points to an altered performance.

It is safe to let your horse drink beer from a bucket. Trying to make them learn to drink from a glass may cause injuries and a trip to the vet.

What about the calories consumed from drinking beer?

Another issue that may get horse owners concerned is if beer consumption will cause a horse to put on weight. That is highly unlikely as well considering how fast they burn calories and how many calories they need per day.

The average horse requires about 17000 calories each day and a more active horse even more. A 12-ounce beer serving depending on the kind of beer can provide anywhere from 55 to 250 calories. So, you don’t need to cut back on your horse’s regular diet because it has had some beer to drink. The calories will be burned in no time.

Unlike humans, giving your horse beer every day for instance will not have a significant impact on their waistline. You have absolutely nothing to worry about if your horse is very active physically. The gained calories will be lost pretty quickly.

Final Thoughts

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Summarily, giving your horse some beer to drink after a long day won’t get them drunk but doing it consistently can be considered as animal harm. You can decide to give less-active horses a lesser amount of beer. A horse can be served beer after a competition, training session, or on a really hot day.