By Jennifer Roberts
Its true, the smell of ammonia may be stronger in the summer months, with the sun beating down on urine and heating up wet spots in stalls. However, that doesn’t mean that ammonia is gone in the winter.
In fact, ammonia is just as dangerous in winter. While the odor may not be as noxious, ammonia gas does damage to the respiratory system before the nostrils are able to detect it. Ammonia is a health risk to your horse, stressing the upper respiratory airways and placing them at risk for pneumonia, heaves and other serious illness.
In the winter, the effects of ammonia can actually be magnified, as horses are spending more time inside, and therefore spending more time in an environment full of ammonia. And, when they are turned out, horses also tend to spend time in run-in sheds where ammonia accumulates.
In the winter, there also tends to be less ventilation in the barn, with doors and windows closed in an effort to keep horses (and humans) warm. This traps the ammonia in the stalls and the rest of the barn.
There are a number of ways to lower levels of ammonia in the barn, starting with cleaning stalls and run-ins on a regular basis (no matter how cold your fingers may be!). The liberal application of a stall refresher, such as Sweet PDZ, in the stalls, aisle ways and run-in sheds effectively eliminates ammonia. In addition to these measures, keeping the barn well ventilated will also aid in your horses’ respiratory health.
Snow and ice may be on the forefront of your mind during the winter, but make sure that you continue to fight ammonia as well.
Sweet PDZ has been keeping stalls healthy for over 32 years and continues to be the leading horse stall freshener on the market. This organic (OMRI Listed), non-toxic mineral captures, neutralizes and eliminates harmful levels of ammonia and odors. Sweet PDZ is a far superior alternative to lime products for ammonia removal and moisture absorption. For more information, as well as a dealer locator, visit SweetPDZ.com.
The Northwest Horse Source is an independently owned and operated print and online magazine for horse owners and enthusiasts of all breeds and disciplines in the Pacific Northwest. Our contemporary editorial columns are predominantly written by experts in the region, covering the care, training, keeping and enjoyment of horses, with an eye to the specific concerns in our region.