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Silent but Dangerous: The Hazards of Ammonia Fumes in your Barn

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That horse stall odor we are all familiar with is more than just unpleasant -- it can be hazardous to your horse’s health. The odor is actually airborne ammonia, a toxic gas, and even at low levels can cause respiratory distress.  

Stall Deodorizer

Did you know, ammonia is one of the top causes of equine respiratory problems? Frequently the risk can be highest in winter when horses spend more time in their stalls, and barns are closed up to protect animals from the cold.  If a horse’s respiratory tract is compromised it becomes an easy target for bacteria, viruses, mold, parasites and other foreign elements. Ammonia stresses a horse’s upper respiratory airways placing him at risk of pneumonia, heaves, and other serious illnesses. Foals are especially vulnerable to these ailments. Senior horses and those with a weak immune system are also more likely to be impacted.

Ammonia can be reduced by removing the soaked bedding from the stall, of course. But ammonia can volatilize (pass off vapor) in short order and can quickly pollute the air, especially in a closed-up barn.

A number of different stall deodorizers are available on the market, and when first applied we’ve found the odor may be reduced or covered up with a scent or perfume. But within an hour or less, the smell returns. Why?  Because many deodorizers just mask the ammonia. Simply stated, the ammonia is still there. And your horses are still breathing it and feeling its noxious and harmful effects.

The best way to get rid of the ammonia and its odor is to eliminate the ammonia itself. Are we talking hoses, mops and buckets of disinfectant? That’s one option and something you might do on a warm spring day as part of your deep cleaning routine. But it’s hardly practical, especially this time of year! Besides, the very next day you’ll have the odor again.

If you haven’t tried Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher in your stalls yet, now is a great time to put it to the test. This all-natural product neutralizes ammonia, rather than masking it.  Made from zeolite, a natural mineral, Sweet PDZ absorbs moisture through an natural and unique mineral action, captures ammonia and eliminates it. It’s completely safe for horses, ALL animals and humans. No gloves are required when spreading it!

What is another advantage of Sweet PDZ? It is a drying agent so it keeps bedding drier and performing more effectively, so you don’t have to replace it as often. It’s easy to apply – just use a scoop and sprinkle it in the areas of the stall that are wet. Or if you’ve just cleaned the stall, lay it down in the areas that are normally wet.

If you smell ammonia in your horse’s stall, you have more than an odor problem…you have a health problem. Safeguard your horse’s health this winter with Sweet PDZ. And keep your barn healthy and smelling fresh! 

stall deodorizer


Gabby Gufler

Gabby Gufler

Gabby Gufler graduated from Truman State University in 2013 with a BS in Animal Science & Nutrition and a minor in Equine Science. Gabby currently works on Manna Pro’s marketing team, and enjoys competing regularly with her six horses.

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