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Donkey Care Basics

May 16, 2023

Are you interested in adopting a donkey? Donkeys are very fun and charming, and there are many of them who need great homes. Donkeys get along well with horses, but their care needs are a bit different in some areas. Read up on donkey care in this article from your veterinarian in Wickenburg, AZ, and the surrounding communities.


Donkeys are very sociable, and they tend to be very loving and friendly. They can get lonely, so it’s best to have at least two. (These guys also do quite well with goats, but that’s another topic.) Donkeys not only have long ears, but they also have long memories: they’ve been known to recognize both other people and other animals, even after being separated from them for years or even decades.


Donkeys need at least a good three-sided shelter, if  not a full barn. They hate rain, and don’t do particularly well in the cold. You may need to blanket your hooved pal during cold snaps. You’ll need to provide clean bedding and fresh water. Proper ventilation is also a must!


Donkeys are natural grazers, and will nibble on not just grass, but also bushes, berries, and fallen produce. Ideally, their diets should be high in fiber, such as hay or straw, but low in protein and sugar. Like all of our other animal companions, they love treats. It’s fine to offer the occasional apple or carrot, but don’t go overboard. Donkeys can quickly become obese! You’ll also need to provide a salt or mineral lick formulated specifically for donkeys.

Health Care

Regular exams, vaccinations, and parasite control will protect your buddy from many dangerous diseases and illnesses. You’ll still need to watch for signs of illness. Some of these would include lack of eating, depression, lethargy, limping, red eyes, and breathing difficulty. It’s also a good idea to brush up on some of the things that donkeys can be prone to. These include endocrine disorders, hyperlipaemia, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, glanders, and African horse disease. Ask your vet for more information.


Like horses, donkeys need to be brushed regularly. Many donkeys really enjoy being brushed. This is also great for bonding! Proper hoof care and dental care are also crucial. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Do you have questions about donkey care? Contact us, your veterinarian in Wickenburg, AZ, and the surrounding communities, anytime!

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