Can Dogs Eat Cow Hooves

Can Dogs Eat Cow Hooves?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Their teeth can be cracked or damaged if they chew on cow hooves. The hooves of cows can cause choking. Splintered and sharp edges may be present in chewed cow hooves.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Cow Hooves?“.

Dogs need entertainment but how can you keep them entertained?

Can Dogs Eat Cow Hooves

To keep their pets occupied for a long period of time many pet owners will provide them with something to chew.

People often choose cow hooves because they are readily available and inexpensive.

They’re also very popular with dogs.

Dogs can eat cow hooves but the question is can they eat them?

Do dogs get sick from eating cow feet? 

These questions cannot be answered easily.

Cow hooves have been marketed as great dog treats but many are warning that the risks associated with them are significant.

We will examine cow hooves for dogs in-depth so we can help you decide whether distracting your dog for a short time is worth the risks.

What are cow hooves?

Hooves are essentially the feet of an animal.

Water and keratin compose the hoof.

Its a protein thats present in hair and nails.

You can also use cattle horns.

Pet owners often choose this type of treatment for their pets since it is all-natural and therefore unlikely to pose any health risks. Pet store products do not always adhere to this rule.

How are cow hooves processed?

Among the byproducts of the food industry are cow hooves. Hooves cannot be used by meat plants after the cow is slaughtered. Rather than waste the hooves they sell them to pet chew companies who turn the hooves into tasty treats.

These allegedly natural treats have one of the biggest problems. It is first and foremost necessary for the dog chew producers to remove all biological residues from the hooves. This is followed by hoof washing.

However many other companies use harsh chemicals such as lye or bleach to clean their hooves. When the hooves are covered with chemicals you can imagine what is going to happen to your dog.

Buying hooves from an honest company that does not use chemicals is one way to avoid this risk.

The majority of pet stores sell cheap hooves imported from countries such as China where there are lax regulations. Those who manufacture chews in China are not concerned about the health of an American or British pet.

It is unfortunate that some companies sell dog chews under their own brands but they buy their stuff from countries far away. 

Be sure the hooves are from locally raised and slaughtered cows if you want to make sure your dog is safe.

A more attractive shape is achieved by trimming the hooves during the processing stage. Occasionally they remove a thin layer from the foots bottom the part that touches the ground. Also the hoofs upper part is cut off and this is a good thing as the walls of this area are thin and can splinter.

Can Dogs Eat Cow Hooves? Cow hooves for dogs good or bad?

You might be wondering if it is ok for your dog to eat cow hooves? You will get an answer to this in the following discussion.

What are the pros of giving cow hooves to your dog?

Cow hooves can keep a dog busy for hours which is why people buy them for their dogs.

  • A dogs chewing instinct must be satisfied. You might find that they chew your shoes or furniture if they do not get chewable treats. In addition a dog that is bored might bite its own paws which could result in serious injury.
  • In addition to helping keep their teeth clean chewing on something keeps the dogs teeth clean. Many pet owners choose this option when it is difficult to brush their dogs teeth.
  • You can also provide mental stimulation to your dog by giving him a chewable treat. Humans might find chewing boring but dogs find it mentally stimulating and it stretches their brains in many ways. He’ll have to find ways to lick that peanut butter out of his hoof especially if theres some in there.

What are the cons of giving cow hooves to your dog

Your dog will be put at serious risk if you give it a hoof to chew while you get about your business. Dogs simply cannot chew on their hooves without being monitored.

Dogs alone with hooves can do a lot of harm. 

Your dog might get a few broken teeth

A dog enjoys chewing on cow hooves because they are hard. However dogs chip their teeth when they chew on the treat. Especially if you give them some rawhide or jerky. Dogs chew aggressively. An aggressive dog will rip into a treat furiously once he works himself into a frenzy. 

You must take your dog to the vet when he breaks a tooth and it can be quite expensive to have it repaired. The cost of the hoofs you bought goes far beyond the few dollars you paid. The dog also has to go through pain and suffering.

Cow hooves are a choking hazard

Depending on how strong your dog is he could break the hoof into smaller pieces. This could easily lead to a piece getting stuck in his throat. It is so important to supervise the dog and you cannot afford to do so. 

Cow hooves can get stuck on the dog’s jaw

The chewable treat may get looped around the lower jaw of the dog if cow hooves have a circular shape. However it will cause your dog a lot of distress. It is often impossible for pet owners to remove the hoof by themselves. The teeth of the dog can be damaged if you attempt to pry the hoof free. 

Immediately bring your dog to the veterinarian if this happens. While the hoof is being sawn off by the vet the dog must often be sedated. 

Large hoof pieces can cause bowel obstruction or internal bleeding

Those pieces may have jagged edges when the hoof splinters. This piece may even manage to enter the dogs stomach or intestinal lining causing internal bleeding. Peritonitis a bacterial infection that can be fatal if left untreated can be caused by a splinter piercing the stomach wall. 

Bowel obstructions can be caused by a large piece stuck in the intestines. They include:

  • Involuntary vomiting
  • Having diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • Weaknesses
  • Deficiency of water

When your dog displays such symptoms after playing with cow hooves you should make an appointment with a veterinarian. X-rays might be ordered to determine if the obstruction is real. The hoof splinter might need to be surgically removed if it is too large to be passed through the hoof. 

Cow hooves stink

It will smell like something that no dog has ever tasted before if you feed it cow hooves. You would not have to worry about it stinking once you open the dog. When they chew they release a revolting scent because their saliva comes into contact with them. There will be a stench throughout the entire room and you would not be able to eliminate it quickly. 

No matter how hard you scrub the odor lingers on the floor or the dogs bedding regardless of how hard you try to eliminate it. 

Are Cow Hooves safe for Dogs to eat?

The hooves might make a great dog treat provided they come from a reliable source and are free of any chemicals. Watch your dog closely while giving him this treat. 

Below are some tips on how to keep your dog safe during the whole process. I hope they help.

Make sure the hoof is not too hard

Make sure the hoof is hard before giving it to your dog. Using your fingernail is the easiest way to do that. A small dent with your nail in the hoof indicates that it is not too hard. The chances of your dog breaking a tooth are high if you do not leave a mark on its hoof.

Inspect the hoof every 15 minutes

Giving up the chew will be difficult for the dog. Look for cracks or sharp edges in the hoof after offering a small treat. When it appears that the hoof might splinter throw it out. Despite loud protest barks from your dog do not worry.

Observe the gums and teeth of the dog looking for any cuts or bleeding.

Hooves that are too small are thrown away

A small piece of cow hoof can be swallowed by a dog if it is chewed down to a small size. Choking can occur when a piece so small is present. If it can make its way down it can cause bowel obstruction which is something you want to avoid.

So can dogs have cow hooves?

Dogs should not be given cow hooves as a treat. You can try offering your dog a hoof that has been exposed to dangerous cleaning products if you have the guarantee the product was used.

It will require you to keep an eye on him throughout the process. You are taking a big risk by leaving the dog unattended and both the dog and your wallet may suffer the consequences.

Unlike human dentists dog dentists are difficult to find and very expensive. 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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