The Ups and Downs of Cow Hooves as Dog Chews

Cow Hooves for Dogs
Image Credit: Carola Schubbel/Adobe Stock

Last time, we explored the world of pig ear dog chews. Today, let’s dive into the pros and cons of cow hooves for our furry friends. The opinions of pet owners and professionals are divided when it comes to this particular chew, so it’s important to consider the facts and make an informed decision for your pet.

The Benefits of Cow Hooves

If your dog is a dedicated chewer, then cow hooves are sure to delight them. These hooves are incredibly durable, lasting a full day even for dogs with a powerful chomping ability. That’s quite an impressive chew time!

Price-wise, cow hooves won’t break the bank. You can find them for less than a dollar each, and if you buy in bulk, the savings are even greater. These chews are readily available at most pet retailers and online stores. Furthermore, if you prefer supporting local businesses, you can find hooves from cows born and raised in the USA.

Another advantage of cow hooves is their natural origin. They are the actual hooves from cows, making them an all-natural product. After the cows are slaughtered, the hooves are sold to pet food vendors who meticulously clean, shave, and dry them for resale. These hooves are hollowed out during the cleaning process, allowing for the addition of cheese or peanut butter—a perfect incentive for your furry friend.

Drawbacks to Consider

The most significant drawback of cow hooves for dogs is their smell. Let’s be honest—cow hooves stink! The odor becomes even worse when they are chewed and can linger on your carpets for days, or even weeks. Coming home from work and catching a whiff of what seems like an indoor potty accident, only to discover a half-chewed cow hoof on your living room floor, is not a pleasant experience. Consider yourself warned! However, as much as this smell may repel pet owners, it strangely entices our four-legged friends. Dogs simply can’t resist stinky stuff!

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As with any durable dog chew, there are risks involved. Cow hooves can splinter and develop sharp edges, potentially leading to tooth fractures, gum lacerations, choking, or digestive obstructions. Additionally, dogs may become excessively thirsty after chewing on cow hooves. This could be due to the act of chewing itself or the additives present on the hooves.

Ensuring Safe Chewing

It is important to note that cow hooves are most suitable for moderate chewers. If your dog is a power chewer, exercise extreme caution when offering them a cow hoof. On the other hand, light chewers might find these chews too tough and lose interest quickly.

Regardless of your dog’s chewing habits, always supervise them while they enjoy any kind of toy or chew, even if they have had prior experience with these items. It is recommended to follow the “trade game” approach. Every 10 minutes or so, trade the cow hoof for a piece of hot dog or cheese. This not only enables you to inspect the chew for splinters, large chunks, or sharp edges, but also prevents resource guarding and teaches your dog good manners. During the break, take a moment to check your dog’s mouth and gums for any signs of bleeding or chipped teeth.

Once the cow hoof has been chewed down to a small nugget, it’s best to throw it away to avoid any potential harm if your dog were to swallow the final piece. Remember, no chew is entirely risk-free, so supervision is key to keeping your beloved pet safe.

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So, whether you choose cow hooves or not, always ensure that the chewing experience is a safe and enjoyable one for your loyal companion.

For further information on cow hooves and other pet-related topics, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ, a website dedicated to providing valuable insights and resources for pet owners. Happy chewing!