The Pros and Cons of Cow Hooves for Dogs

The Pros and Cons of Cow Hooves for Dogs


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Last week, we delved into the world of pig ear dog chews. This week, let’s explore the pros and cons of cow hooves for dogs. Reviews from both pet owners and professionals are mixed when it comes to this particular chew, so it’s important to make your own assessment of whether cow hooves are suitable for your furry friend.

The Advantages of Cow Hooves

If your dog loves spending hours chewing, then cow hooves are a great choice. These hooves are impressively durable, lasting a full day even for moderate to power chewers. That’s a significant amount of time for a dog chew.

One of the major advantages of cow hooves is their affordability. A single hoof costs less than a dollar, and purchasing them in bulk makes them even more budget-friendly. You can find cow hooves at most pet retailers and online stores, including those sourced from cows born and raised in the USA.

Cow hooves are also considered a natural product since they are the actual hooves of a cow. After a cow is slaughtered, the hooves are sold to pet food vendors who thoroughly clean, shave, and dry them for resale as pet chews. These hooves can even be hollowed out after cleaning, making it easy to stuff them with cheese or peanut butter for added enjoyment.

The Drawbacks of Cow Hooves

The biggest downside of cow hooves for dogs is the smell. Let’s not sugarcoat it—cow hooves stink! The smell becomes more pronounced when the hooves are chewed, and it can linger on your carpet for days, or even weeks.

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Picture this: you come home from work, catch a whiff of something foul, and assume your dog has had an accident indoors. However, upon investigation, you find a half-chewed cow hoof sitting on your living room floor. Yes, the smell is truly that bad. Consider yourself warned. While this odor may repulse pet owners, it’s actually a pro for dogs because they adore stinky smells!

Like all durable dog chews, there are risks associated with cow hooves. There’s always the possibility of tooth fractures, gum lacerations, choking, and digestive obstructions. Chewed cow hooves can splinter and develop sharp edges, leading to mouth lacerations, punctures, and bleeding.

Another curious observation is that dogs tend to become unusually thirsty after chewing on cow hooves. It could be due to the act of chewing itself or the additives present on the hooves.

Ensuring Cow Hoof Chew Safety

Cow hooves are best suited for moderate chewers, so exercise extreme caution when giving them to power chewers. Light chewers, on the other hand, might find these chews too tough and lose interest quickly.

Always supervise your dog while they chew on any type of toy or chew, even if they have had experience with these items before. Every 10 minutes or so, walk over to your dog and exchange the cow hoof for a piece of hot dog or cheese. This game not only allows you to inspect the chew for splinters, large chunks, or sharp edges but also helps prevent resource guarding and teaches your dog good manners. During these breaks, take a moment to check your dog’s mouth and gums for any signs of bleeding or teeth damage.

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Once a cow hoof has been chewed down to a small nugget, it’s best to dispose of it to prevent your dog from swallowing the last piece. Remember, any dog chew can potentially be harmful, so close supervision is crucial.

So, there you have it—the pros and cons of cow hooves for dogs. By considering these factors and understanding your dog’s chewing habits, you can make an informed decision about whether cow hooves are the right choice for your beloved pet.

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