Can Dogs Eat Horse Hooves? 2 Restrictions

Can Dogs Eat Horse Hooves? is a question that I often get asked on my Facebook page and in my classes. The simple answer is yes, dogs do eat horse hooves, but most dog owners would be shocked to learn that horses were once domesticated.

A question that we frequently get is: “can my dog eat horse hoof?” While there is no doubt that dogs can eat horse meat (or any other animal’s meat, for that matter), they can’t digest horse hoof. In fact, they would probably starve if they did!

Dogs like horse hoofs, but should they be allowed to consume them? And if they are, does it have an impact on their health?

Can Dogs Eat Horse Hooves?

Horse hooves are comprised of keratin and can start to peel off.

Horse hoove trimmings are commonly fed to animals when this occurs. Animals of all kinds can be included in this. However, can dogs eat horse hooves?

To avoid tooth damage, dogs should not eat horse hooves. If a dog is to eat horse hooves, it should be given little trims to gnaw on. For those with sensitive teeth, they are a better option.

On the whole, horse hooves are not poisonous to dogs and can be ingested. Most of the difficulty arises in how hard the ordinary horse foot is.

Can Dogs Eat Horse Hooves? 

Reasons Why A Dog Should Not Eat Horse Hooves

1. Too Hard

Hardness is the main problem with dogs eating horse hooves.

If you ever take the time to grasp onto a horse foot, you will realize how hard it is. This will be difficult for the dog to chew on, and it may cause tooth damage. When a dog starts chewing on anything, don’t expect him to stop.

This is when their teeth can break and that is a cost you will not want to deal with. Aside from that, the dog will suffer as well!

Horse hooves are extremely hard, making them unsuitable for dogs’ teething needs. Even if the dog has powerful jaws, horse hooves are tricky to dig into.

This is why more and more dog owners hunt for options that are simpler for dogs to eat.

One of the key reasons for horse hooves being rock-solid has to do with the keratin. This is meant to be harsh in order to protect the horse, but it may also be an issue for dogs because of its protective nature.

If you insist on feeding your dog horse hooves, you might want to think about pig hooves instead.

These are much easier for the dog to eat and will not hurt them in any way.

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2. Limited Nutritional Value

When dogs eat horse hooves, there’s a legitimate concern about the food’s nutritional worth.

The keratin that is contained in horse hooves will not bring a lot of benefit to a dog’s diet plan. It is going to increase the probability of their teeth becoming harmed without much of a return.

This is why dog owners prefer to go with pig hooves.

Pig hooves are fantastic since they give similar advantages that are connected with horse hooves and don’t shatter the dog’s teeth.

This manner, you can make sure the dog has a good time playing with the hooves without damaging its teeth in the process.

When it comes to your dog’s health, the last thing you want to worry about is him chewing horse hooves.

3. Better Alternatives

This has already been brought up.

Horse hooves are not the only alternative that is out there. You are going to have the opportunity to look through a big selection of options with one of the greatest being pig hooves.

Using pig hooves is a cheap and effective way to deliver a powerful blow without harming the pig. As a dog owner, this alone makes it one of your best alternatives.

Hooves of pigs are said to be softer and more easily chewed by dogs.

However, dogs will still benefit from having something substantial to chew on, even if this is true. This allows them to focus on their teeth and biting force without damaging the structural integrity of their teeth.

Are Hooves Bad For Dogs?

Horse hooves are harmful for dogs as they are formed of keratin and can be rough to bite into. This might lead to the dog’s teeth becoming injured and/or worn down.

Why Do Dogs Like To Chew On Hooves?

Dogs like chewing on hooves for a variety of reasons, including dental health, relaxation, and the exquisite flavor of hooves.

Best Cow Hooves for Dogs

Hooves from cows are a unique treat that dogs of all breeds eat with gusto. From the enticing taste to the time-consuming chewing difficulty, cow hooves are a treat your dog may love significantly.

Despite your pup’s potential joy, these treats are a contentious pick among owners for a few excellent reasons.

For example, very firm treats like these might be hard on your pooch’s teeth – especially if they are serious chompers. Hooves that are brittle are more likely to split, which can lead to a variety of issues.

You know your canine best, thus it’s up to your best judgment as to whether or not cow hooves are a good fit for Fido. As with any chew treat, quality and careful monitoring are crucial to assuring safety and your pup’s delight!

Many pet owners and pet professionals have differing opinions on cow hooves for dogs. Learn why cow hooves may or may not make a great dog chew.

Are Cow Hooves Safe for Dogs?

The safety of a cow hoof depends on your degree of comfort and your pup’s level of chewing – these treats are certainly not something you’ll want your dog to enjoy unsupervised for lengthy periods of time.

For one, cow hooves are quite tough without much give. A dog’s teeth can be damaged if he bites down on a hoof too hard or with too much effort.

The standard tooth test is, try pushing down firmly on a chew with your fingernail. If it produces a minor mark or indentation, it’s generally not going to injure your dog’s teeth. If you can’t make a mark, there is some potential dental harm.

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The majority of mature dogs are aware of this hazard and avoid it by chewing softly on their hooves rather than crunching down hard.

However, all dogs are individuals. If you know your dog gets carried away with chews and you see him using his back molars to really crack down on the hoof, you may want to consider taking it away.

The risk is higher for pups also, as they aren’t generally as experienced enough to realize that particular chews demand more cautious nibbling.

Small fragments of hoof can become a threat to your dog due to the makeup of the hooves themselves.

You should check your dog’s treat to see whether any of these little bits have fallen off, and if they have, you should discard the hoof right once. These particles can be sharp and create troubles in the mouth and possibly the digestive tract.

To avoid a choking hazard, discard the hoof once your dog has eaten it down to a little piece.

For the most part, cow hooves are not preserved with anything unpleasant or possibly poisonous, in contrast to other ostensibly fresh delights like pig snouts or cow ears. They are constructed of (obviously) natural stuff, so it’s not the flavors or preservatives that might create difficulties — it’s the small fragmented bits and pieces that fall apart when your pooch is chewing.

A worst case scenario would be a blockage in the digestive system if your dog consumes a large enough chunk – that’s a medical emergency that demands immediate expert assistance.

So, for safety’s sake, it’s a good idea to chuck out your canine’s cow foot if he starts trying to ingest any little bits that are generated.

Are Cow Hooves Digestible?

Cow hooves are essentially the toe nails of a cow, and they’re mostly composed from a protein called keratin (the same material from which your nails are made) (the same material from which your nails are made).

The fibers in keratin aren’t easily broken down by your dog’s digestive system, so it will remain in tact. That means you may notice little chunks of cow hoof in your dog’s stool.

As a result, cow hooves aren’t a snack for dogs, but rather a chewy treat that can help keep their teeth healthy.

Pros and Cons of Giving Cow Hooves to Your Dog

What’s the point of giving your dog cow hooves if there’s risk involved? Turns out there are also perks – here are some pros and downsides of giving cow hooves to your dog.


Your dog will have plenty of fun chewing on a cow foot! In fact, it will keep some puppies occupied for days and days. Elk antlers and cow hooves are two of the most durable dog treats available. If you’re weary of your pooch trashing stuffies, rubber squeaky toys, and more, then a cow hoof is going to give him something to do for much longer.

They can be filled with delectable delicacies. Some cow hooves even come pre-filled with pup favorites like peanut butter, that’ll help keep your canine even more engaged.

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Honest-to-goodness cow hooves are hard to come by. They’re often acquired fresh from farms and treated to little preservatives or treatments.


They may damage your pet. A significant negative of cow hooves is the risk linked with most difficult chew treats – the irrefutable possibility of tiny shards falling off and harming your pup’s mouth or digestive tract.

A watchful eye is essential. You must always keep a tight eye on your dog if you let him play with the cow hooves while you’re away.

Cow hooves stink. One of the most common complaints about cow hooves isn’t from dogs at all, but rather from humans who are put off by the strong smell that comes from a half-eaten treat.

Final Thoughts

Can dogs eat horse hooves?

There’s no reason for dogs to eat horse hooves. These hooves are oily, hard to chew, and may cause a lot of harm to a dog’s teeth. If a horse has been dewormed, its hooves may also get infected, which is harmful to dogs.

Here is more on dogs — understanding how dogs move, offering mint candy to dogs, giving q tips to a dog, and giving lactose-free milk to a dog.


Horse hoof walls are made of keratinized skin cells, the same material hair, horns, and antlers. When freshly cut, hoof trimmings and hoof shavings are flexible and somewhat soft. The fresh keratin cells and the bouquet of odors in trimmings are irresistible to dogs!
Like bones and other hard chew toys, cow hooves pose the dual danger of breaking your dog’s teeth or splintering, which could lead to puncture injuries of your dog’s mouth or digestive tract
Are Cow Hooves Digestible? Cow hooves are essentially the toe nails of a cow, and they’re largely made from a substance called keratin (the same material from which your nails are made). Keratin isn’t very digestible, so it’ll tend to pass through your dog’s digestive tract intact.
While the idea of eating these filled hoove treats might seem a little on the gross side for us, dogs absolutely love them and they are naturally healthy as they are high in protein and low in fat.
Princy Hoang
See more articles in this category: Dogs

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