Are Cow Hooves Good For Dogs To Eat?

Written by Wen Duan

 Are Cow Hooves Good For Dogs To Eat?

No. They are not safe. 

Hooves are a popular and cheap treat you can find in most pet store. So many people assume that it is good for your dog. Cow hooves are not safe for your dog. When broken it can be sharp and brittle. Those sharp and brittle pieces can cause fracturing of theteeth, gum lacerations, choking, and digestive obstructions. 

Chewed cow hooves can develop sharp edges that can puncture your dog's mouth and break off splinters that can cause issues in the digestive track. The pieces that break off can damage or tear up your dog's insides.

An additional note, when chewed, cow hooves can have an off-putting smell. 

How to tell if a edible chew or chew toy is safe for your dog

Is your chew too hard? 

It's important to protect your dog's teeth when it comes to providing chews. The general rule for that is, if it is harder than your dog's tooth or you can drive a nail into the chew, it's too hard for your dog's teeth. A majority of hard chews falls into the category. But if you are concerned about your dog's teeth this is a good rule to go by. 

Another test you can use to determine if your chew is too hard is to press your thumbnail into the toy. If it doesn't give or leave a mark when you press your thumbnail on it, then it is probably too hard for you dog. If it is too hard, then the toy can potentially break your dog's teeth. 

Is your Toy too soft? 

Soft toys can also be problematic. They are easier to tear apart and swallow stuffing or torn off pieces. With soft toys you need to consider if they are durable enough for your dog.

Is your treat coated? 

Coating, flavorings, and preservatives can cause digestive issues for some dogs. Pigs ears have coating that can cause your dog to have an upset stomach. 

Is your chew or toy too big or too small?

Even the best toys might not be good for your dog if they are too small. It's important to pick the right size toys for your dogs. In the photo to the left is an X-ray showing small Kongs that ended up in a dog's stomach. Kongs are great toys, but when a dog is given one that is too small, it makes it easier to swallow. 


The dog from this X-Ray is ok after surgery to remove the small Kongs toys. As with all chews and toys, make sure to keep an eye on your dog while they are enjoying the treats.

A toy that is too large for your dog can also be an issue. It can cause strain to their jaw when trying to chew on it or carry it around.


Is it washable? 

Ideally, you should be able to put a toy in either a dishwasher or washing machine to be cleaned and disinfected. 

Do your dogs have a favorite dog treat that you have a question about? 

Comment down below and we can get that answered for you!

Other Great Treat Ideas for Your Golden Retriever

If you're looking for other great treat ideas for your golden retriever, check out our new book! It's filled with easy homemade treats that are good for you dog and your dog will love them.

About the author

Wen Duan

Wen is a proud dog mom and a frequent contributor to our blog.