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Question

06 Dec 2012

HORSE HOOF SHAVINGS
Is HORSE HOOF SHAVINGS safe for your dog?
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Expert
CyberVet
CyberVet

01 Jan 0001

Some dogs love them and other don’t touch them. I don’t believe that there is any clear consensus on whether we should allow our dogs to eat them or not. However, we can cover some basic concerns and each pet owner can make up their own mind and decide for the welfare of their own pooch.

Hoof trimmings are made up of layers of keratin which offer very little nutritional value if any, but some dogs would feel like it is the ultimate crime to throw them away. The silver lining may be that these dogs are kept entertained by the hoof trimmings and keeps them away from more dangerous items that they could be chewing on. Good exercise for their jaws and some people may even claim teeth cleaning properties…

There are two obvious concerns for me personally: swallowing large pieces may cause intestinal obstructions (which often require surgical removal) and swallowing foreign bodies like nails. Dogs are generally very greedy eaters and can sometimes swallow large pieces (especially when competing against others) or even foreign objects. Sometimes eating a lot of keratin that is not very digestible may cause some gastrointestinal upsets like vomiting as well as well as diarrhoea, but should be self-limiting and not develop into more severe illness.

If it brings your dogs happiness, let them, but be mindful.
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