Are buffalo horns safe for dogs to chew?

Answered by Robert Flynn

Buffalo horns, while popular among dog owners as a chew option, can pose some risks to dogs, especially puppies. It’s important to consider the safety of any chew toy or treat before offering it to your furry friend.

One of the main concerns with buffalo horns is their hardness. While they may be suitable for adult dogs with strong jaws and fully developed teeth, they can be too hard for puppies. Puppies have delicate teeth that are still in the process of growing and changing. Their teeth are more susceptible to fractures or damage when exposed to extremely hard chews.

Another potential issue with buffalo horns is the risk of splintering or breaking. Even if a dog’s teeth are strong enough to handle the hardness, there is still a chance that the horn could splinter or break into sharp pieces. These sharp fragments can be a choking hazard or cause injury to the dog’s mouth, throat, or digestive tract if ingested.

Furthermore, buffalo horns, like other hard chews, can be quite abrasive to a dog’s teeth. Excessive chewing on hard surfaces can lead to tooth wear, enamel damage, or even tooth fractures. This can result in dental issues, pain, and the need for veterinary intervention.

To ensure the safety of your puppy or any dog with delicate teeth, it is advisable to avoid buffalo horns and other hard chews until all their puppy teeth have been replaced with adult teeth. A good rule of thumb is to wait until your dog is at least six months old before introducing hard chews.

Instead, opt for softer treats and chews that are more appropriate for puppies. Bully sticks, for example, are a popular choice as they are softer and more easily digestible. Nothin’ To Hide rawhide bones can also be a suitable option, but it’s important to monitor your dog while they chew to avoid any potential choking hazards.

It is best to err on the side of caution and avoid buffalo horns and other hard chews until your puppy’s teeth have fully developed. Prioritize their dental health and choose softer chew options to prevent any potential injuries or dental problems. Always supervise your dog while they chew and consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice on the best chew options for your dog’s specific needs.