It’s no secret that our canine companions love to chew. While it’s key to provide your dog with healthy, safe chews so she can scratch this instinctual itch, not all treats are the right pick for every pooch.
We’ll try to help below, as we discuss cow tails — chewable treats that many owners have begun giving to their dogs.
We’ll explain everything you need to know about cow tails, discuss their relative safety, and identify a few of our favorite ones on the market.
What Are Cow Tails for Dogs? Are They Safe?
Cow tails are dog treats made out of the tails of cows, bulls, or oxen.
Typically made in the United States, South America, or Turkey, these treats consist of a skin exterior with a beef interior, with bone in the center.
Since cow tails contain bone and are often very hard, caution is certainly warranted.
Many owners won’t feel safe giving them to their dogs, while others probably won’t mind the risk. But swallowed bone fragments can lead to choking or obstructions, and the hardness of bones can damage a dog’s teeth.
These treats don’t typically pass the “fingernail test” (you can’t indent these treats with your fingernail), so we’d urge great caution.
The 3 Best Cow Tails for Dogs
Many pups love the taste of cow tails, and some even prefer them to other treats. If you want to try cow tails for dogs, we’d recommend sticking to the following:
1. Amazing Dog Treats Cow Tails
About: If you’re looking to test out some cow tails, consider this selection from Amazing Dog Treats. While these cow tails are sourced from Turkey, they’re made in an FDA-registered facility without any preservatives or additives.
The single-ingredient cow tails are sourced from grass-fed beef and range from 6- to 12-inches in length.
- 4-count pack of cow tail treats
- Sourced from Turkey
- Made in an FDA-registered facility
- No preservatives or additives
- Several sized packs to choose from
- There are several quantity options available
- Most dogs found these cow tail treats absolutely delicious
- These hard treats kept plenty of dogs entertained for hours
- Several owners noted the strong smell of these treats, though that’s common to many natural treats
- A couple of owners noted that you might have to brush your dog’s teeth after eating these to eliminate cow tail breath
2. Barkworthies Cow Tails
About: Barkworthies offers these delicious cow tails made from Brazilian beef. These cow tails have no added ingredients or preservatives and are intended for medium to heavy chewers.
You can purchase these cow tails in six-ounce packs or as a single extra-long cow tail for the occasional canine consumer.
- Brazilian-sourced beef
- Choose between a 6-ounce pack or single cow tail
- No additives or preservatives
- Sourced from grass-fed beef
- You can purchase a single extra long cow tail before committing to an entire bag
- Owners noted that these hard treats were a great choice for aggressive chewers
- Most dogs had no trouble digesting these delicious treats
- A few repeat customers noted that sizing and length can be a bit inconsistent
- Owners noted these treats are surprisingly tough
3. Top Dog Chews Ox Tails
About: If your dog goes ga-ga for cow tails, check out these Top Dog Ox Tails. These ox tail treats come in bulk packs that are great for pet parents with cow-tail-lovin’ canines.
Each one measures between five and six inches long, is sourced from South American free-range cattle, and hand-inspected to meet USDA and FDA requirements.
- 5- to 6-inch-long ox tail treats
- No additives or preservatives
- Sourced from South American beef
- Sold in packs of 25
- Made from beef raised without antibiotics or hormones
- Bulk pack is great for serious cow tail fans
- Smaller size is convenient for pint-sized pups
- Owners were impressed with the consistent quality of these treats
- Most dogs could finish these treats within a matter of minutes
- Might not be long enough for large breeds
Cow Tails for Dogs: FAQ
Not sure whether your canine is a good candidate for cow tails? Consider these common cow tail questions before making your decision:
Are cow tails healthy for dogs?
Cow tails are made of beef which is fine for most dogs. However, these treats often include small fragments of bones and have a hard exterior, so it’s reasonable to worry about choking obstructions, and broken teeth. If provided, cow tails should be given under strict supervision.
Are cow tails OK for puppies?
Cow tails have a very hard exterior and contain bits of bone, so they aren’t a good pick for puppies (there are much better chew toys for teething puppies available). Generally speaking, if you can’t indent your fingernail on your dog’s potential chew, it’s usually considered too hard for your dog.
Can dogs digest beef tails?
Dogs can digest the beef content in beef tail treats. However, dogs cannot digest the small bone fragments found in cow tails, so many pet parents avoid providing this treat altogether.
How long are cow tails good for?
Cow tail treats vary by manufacturer. Check your cow tail packaging for the exact expiration date, but most cow tail treats are shelf-stable for several months.
Do cow tails contain rawhide?
Cow tails are made from cow or oxen tails and do not contain rawhide. The interior of cow tail treats contains beef and pieces of bones.
Are there bones in cow tails?
There are bones in cow tails leading many owners to understandably avoid this treat. Owners need to closely supervise pets consuming cow tails since the bone content can lead to potential obstructions or broken teeth.
While many dogs may enjoy the taste of cow tails, they do come with serious risks that should be considered as a pet parent. When in doubt, check out these other tasty chews for your pooch!
Has your dog ever tried cow tails? What do you think of these treats? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!