What is a Water Buffalo Horn?
Water Buffalo Horns are growths that protrude from the skulls of the animal. Water Buffalo Horns are made of two components:
The bone is the center, or core, of the horn and is fused to the bone of the skull. The bone core is covered by a resilient sheath (protective covering) made of keratin. This sheath is what is sold as an Open Range Water Buffalo horn.
What is Bone? What is Keratin?
Keratin is a tough, non-mineralized protein. It not only makes up the sheath of a horn, it is also a primary component of hair, nails, claws, hooves. Basically, Keratin is a family of proteins that are among the most important and versatile compounds in nature.
Horns vs Antlers
Horns and antlers, though similar in some respects, are actually different. A brief description of some of their differences are below.
- Horns are found on animals in the family Bovidae (with the exception of the Pronghorn Antelope)
- Antlers are made of one component, bone.
- The bone of a Water Buffalo horn is alive throughout the lifetime of the animal.
- The bone of an antler is alive only during the growth stage of the antler. Once the antler is mature the bone dies.
Natural Water Buffalo Treats and Chews
Water Buffalo horns are made from the same Keratin as the nails or hooves of all other bovine animals. They will remain hard and will turn slightly gummy in texture when chewed. Like any natural treats, Antlers, Bones, Hooves, or Pigs Ears as an example can have hard edges. Like most natural treats it is very good practice to educate the customer about what they are giving their pet. It is a consumable treat but size of dog and treat can be a great starting point in your conversation with the pet owner. Treats should be size appropriate for the dog. If the dog is an aggressive chewer they may be prone to breaking any hard chews. It is always important to monitor your dog or pet when giving them any treat chew or toy. Always have a clean source of drinking water for your pet.