International Hoof Care Month - It’s International Hoof Care Month! Are you ready to find out how vital hooves are? Then read on.

International Hoof Care Month 2025 – February 2025

International Hoof Care Month is observed every year throughout February. This month draws attention to the importance of looking after animals’ hooves. The animals that have hooves cannot have a happy and healthy life when these parts of their legs are ailing. An ailing hoof may develop an infection that will cause the animal to start limping, have difficulty walking, and develop arthritis and other joint issues. This animal will also have problems feeding because they cannot bend since doing so places additional weight on the ailing hoof which is painful. Some animals will also have challenges mating because they rely on their legs to be able to support them during breeding.

History of International Hoof Care Month

While the origins of International Hoof Care Month are largely unknown, we do know that this day was set aside to create awareness of hoof-care health. This sounds like a good day to know everything there is to know about animal hooves.A hoof is basically an enlarged toe made of keratin, a protein also found in human hair and nails. Hooves are composed of two structures, the ‘unguis,’ and the ‘subunguis.’ The ‘unguis’ is the nail, while the ‘subunguis’ is a fine layer on the underside of the nail. The ‘unguis’ surrounds the tip of the animal’s digit like a cylinder, encircling the ‘subunguis.’ Animals with hooves are known as ‘ungulates.’ There are two categories of ungulates, odd-toed ungulates called ‘Perissodactyla’ and even-toed ungulates called ‘Artiodactyla.’ The odd-toed ungulates use an odd number of their toes while moving, usually one or three. The even-toed ungulates walk on an even number of toes, usually two or four.Just as we take care of our feet and toes, so we should take care of animals’ hooves since hooves affect their mode of transport and, consequently, every other area of their lives. They may develop infections or start walking with a limp. For animals that move in herds, any animal with an injured hoof won’t keep up with the rest of the herd, becoming vulnerable to predators. For others, such as horses, hooves bear the full brunt of the animal’s weight. Having an injured hoof puts them under significant stress and has a negative impact on their overall health.

International Hoof Care Month timeline

19th Century
The Hoof Protecting Boots

Straw hoof boots are used by the Japanese military to protect and give traction to horses' feet.

The Horses Get Lawn Boots

Lawn boots are used for horses, ponies, and donkeys in Europe.

The Union is Formed

The Journeymen Horseshoers National Union is founded.

The Modern Boots is Invented

Neel Glass invents the first modern hoof boot for barefoot horses.

International Hoof Care Month FAQs

What are horseshoes made of?

Horseshoes can be made of steel, aluminum, copper, rubber, or plastic.

How long do horseshoes last?

Typically, horseshoes only last for about six weeks.

Are all ungulates ruminants?

All even-toed ungulates are ruminants while odd-toed ungulates are hind-gut fermenters.

How to Observe International Hoof Care Month

  1. Give proper care

    Have a pet or farm animal with hooves? Now is the time to check on them. Schedule an appointment with a farrier or look after their hooves yourself.

  2. Make a veterinary appointment

    An animal's hooves are but a part of their bodies. Schedule an appointment with a vet to make sure your animal is in overall good health.

  3. Share details about hoof care

    Share what you know about International Hoof Care Month with your network. You could save other animals from suffering due to health issues.

5 Unusual Animals With Hooves

  1. Tapir

    Tapir is a mostly nocturnal animal with a heavy body and fleshy snout, found in tropical America and Southeast Asia.

  2. Red goral

    Red goral is an even-toed ungulate, mostly found in Tibet, Myanmar, and India.

  3. Takin

    Also called cattle chamois or gnu goat. It’s a large, muscular, and hoofed mammal, native to the eastern Himalayas.

  4. Bison

    Also known as buffalo or wisent, bison are large bovines.

  5. Calamian deer

    The Calamian deer is an endangered species of deer that can only be found in the Calamian Islands of the Philippines.

Why International Hoof Care Month is Important

  1. It’s a day to show gratitude

    Animals benefit us in every way. They're put to work, provide food, and even kept as pets. We could never live without them. Their existence is a grand blessing worthy of tremendous gratitude.

  2. It teaches proper animal treatment

    International Hoof Care Month encourages treating animals properly. Just like us, they too are living beings that feel pain. Hence, they deserve kindness and consideration.

  3. It advocates against animal cruelty

    This special month discourages animal cruelty of all kinds. Animal cruelty is morally wrong and unkind on top of being illegal.

International Hoof Care Month dates

Year Date Day
2023 February 1 Wednesday
2024 February 1 Thursday
2025 February 1 Saturday
2026 February 1 Sunday
2027 February 1 Monday
National Dark Chocolate Day
National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
National Freedom Day
National Get Up Day
Decorating With Candy Day
National Baked Alaska Day
Spunky Old Broads Day
Robinson Crusoe Day
International Pisco Sour Day
World Hijab Day
Imbolc (Saint Brigid's Day)
National Serpent Day
Federal Territory Day
Abolition of Slavery Day
Change Your Password Day
Heroes' Day
G.I. Joe Day
Hula in the Coola Day
Car Insurance Day
National Texas Day
Tet Nguyen Dan
International Face and Body Art Day
Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day
World Aspergillosis Day
National Sean Day
National Cameron Day
Day of Remembrance and Respect to Victims of the Communist Regime
Decorating with Candy Day
Yukon Quest
Holiday Hugs Day
Take Your Child To The Library Day
Lung Leavin’ Day
Harry Styles's Birthday
Stormi Webster's Birthday
La Poutine Week
Solo Diners Eat Out Week
National Patient Recognition Week
Women's Heart Week
World Interfaith Harmony Week
National Patient Recognition Week
Shape Up With Pickles Time
American Heart Month
Dog Training Education Month
Great American Pie Month
National Bird Feeding Month
National Cat Health Month
National Cherry Month
National Children’s Dental Health Month
National Embroidery Month
National Hot Breakfast Month
National Macadamia Nut Month
National Snack Food Month
Pet Dental Health Month
Black History Month
National Grapefruit Month
Canned Food Month
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month
National Bake For Family Fun Month
Bike To Work Month
Humpback Whale Awareness Month
International Friendship Month
Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month
LGBT+ History Month
Spunky Old Broads Month
National Library Lovers Month
National Cancer Prevention Month
National Sweet Potato Month
International Expect Success Month
Cholangiocarcinoma Awareness Month
National Heart Healthy Month
International Boost Self Esteem Month
An Affair to Remember Month
Creative Romance Month
National Fasting February
Potato Lovers Month
Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month
National Time Management Month
Celebration of Chocolate Month
Love the Bus Month
Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month
Relationship Wellness Month
National Care About Your Indoor Air Month
Wise Health Care Consumer Month
National Haiku Writing Month
From Africa to Virginia Month
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Financial Aid Awareness Month
Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month
National Mend a Broken Heart Month
National Senior Independence Month
National Arts Month
National Therapeutic Recreation Month
National Women Inventors Month
African American Heritage Month
Raynaud's Awareness Month
National Condom Month
International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month
Declutter for a Cause Month
National Parent Leadership Month
Human Relations Month
Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month
Vegan Cuisine Month
Berry Fresh Month
Spiritual Teachers Month
National Fondue Month
National Laugh Friendly Month
North American Inclusion Month (NAIM)
Barley Month
National Self-Check Month
Women’s Role in History Month
Jobs in Golf Month
AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month
International Hoof Care Month
International Month of Black Women in the Arts
Beat the Heat Month
Ethnic Equality Month
Marijuana Awareness Month
National Goat Yoga Month
National Blah Buster Month
National African American Read-In
Feline Fix by Five Month
Fabulous Florida Strawberry Month
National Avocado and Banana Month
Free Open Source Software Month
Worldwide Renaissance of the Heart Month
Exotic Vegetables and Star Fruit Month
National Weddings Month
Responsible Pet Owners Month
National Enrolled Agents Month
Youth Leadership Month