Common Misconceptions About Cow Skin Rugs

cow skin rugs

Cowhide rugs are as high in design taste as they are in controversy.

The beautiful aesthetic a cowhide rug can bring to your home is not to be underestimated. They offer textural additions to a room that can simply not be replicated by any other kind of rug.

What’s more?

Cow skin rugs come in beautiful shades of black, brown and white. The soft, natural tones will fit in almost any room imaginable. Though once a commonplace thing for the frontier folk, they are now a little more scarce as they’ve become expensive.

Though many home design manufacturers are creating lines of cowhide rugs, the high-quality ones are hard to come by. If you have not purchased one before you might have a hard time finding one that is perfect in design but also safe for your home.

Do cowhide rugs smell? Are cows killed solely for their skin? How resistant are they? These are some of the questions people have about cowhide rugs. While the concerns are valid, there is a lot to be learned about the rugs.

Let’s dive into a few misconceptions:

1. The Smell Is Unbearable

Do cowhide rugs smell?

Well, kind of. Considering a cow skin rug is, in fact, the skin of an animal that was once alive, it isn’t going to smell like your typical Safavieh or Sisal rug.

A cowhide rug is a natural product. Is the smell going to have a little more character than you are used to? Yes. Does that mean the smell is extremely potent and you’ll notice it in whatever room it resides in? No.

Usually, a tannery will use high-quality chemicals that eliminate odor. Leather, in general, has an odor. Your leather jackets, furniture, and other products have that same odor.

If you hold the cow skin directly to your nose, you might notice the strong odor of the leather. But if you place a cowhide rug on the floor of a large room, you absolutely will not be hit by any kind of odor or stench.

2. Cows Are Killed for Their Skin Only


For the most part, cowhide rugs are a by-product of the meat and dairy production farms. Though not every trade can be monitored between farms and leather traders, the animal welfare laws protect the animals in the U.S.

Check where you are purchasing your rug from. If your rugs are made in India or China, who knows if the rug was simply a byproduct?

Consider a cowhide rug from Brazil. The cowhides are completely homogenous. Brazilian cowhides often come in unique patterns and in a variety of colors that cattle from other countries don’t offer. The production quality of cow skin rugs from Brazil is unparalleled.

Tanneries collect hides from slaughterhouses nationwide. Using a chemical process, they create hides that become the rugs we all love. These beautiful hides should be admired for years to come in homes instead of being trashed.

3. Cow Skin Rugs Aren’t Resistant

Cowhide rugs actually are resistant!

Consider all of your leather garments or the leather on your upholstery. They all come from the same source: cows. Although rugs are laid on the floor and your family and guests will step on them on a daily basis, they will still hold up over time.

Much like the purpose they were created for, they do protect. A hide is a tough outer layer to protect the inner organs of the animal. The skin and leather itself is very tough and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Cow skin rugs can be vacuumed, brushed and cleaned on a regular basis. The hair should stay shiny and soft throughout all of your cleaning processes. It shouldn’t come loose or become sparse in any areas either.

If you’re worried about a cowhide rug not holding up, you shouldn’t be. When it comes to longevity, cowhide rugs are at the top of the list.

4. My Pets Will Destroy the Rug

This is a big misconception of cow skin rugs.

If anything, these rugs will not show damage from your pets. If your dog doesn’t show interest in general in the rugs in your home, then you’ll be safe. If Fido has a knack for chewing on rugs, then you might have some issues.

Otherwise, you’ll be in the clear when it comes to pets and your cowhide rug. Though your dog may enjoy rawhide chewing toys, that doesn’t mean they will enjoy a soft leather rug to chew on.

The only thing to look out for with a cow skin rug is if your pet hasn’t been potty trained. Since the rugs can’t be washed with liquid or soap, it is hard to get a urine smell out of the rug.

Beware of untrained pets with this rug. Perhaps hold it aside until your little ones get their habits in line.

5. Cowhides Bring Chemicals into My Home

Sure, the tanning process uses some chemicals to make it safe for your home. However, the tanning process has evolved quite a bit since it was first discovered that you could preserve animal hides.

The chemicals used in the tanning process actually don’t leave behind any dangerous residue on your rug. All cow skin rugs are washed thoroughly and crafted specifically to be safe in any room that humans reside in.

There is absolutely nothing dangerous in having a cowhide rug in your room, especially when you purchase the rug from a fantastic cowhide site.

Get the Hide of Your Dreams

Cowhides add an interior decor element to any room that is unparalleled. Having a cow skin rug doesn’t have to involve animal cruelty or chemicals you think are dangerous.

Cowhide rugs are safe, by-products of animals that are being used for other purposes. They are beautiful additions to a room and are also maintainable in terms of upkeep.

When you are ready to find the cowhide of your dreams either on sale or at a fresh full price, get in touch with us and we’ll get your sorted.