Have you noticed rawhide products are popular and that most pet stores are stocked with many variations? Picking a good chew treat isn’t always an easy decision for dog owners.
We know that chewing for canines is important. With so many products though, picking one can be confusing. Rawhide seems like an easy choice but, before purchasing one, consider the pros and cons.
Obviously, you want to provide your dog with a quality product. Safety is a priority as is your pet’s satisfaction. Let’s address whether rawhide chew toys are a good option.
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Can I Give My Dog Rawhide Products? Answer: Not recommended, consider other types
While they can achieve chewing and dental health objectives, rawhide is more dangerous than alternatives.
There’s also evidence that gastrointestinal problems could develop. That said, it’s unlikely your dog will have problems when chewing on a reputable bone or similar product. We’re just pointing out that, relative to alternatives, rawhide has its downsides. If you are concerned about safety, avoid rawhide all together.
One suggestion is to go with whole elk antlers. They’re sourced from forests in the United States. Surprisingly, they’re more natural and also safer since splintering is less likely.
Positive Aspects of Rawhide
There are good things about rawhide products besides the affordability factor. Dogs usually love whatever rawhide toy or treat you give them. They quickly get busy chewing which is great for their teeth and gums.
Rawhide also satisfies their natural cravings. It’s a great stress reliever. You will also be satisfied because your dog will no longer be chewing on things they shouldn’t be!
Blockages & Choking Hazards
On the flip side, rawhide can expose your dog to some serious dangers. When your pooch habitually chews on these products, they’ll eventually break into smaller parts.
If they swallow a splintered piece, it’s possible that it will get lodged in the throat or further down their digestive tract.
Rawhide can also expand after reaching the stomach which is a big concern. You don’t want the family dog experiencing a blockage or worse.
While such occurrences are relatively rare, it certainly does happen which is part of the reason why choosing rawhide is a tough decision for owners.
Rawhide & the Raw Truth
Not all rawhide products are created equal. Manufacturing safety is a concern with chew toys and treats that are made in certain countries. Contaminated rawhide can and does harm dogs.
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This is documented and not rumor. Unfortunately, this issue isn’t easy to pin down. Regulation of rawhide is lacking and difficult to enforce.
Just the process of making these rawhide products involves harmful chemicals. Does your purchase contain something like formaldehyde or not? Sadly, it’s difficult to know.
Get rawhide that originates in the USA to minimize the risks. Highly discounted products are questionable and if the price is cheap, that could be a warning sign.
An Excellent Alternative
There are several good options. Avoiding rawhide is pretty easy. We consider the best choice to be free-ranging whole elk antlers. They are very nutritious, last a long time, aren’t messy and splintering isn’t as common.
There are lots of highly-rated rubber and nylon products as well but we favor something more natural for our dogs. Does your clever dog deserve it? Yes, of course they do!
Conclusion on Rawhide
Rawhide is routinely given to dogs without incident. Just understand the risks. There are choking concerns, but there’s also a potential for digestive blockages. Your dog may develop gastrointestinal issues from consuming too much rawhide. Some companies produce dangerous products that are contaminated. Consider alternatives to rawhide. You’ll spend a little more, but your pet dog is worth it.