Food Guidelines

Rawhide: Delicious or Dangerous?

There are numerous types of dog bones and chew toys available in the market today, and rawhide is definitely one of the most popular and widespread. Because there have been apprehensions over the use of rawhide chews, dog owners should know about its various kinds and the pros and cons that each type of rawhide poses.

A Brief Overview

Rawhides are basically made from the innermost coating of a cow’s hide. After cleaning and drying it, the piece is cut, rolled, and then shaped into different forms. While the US-processed rawhides are not subjected to any type of chemical treatment that may harm the dogs, some reports reveal that rawhides produced in other countries have toxic substances in them such as chrome and arsenic.

Please, when feeding your dog any type of treat, check its country of origin. The US has much stricter regulations for manufacturers than many other countries that have no such regulations in place for pet products.

There are many types of rawhide chews which typically include granulated, rolled, and compressed varieties. Each kind differs in appearance, texture, size, and hardness. Some can even be flavored. The type of rawhide you buy will depend on the kind of chewing style your pooch has.

How to Make the Right Choice

The primary danger in letting a dog eat rawhide chew toys is when blockages occur; thereby, requiring surgery. This commonly happens when your dog rips huge chunks out if the rawhide, swallows them, and the pieces later get stuck in his digestive system.

It’s always best to monitor your dog’s chewing habits and don’t leave him unattended with rawhide. At the very least, monitor him until you are comfortable that he isn’t able to swallow pieces of it.

To help you decide which variety of rawhide best suits your pooch, consider the following:

1. Granulated Rawhides. Dog chews made out of granulated rawhides, also known as extruded rawhides, are considered to be the softest. This kind comes in small amounts and tends to crumble easily which make it especially suitable for puppies and other light chewers.

2. Rolled or Cut Rawhides. This type is normally rolled or made into strips and then shaped into bone forms, typically with a knot on both ends. The flat knotted chew bones are a little softer as compared to the rolled ones. Because the knots on each end can be chewed off easily, care should be taken so as to keep Fido from swallowing it whole. This rawhide is particularly great for average chewers.

3. Compressed Rawhides. This kind is commonly made from many layers of rawhides that are compressed into a specific shape, oftentimes, into a bone but minus the knots. This brings about an extremely dense and very hard rawhide dog chew that certainly lasts for a long time. This is the only variety of rawhide that fits the chewing needs of large breed dogs as well as aggressive chewers.

4. Other Types. The other kinds include the chew flips, strips, and chips. These are smaller, flat portions taken from rawhide sheets. These types soften easily and are usually the appropriate size when it comes to swallowing whole. These varieties are not good for large dogs and puppies, as well as aggressive and active chewers.

If you’re looking for a safer alternative to rawhide, but one that your dog will love just as much, many options are available. Many dogs love a pigs ear or hoof. Bully sticks are long-lasting and delicious. Antlers are flavorful and fun to chew (and indestructable!). And, special bones made of nylon that are flavored are also great for chewing.




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