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There are countless types of dog chews, bones, and toys in the market today, and rawhide is one of the most popular. Because there have been lots of concerns regarding the safety of rawhide dog chews, it is a good idea to be familiar with the various kinds of rawhide available as well as the pros and cons accompanying these types of chew toys.
With the necessary facts, you can make a sound decision about whether or not to allow your pooch to chow down on the popular knotted chew bone.
· It promotes healthy gums and teeth in dogs. As the rawhide chews get moistened, it tends to wrap around your pooch’s teeth; rubbing off any plaque buildup which in turn reduce his risk of acquiring serious dental problems.
· It prevents dogs from chewing valuable items at home. Because rawhide chews can keep your pooch busy for several hours, you can keep your clothing, furniture, and other belongings from being chewed on.
· It relieves teething pain that most puppies struggle with. When puppies start gnawing on rawhide chews, they tend to feel less pain as their teeth push through. Besides, rawhides help them in developing strong jaws.
· Your dog will likely love them. A lot of pet owners ignore the downsides to rawhide treats when the see the pure joy of a dog with a fresh, new chew. While there are some Pros to rawhide treats, careful selection and proper use are still vitally important.
· It can be a choking a hazard. Once your dog swallows a tiny, broken piece of rawhide, that portion can get lodged in his throat; putting him in serious danger. To avoid this, immediately take the rawhide away as soon as it becomes small enough to be swallowed whole.
· It can cause digestive blockage. Allowing your pooch to swallow a large piece of rawhide can also endanger his life. Rawhides can expand inside Fido’s stomach, putting him at risk of a fatal blockage. It can even wrap around his intestines, causing the same obstruction.
· It can cause gastrointestinal problems. If your pooch ingests too many rawhides, he may develop gastrointestinal complications.
· Not all rawhides are safe to eat. Several reports have revealed that rawhides which have been produced outside USA were made from toxic chemicals. Try to be selective when it comes to buying rawhide. Look very closely where it was manufactured and only choose rawhides made in the USA.
· Some rawhides contain deadly poisons. The process of making rawhide involves chemically separating the outer layer of skin (usually of a cow) from the hide. This process leaves deadly poisons in the chew, including arsenic and formaldehyde.
· Some rawhides contain the skin from dogs. An investigation by Humane Society International stated in their report, “In a particularly grisly twist, the skins of brutally slaughtered dogs in Thailand are mixed with other bits of skin to produce rawhide chew toys for pet dogs. Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.”
Ultimately, the choice is yours. But, remember, you’re choosing for your dog. It’s likely that if he could educate himself on what he was eating, he’d choose a safer, healthier alternative.
[…] Some rawhides contain the skin from dogs […]
I forced myself to read about raw hides. I bought 1 raw hide form a good puppy store when I bought her a cake for her birthday.They told me not to give more than 1/4 of the cake a day and to give it over a week as it can cause stomach upset. Little did I know that raw hide was bad. Our puppy golden doodle a year old cheer a little bit of the raw hide and thank god our instincts made us put the rest away for later. She had loose stool the same night. We knew it was the new treat and her stomach was upset the next day. Did not eat her food the whole day. It’s second day her stool is back to normal. Rest of it in trash for ever. I wish the store had given me some warning about the stuff. Thank god I only bought one. She gets lots of treats and doing pretty good with the ones I am giving . I am going to read up on all my treats. Thanks for all the information. I fact we did not give all the cake either as her poop was little smelly after 3-4 days. It might have got bad too-but store did warn us of the cake.
I found rawhide sticks to be b I'll ack in the inside are they bad fore the dogs if I find one with the black in it I won't give it to them please let me know thank you.
y can't we stop Thailand, from killing dogs
My 7 month old puppy found a piece of rawhide before I could catch him he swallowed it. It’s been 3 full days with normal eating and pooping and no distress. What should I do.
Don’t panic! It’s very likely that he’ll be just fine. Just keep watch for any unusual behavior (reduced appetite, trouble going potty or unusual poops, vomiting, excessive drooling, or lethargy). If, after a few more days, he’s still normal, you have nothing to worry about. I think most of us have been there!
My 7 month old puppy found a piece of rawhide before I could catch him he swallowed it. It’s been full days with normal eating and pooping and no distress. What should I do.
Then why do they sell them every where and in the pets stores if they are so bad for care dogs then.
Many dental chews today consist of rawhide..
Should we be worried? doggytoggery.com/best-dental-chews-dogs
[…] although bizarre-sounding, options for you, too!) The Dogington Post wrote a great overview of the pros and cons of rawhide, and it’s definitely worth a read. As it turns out, all of the good qualities of rawhide can be […]
I don’t know if I would be giving my dog any rawhide these days. There seems to be too many contaminated ones floating around now. I don’t think my old dog Gus could have lived without them though, he ate all kinds of risky stuff before we started giving him rawhides. He went through thousands of them over his 14.5 year life. His teeth were still white and he had zero gum disease at the end. He continued to eat about a dozen hunks of it until we put him down due to cancer. His heart and lungs were still in great shape at the end, but his abdomen was loaded with cancer, probably prostate cancer that had spread, according to the vet. He had zero problems with the flat rawhide hunks we gave him, but we only used US sourced hides that we bought by the box almost weekly.
Why take the risk? There’s plenty of alternatives
I’m gonna have to say rawhide is really bad for dogs. It is one thing to give it unknowingly, but it is pretty much clear from anecdotal evidence and information about the chemical and toxic substances involved in the manufacturing process.
This article tells us the cons of rawhide treats and gives alternatives.
I do not give my dogs Deer Antlers. Why? Because Deer Antlers are much harder than normal bones. Extremely dense. What I do is go to my local Country butcher shop every hunting season and ask for the deer bones. They keep them for me in the cooler and I pick them up by the barrel full. I pick through them and take all the Marrow Bones or long bones and the spines. You would be very surprised on how much meat in on those bones. I saw them up; bag them and freeze them. No, I don’t own wolves. I have all rescues. One mix “something” & German Sheppard, one mix ” something chow ” and one mix ” something ” Italian Grey Hound who is the real wolf in the family. They eat extremely well all year long. The large one seems to be able to break a long bone length wise in 5 minutes. No mess. Lots of Marrow. And I do cook them in water just until the water boils and that is it. Sterilize them. Great bowel movements too.
Agree with the assessment of rawhide although there is a company ‘Wholesome Hide Rawhide’ (www.wholesomehide.com/) that makes them in the USA that are chemical free — they make a nice very thin rawhide stick about the thickness of a pencil or your small finger so the dog isn’t ingesting or swallowing large chunks of rawhide. Available at mickeyspetsupplies.com
Also, be careful of the deer antlers as there have been numerous reports of dogs cracking their teeth due to the hardness of the antlers. Better choice is a fresh raw knuckle bone or a large marrow bone with the marrow removed (it can cause digestive upset).
My Maltese is one of those who ended up with a broken tooth from a deer antler. I now warn everyone I can to save their dog from the unnecessary pain of having a tooth pulled.
As a pet sitter in Indian Trail NC I always advise my clients to never give their dogs rawhide especially if they are leaving them home alone. I have heard to many stories of dogs choking and even dying on these treats.
I only give my dog real deer antlers to chew. I used to give her rawhides, but heard too many bad things about them, I decided to go with natural deer antlers. You can get them on ebay from guys out west who find the antlers shedded on their acres of land, and now they sell them as dog chews. I don’t give my girl anything else now. They are good for her teeth and helps with her need to chew things. Keeps her happy for hours.
I used to feel my dog rawhides, and she started acting like she couldn’t catch her breath. I only feed her real deer antlers to chew and she loves them. They are good for her teeth as well as her love of chewing things. I find them on ebay where sellers out west find them shedded on their acres of land. I will never give my dog another rawhide again. They should be against the law!
Yuck! One of the reasons we started Treats Happen was to provide safer treats.
My daughter just lost her 5 month old puppy from chewing on a rawhide bone, a piece slipped down his throat and it formed a blockage and he died. Please do not give your dog rawhide bones.
To everyone suggesting that people feed their dogs meaty bones, you are at best, ill-informed about the safety of your decision. It’s the choking hazard that meaty bones posed that necessitated rawhide manufacturing, in the first place. Now, I don’t know what breed of dog you have, or why you’ve experienced nightmares in the past with rawhides. But you’re certainly not going to fix a problem caused by a rawhide with a bone.
I am sad to say this article is irresponsible at best. Rawhide chews should never be given to an animal that you truly love. The chemical load is there whether it is imported or from the USA just in different amounts.
Feeding raw and raw meaty bones is by far the best and natural way to feed your pet. It is kept quiet though because no big food company can make money off of you.
Do you know of any research that has actually been done to back up your comments about rawhide chews? I am trying to find the actual data so I can make a choice based on fact and not hearsay. I am not saying I agree or disagree with you but am wanting to make an informed decision. I am sure it is out there and am wondering if you know where.
Thank you for this article. Rawhides are everywhere but not many people understand the risks. Thank you for hilighting the pros and cons so we can make an informed choice.
now that obama and his cronies dismantled our borders and the Constitution with Trans Pacific “Partnership” we will no longer know what is in our food.
LOLOLOL….I see this kind of stupidity on Fox all the time but it is always hilarious to see it in real life. Ignorance is alive and strong in the land of the free (to be ignorant).
Yes, Liano I agree- it’s somehow more shocking to see it when you’re not on Breitbart or the Heritage Foundation’s facebook page. To harri: the FDA won’t stop doing it’s job just because of free trade agreements. I question whether they’ve ever really done a great job figuring out what’s safe to eat though- Dow, a major chemical manufacturer, is now one of the biggest seed companies in America; frozen processed foods are full of crap. I don’t see too many French and Thai people dying of obesity and heart disease in their early 60’s.
Rather than blaming anyone else, why don’t you eat whole organic food thereby eliminating any question as to what might be “in” it.
LOL..always someone that blames everything on the President….you are aware American businesses have been using third world countries for their manufacturing for many, many years? IF anyone is to blame, it would be American companies that import these products…but I guess that’s the President’s fault….
Just lost my dog this weekend and suspecting it may have been the rawhide chews I got at Sam’s Club… Have bought them before but apparently it is now a different brand – one that is made in MEXICO. Didn’t think to look as we have always given her these types of chews and just figured it was a change in packaging – being the breed she was, chewing is a big thing. I feel awful for not checking and will be trying to find out how to have the remaining chews tested to verify this is what caused her demise 🙁 It came on so quickly and only after using the new package of rawhide… SO thankful my remaining dog doesn’t care for them and did not chew any!!
what happened? was it sudden or over a few days? my dog is sick right now with diarrhea.
I blame our country for allowing this GARBAGE to be exported here. How dare those nasty ass countries sell us their crap goods for kids, adults, pets! I’m so fed up with garbage coming in from China and other filthy countries and our people and pets pay the price. Raw hides are disgusting to begin with but after reading that some are made with bits of skin from tortured dogs? That is so disgusting and cruel!
I never gave my dogs rawhides because it’s a nasty piece of garbage that these companies make money from! They’re selling their GARBAGE and these people are buying it up so their dogs can chew on poison and choke. Do you ever wonder what’s in cat food? Dog food? It’s the worst of the worst and it’s even labled UNFIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. It’s beef, chicken and fish but it’s the worst parts that usually have tumors, cancer, open sores that get ground up and fed to your pets. There was a study done that found the drug vets use to put pets to sleep and it was found in dog food. How would it get there? Because some jack asses were selling dead dogs to dog food companies! I complained years ago to Kibbles and Bits because I found a lot of hard hairs poking out of every piece of food. They told me I must have gotten a bag that had too much cattle hair because they grind the entire leg, hair and all into the food. That was over 20 years ago but I’m sure they still make their garbage food the same way. What a disgusting shame. Our last dog ate Blue dog food and for many years she ate our food and lived to be 15. My cousin feeds her dog mostly chicken and she’s 17. My Aunt never took her dogs to the vets, they never got shots and never ate dog food and they both lived to be 15 and 18. Cheap dog food and treats are POISON!
Gia, its not just imported goods but American made too. This country is even more interested in profits over health and will do anything to make a buck, even lie to us.
Horrified by some of the comments. NEVER, EVER give your dog any kind of chew if you are not going to be there to supervise!
Totally agree. I have a dog who chews too fast so I only buy AMERICAN rawhide and I cut hers in half and normally I watch them but since the male chews off pieces and now she has half pieces it’s been fine. No more diarrhea no more choking.
Just don’t give that rubbish to them, full stop!
I lost my Scooter to a rawhide. He was fine one minute, and the next, he was lying in his own excrement, struggling for his own breath. There was only minutes before he was gone. Please don’t buy these things, folks. Scooter will forever be missed.
Lost my 3 yr old boxer today from choking on a rawhide chew bone. Please don’t give these to your dogs.
Gave her one as a birthday treat for her 3rd birthday (also today) and the end – which was as big as my fist broken off and slipped down her throat. Got it out eventually but too late to save her.
I never recommend rawhide for dogs at least the ones made outside of the US. My Co worker almost lost her dog recently because of salmonella poisoning and had a piece of rawhide stuck in her dog’s stomach. She got the rawhide tested turns out the rawhide had salmonella all on the inside of it. Her vet recommended to just stay clear of them completely.
Rawhide from anywhere is bad
Please, do NOT feed your dogs rawhide. I just put my year old Boxer, Dalton, through a $2,000 experience getting the end of one removed from his intestines!
Rawhide chews generally is good for dog as it’ll give them healthy gum and strong jaws. But yes sometime it can cause some problem also. Good information given on this blog about the merits and demerits of rawhide chews.
Give them something that’s gong to have more benefits, like a raw bone!!
Raw bones can be just as dangerous with shards of bone going through the intestine.
I have just given my dog, who eats everything, a rawhide and she ran away and hid. She must have smelt something dodgy in there, but i bought it from a reputable dog boutique. She is still avoiding me, hence I’m on this site. Confused.
Sorry guys new news. Sweet potatoe treats cause crystal in bladder and urine of pets
My vet said that really depends on the pH of their urine BEFORE the treats. To avoid stones you want to maintains a certain pH.
What sweet potato treats?????????
Not the ones you make yourself
kris (lower case)says:
raw bones people..large raw bones..bones as big as your dogs head so there is no way they will swallow them. let them chew them for an hour or so, refreeze them and do this once a week until the bone becomes too small or the dog loses interest because it isn’t tasty any more. pork/lamb are my favs, beef can be too hard and cause a dog that is a hard chewer to chip teeth. you will never need a dental on the dog and the dog will be happy.
News out. Sorry guys sweet potatoe treats cause crystals in dogs urine. No kidding. Can’t feed that neither. Best answer ….don’t feed your dog!!!
There ain’t nothin good for it
I never give my dogs any kind of store bought treat. There are just too many things that can go wrong. Rawhide is a choking hazard. Pigs ears do the same thing. You can dehydrate sweet potatoes and other natural treas for your dog yourself and it is a lot safer.
Wonderful site. Lots of very helpful details right here. Now i am giving that to a couple close friends ans in addition giving throughout delectable. And indeed, we appreciate you your effort!
Is a bully stick what I think it is… I’m UK.and can’t say I’ve noticed them… I tend to stick to what I know… However I notice a great big todger of a bull for sale in a pet shop….I thought it was a weird walking stick at first glance…
Im in the UK, never heard of rawhide here
Rawhide is everywhere here in UK.. It’s that papery leathery stuff which is shaped into bones usually, shoes, etc… Some of them white, some of them brown
Pets at home have them, Wilko, pound shop.. It’s everywhere. Just down the Isle in the supermarket they sell it.
Hi if you are looking for the best rawhide in the world probably try farm food rawhide farmfood.co.uk. they ahve lots of info and guides to rawhide
Does this include USA cow ears that are totally dry? Our dogs love them. It cleans their teeth and offers them a high protein snack. We give them carrots but sometimes the meat alternative is appreciated.
Glad someone finally mentioned Bully sticks! Unlike rawhide they are digestible
and take a long time to chew. I just wish they were not so expensive…. And if you can find some good hard marrow bones (try to find ones that are big enough not to chip off little pieces) and fill them with peanut butter or patte type canned food and then freeze.
Marrow bones (and deer antlers) are bad too. They can break teeth… ouch for the dog and your wallet!. Never feed anything harder than your dogs own teeth. I wish this wasnt the case, because I have Bull Terriers and they go through raw hides in minutes!
Unfortunately for my Australian Cattle Dog, he gets extreme GI upset from bully sticks. Plus, they do NOT last long in his paws! We prefer the pressed rawhides. He is very good at only taking off small pieces, and I do not let him eat the whole thing at once.
Marrow bones can also get caught on dogs lower jaws and need to be sawed off. So another item that isn’t a great idea. Kongs can be filled with wet dog food or peanut butter and then frozen.k9-crazy.blogspot.ca/2008/04/danger-marrow-bones.html
Wow…you guys can find the negative in anything! Kongs are great if your dog only needs 30 seconds of entertainment, once the filling is gone so is the dog. They won’t just sit and chew on the kong if it is empty. And chewing on anything has a chance of hurting the dog, but I will take my chances on the marrow bones and bullies rather than wait and see what household object needs to be surgically removed.
We’ve found that if you freeze cheese whiz or peanut butter in a Kong it can keep the dogs occupied for up to an hour. Unfrozen it lasts minutes, but they have to lick at it a good long while if it’s frozen.
Hahahaha! You are very lucky if a frozen Kong lasts that long. For my dog, no matter what I put in it, he can squeeze the Kong with his jaws enough to crack whatever’s frozen in there, then he gets a little piece or two out, and it’s all over from there. 15 minutes. Tops. Just goes to show that every dog is different, and the most important things are to 1) Know your dog and 2) Know what goes into their treats and how they are made.
Fill the kong with peanut butter & treats then FREEZE it. Gets you more time! 🙂
It’s so true people will even google stuff just to be negitive and it’s probably like one in a million chance if this stuff happening
If you get the marrow bones long enough, they can’t slip over their jaw. I buy them 3-4″ long, freeze them with the marrow in them & when I am ready to give one to my labs, I thaw for about 1 minute in the micro, just long enough to take the hard freeze off. They last quite a long time. My 3 girls have beautiful teeth and I’ve been feeding marrow bones as treats several times a week for 20 years and never had a chipped tooth.
How about pig ears? Are they safe?
I have heard that they can chip off sharp pieces that can get stuck or scratch the dogs throat. And in my case they gave my cocker diarrhea cuz they are very greasy.
Try rinsing them in hot water, then blot with a paper towel… That removes a lot of the grease….
I used to give my dog pig’s ears but I prefer the cow’s ear. Crisper, more protein and less fatty. Usually I give my dog the very long bully sticks. That saves me some money since I throw out the stick once it gets down to just a few inches.
Not a fan of rawhides or Plastic Nylabones. I make sweet potato “rawhides” by cutting hem in safe shapesand baking at 225 for 2-3 hours. Puppies loves them, digest easily and well the humans like them too.
What about beef hide? is it the same?
Yes…that is the same thing.
My dog broke a tooth from rawhide bones.
I do not recommend.
I have learned not to allow rawhides anymore. the animals get too possessive, and aggressive (if you want to take it away), along with the choking, and the stomach blockage, it is not worth the aggravation. Now I only provide completely digestible, or NYLABONES.
For the dog owners who suggested Nylabones, please don’t use them! Nylabones are plastic and are supposedly digestible! I’ve never heard of digestible plastic, just think of all the toxins in plastic and yet somehow they are okay for the dogs too eat?? Ill stick with rawhide made in the USA, but i take it away before the rawhide gets too small to avoid choking hazards 😉
You are right! Nylabones aren’t digestible however nylabone doesn’t claim they are. When you read the packaging, it states they break off into rice sized species that will pass. I love nylabones, made in the usa!
Right on, Kim… 🙂
Your dog shouldn’t get possessive and aggressive if you train it from a puppy that humans can take anything from them at any time and properly socialized with other dog friendly dogs. Granted all dogs are different and I’m sure there are exceptions to this however most of the time I find it’s people not educated on proper training. A dog should be trained to know that every member in the home, children included are to be obeyed and can take food or treats from them at any time. For example, my dog takes orders from my youngest who just turned 5. The dog will also not use her mouth on my kids if they are taking a toy or giving a treat.
A good way to train a puppy is to hold the food bowl with both hands in your lap, use one hand to pick up kibbles out of the bow,let the pup take the food from your hand and from the bowl. When the pup is eating from the bowl, pet him around his head and ears, praising him the whole time… Then begin moving the bowl around, gradually…. In time, he will become used to human hands around him when he is eating without feeling threatened…
Any dog can get possessive over any type of food or treat, not just rawhide. I have been giving my dogs rawhides over the past 20 years and have never had a problem. Also never had a dog develop any food/treat aggression with anything they’ve been given.
I had a bad experience with the rawhide. My young Boxer got a piece down her throat, got it out and swore never again.
You can give them rawhides made in the U.S.A. however only under supervision and not long enough for them to begin the tearing and swallowing! Also, as stated by others; check the ingredients.
If it doesn’t state the the product is MADE in the U.S.A., don’t buy it.
I have a love-hate relationship with rawhide chews. My dogs love them, but I’m aware of the choking hazards. A good alternative is the granulated rawhide chews (if you can break them, they aren’t a choking hazard) But be sure those granulated ones aren’t made in Asia.
I used to feed my dogs rawhide treats all the time. Then on several occasions pieces of it started getting caught in their throats. I had to stick my fingers down their throats to get it out. It scares me to think what would have happened if I hadn’t been there. I will never, ever give my dogs rawhide treats again. Yes, they love them, but I love my dogs more than to put their lives at risk over a treat. There are alternatives. Best thing to do is ask your veterinarian what to buy.
Many years ago I gave my pup a puppy rawhide. That night she woke me up, scratching at my arm. As soon as my eyes focused, I noticed something in her mouth I pulled at it, and pulled, and pulled .. It was the rawhide. It had unwound as she chewed it, and was way down deep into her esophagus! Never again rawhide in any form.
What safter chew treats are there? What about bully stickes?
Bully Sticks are great! Once again though, make sure that you are getting ones made in the U.S or Canada. I also like antlers, you just have to be careful if you have a big chewer as I have heard a few stories about dogs breaking their teeth, but my dogs have never had that problem. I also like the big kongs, my dog is a tough chewer and he hasn’t put a dent in it in 2 years! One thing you have to remember about rawhide, even the stuff made in the U.S is that your dog still cant digest it. Some dogs I will say have rawhide all the time and never have a problem, but there are so many other options out there that don’t pose a risk!
Bully sticks aren’t ” made” anywhere, they come from real bulls. LOL. I am amazed at how many people don’t know what a bully stick really is.
Well they still have to be processed somewhere, Denise…
Unless it’s chopped right off the bull and handed directly to the dog – yes, it’s “made” somewhere.
Just like the beef & chicken you purchase will tell you where it came from – so will a bully stick.
That’s funny! I was just wondering, does she think we all drive up to a farm, bulls chop them off and hand them to us? There is a factory somwhere that packages them!
yeah, it made me chuckle to find out what bully sticks really are. And I smile even more when I get the yard long ones for my dog. weird sense of humor I guess.