Are rawhides safe to feed my dog?
The right rawhide chew will not only respond to your dog’s (or puppy’s) need to crush and grind, hence, relieving anxiety– but it can also keep their teeth cleaner and the breath a little fresher.
There are a few dangers, so you need to know the different types, as well as your dog’s chewing needs. For instance, if the rawhide treat is too brittle, it can create broken teeth and/or intestinal upsets, and a puppy can easily choke if she breaks off too large a chunk.
First, the basics: Rawhide comes from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. During manufacturing, the hides are cleaned and then cut, rolled and shaped, and then pressed into chewable dog treats of different shapes and sizes. Some rawhide treats even contain beef, chicken, or liver flavorings to make them even more appealing.
There are 5 different types of rawhide:
Good for light chewers and puppies, this is very soft, crumbles easily and is usually eaten fast—so only give small amounts.
• Knotted bones:
Appropriate for average chewers, this rawhide is first rolled, then shaped into a bone, usually with a knot at the end.
NOTE: Be careful of the knots, because they can fit easily into some dogs’ mouths—and they will try to swallow them whole.
• Chew flips, chips & strips
Not suitable for large puppies or dogs, or active and aggressive chewers, these are smaller, flat pieces cut from rawhide sheets.
• Compressed rawhide
Suitable for aggressive chewers and large breed puppies, this kind is dense and hard: compressed rawhide is usually made up of several layers of rawhide which is compressed into a shape (often a bone but without the knots).
A word about safety: Always supervise your dog when she’s chewing. Are there large, moistened chunks that she can swallow? If so, cut them off!
Has the chew become so worn that it will now easily fit into her mouth? If so, replace that with a new one.
Is your dog having any kind of allergic reaction? If you suspect an allergy, take the offending object away from her—immediately—and talk to your veterinarian.