Chances are, your dog likes to chew. Whether it’s treats, bones, or your favorite new pair of loafers, puppies like to get their mouth on just about anything around.
To keep their puppy’s mouth busy, many dog owners turn to rawhide treats. These treats are thick, keeping your dog occupied and preventing them from chewing up your house.
But are rawhide treats safe? It’s hard to find an easy answer, and it may depend on your dog’s breed. Rawhide treats can be dangerous if your dog bites off large pieces at once and swallows them whole. That’s why some vets recommend that you avoid rawhide completely.
However, rawhide treats may be safe for some dogs, especially if you take extra precautions. Here, we’ll walk you through all you need to know about rawhide, and how you can keep your puppy safe as they chomp away.
Rawhide is the tough inner layer of a cow’s hide. It is cleaned and then stretched so that it can be cut into dog treats. These treats often come in the shape of a bone, and they are usually flavored to make them more appealing to dogs.
Rawhide is popular because of its toughness. It can take dogs days to work through a rawhide treat, and the hard material gives your dog’s bite quite the workout. Because rawhide treats can last for a while, they’re a fairly affordable way of keeping your dog busy.
Many dog owners worry that rawhide treats may not be safe for their dog. There is some truth to back up this concern. Rawhide treats can splinter into pieces that are small enough to fit into your dog’s mouth, but large enough to get stuck in their throat.
Because rawhide is so hard, these lodged pieces can be quite dangerous for your dog. They can also get stuck in your dog’s digestive tract. Many dogs will also try to swallow the treat whole. This can then block their throat or digestive tract.
Rawhide can also sometimes cause teeth to break or fall out. This is fairly rare, but it does happen. To avoid this, try to get unpressed rawhide treats. These aren’t quite as hard, so they are less likely to harm your dog’s teeth. They are also less likely to splinter and get lodged in your dog’s throat.
If you are considering giving your dog rawhide treats, it’s important that you pick a good brand. Many rawhide manufacturers import hide from outside of the United States. Although there is nothing wrong with this per se, it can be harder to verify the quality of the hide.
Try to find rawhide treats where you can track the source of the hide and see how it was processed. This decreases the chance that your dog has digestive problems from the treats.
It’s also important that you find a rawhide treat that’s an appropriate size for your dog. It can be dangerous if your dog swallows a rawhide treat, as they take time to digest and can obstruct the throat and intestines.
You should also consider the chewing habits of your dog. If you notice that they try to swallow large treats all at once, you should consider avoiding rawhide treats. Or give them a large treat that they won’t be able to swallow whole.
Although rawhide treats do have their downsides, there are some benefits to using rawhide. For one, they offer quite the workout, and can keep your dog entertained and stimulated for hours.
Dogs benefit from tough chewing, and the rawhide gives your dog plenty of resistance. This can strengthen their bite and be good for their teeth.
Rawhide may also help clean your dog’s teeth by rubbing off plaque. That said, you should not use rawhide treats in place of regular dental care.
Vets are mixed on whether you should give dogs rawhide treats. However, many dog owners give them to their dogs without any issues. You just have to be careful with the size of the rawhide treat, and make sure to monitor your dog as they chew.
The best way to do this is to only give your dog the treat for short periods. Monitor them as they chew, and take away any large pieces that splinter off. When they’re not chewing, keep the treat stored away so that they can’t reach it.
Also try to swap out rawhide treats if your dog doesn’t finish them. Rawhide can become a great home for nasty bacteria that can cause health problems for your dog. If your puppy has been gnawing on the same bone for weeks, you should give them a fresh one.
If you are worried about rawhide treats, then there’s nothing wrong with skipping them entirely. There are plenty of other treats out there that are less risky. Or you can get your dog toys that they can’t swallow.
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