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Rawhide products are popular and pet stores stock many variations.
Picking a chew treat isn’t always easy. One reason is dog owners have too many to choose from!
Clearly, chewing for canines is important…
Weigh the pros and cons of rawhide (before making a purchase).
Obviously you want to get your dog a quality product. Safety is also a priority as is the pet’s satisfaction.
So are rawhide chew toys OK?
Consider Alternatives to Rawhide Products
While they can achieve chewing and dental health objectives…
The fact is rawhide can be dangerous.
There’s evidence that gastrointestinal problems could develop.
It’s fairly unlikely that your dog will have problems with a reputable bone or similar product. We’re simply pointing out rawhide’s downsides.
Are you concerned about safety?
Just avoid rawhide all together.
Go with whole elk antlers instead. They’re typically sourced from US forests and are more natural as well as safer.
Splintering is less likely compared to rawhide.
Positive Aspects of Rawhide
On the other hand…
There are good things about rawhide (besides affordability).
Dogs usually love whatever rawhide toy or treat you give them. They quickly get busy chewing which is great for teeth and gums.
Rawhide also satisfies natural cravings.
It’s a stress reliever. Your dog will no longer be chewing on things they shouldn’t be!
Blockages & Choking Hazards
On the flip side, rawhide may expose your dog to dangers. Eventually all the chewing will result in lots of tiny parts.
It’s possible that a splintered piece will get lodged in the throat or further down the digestive tract.
Rawhide can also expand after reaching the stomach.
You don’t want your dog experiencing a blockage or worse.
While such occurrences are relatively rare, it does happen. Choosing rawhide is a tough decision.
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.
Unfortunately, this issue isn’t easy to pin down. Rawhide regulation is lacking.
Foreign & Formaldehyde
The process of making rawhide involves harmful chemicals.
Does your purchase contain something like formaldehyde or not?
It’s difficult to know.
Get rawhide that originates in the USA to minimize risks.
Highly discounted products are questionable. A very cheap price is sometimes a warning sign.
An Excellent Alternative
There are good options. Avoiding rawhide is easy.
We consider the best choice to be free-ranging whole elk antlers.
They’re nutritious, last a long time, aren’t messy and splintering is rare.
There are lots of highly-rated rubber and nylon products as well.
We favor something more natural.
Does your clever dog deserve it? Of course they do!
The Bottom Line
It’s true that rawhide is given to dogs without incident.
There are, however, choking and/or digestive blockage concerns.
And your dog may develop gastrointestinal issues from consuming too much rawhide. There are also contaminated products.
It’s best to consider alternatives to rawhide.
You’ll spend a little more, but your dog is worth it.