Rawhide as Dog Chews

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Compressed and Knotted Rawhide

Rawhide for Dogs
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Chewing is an issue many dog owners face. Your first instinct may be to call your local dog trainer to solve your dog’s chewing problem. However, you can get your dog to stop chewing on your shoes by redirecting his attention. Offering an alternate item, such as a chew toy, is a great way to stop your dog from chewing on valuables. There are many chew toys available in the market, but rawhide is one of the most popular ones. Read on to learn the pros and cons of using rawhide as a chew toy for your dog.

What is Rawhide?

One type of dog chew is compressed rawhide bones. Rawhides are made of bovine (cow) or swine (pig) hides that have been dried and processed into various shapes and sizes. As the name suggests, compressed chews are processed hides that have been tightly compressed into different shapes and often have added flavoring, such as garlic, beef or cheese, for additional appeal.

Some compressed rawhides have a knot tied on each end. A well-made rawhide should have some flexibility when twisted and produced in North America to reduce the amounts of added chemicals (such as formaldehyde). Rawhides are frequently washed in formaldehyde or bleached with titanium oxide (which turns them white) so use caution when selecting a dog chew. Veterinarians will warn you against bleached rawhides, as they can be harmful to your dog.

RELATED: Kong Dog Toys for Chewing Problems

Selecting a Rawhide

Rawhides are great for relieving boredom, exercising teeth and gums, and satisfying a dog’s need to chew, as long as they are safe health-wise. When selecting a rawhide, consult your professional dog obedience trainer. Always choose a bone that appears too large for the dog so he can’t chew and swallow it too quickly.

Also, make sure your dog can’t fit the rawhide completely into his mouth. When your dog is able to hold the entire chew in his mouth, it’s time to take it away. Some dogs manage to shred rawhide chews. This results in small pieces of rawhide hanging off the chew. If this occurs, simply cut them away with scissors to prevent your dog from ingesting them. Always supervise your dog while he enjoys any type of rawhide.

Rawhide Pros

  • Dogs love the intense flavor and aroma of most rawhides.
  • Compressed rawhide is more durable and long-lasting than shredded compressed rawhide.
  • Any type of chew that is safe and your dog enjoys is a good redirector from chewing other household items so it can be an asset to his animal training.

Rawhide Cons

  • An aggressive chewer may swallow large pieces or consume an entire rawhide quickly, which could cause an intestinal blockage. They can also potentially pierce the lining of the intestines or other organs, causing major medical problems.
  • Some dogs, especially aggressive chewers, may suffer from broken teeth or slab fractures of molars from chewing compressed rawhides, so always supervise your dog with any type of chew. If you’re unsure as to whether your dog is chewing too aggressively, consult your dog trainer.
  • Some added flavorings (visible or not) may stain carpets, fabrics and some porous floorings, which in turn can stimulate chewing on these items, making them an unfavorable dog training tool.
  • Chemical preservatives found in various types of inferior rawhide may be dangerous to your dog.

Again, if you’re unsure of the safety of a rawhide bone for your dog or the chewing problem persists, consult your dog trainer or veterinarian.

READ MORE: Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth

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