Rawhide for Dogs
Buying Rawhide Dog Chews
Tips on Selecting Rawhides
Rawhide dog chews are a great way to redirect your dog’s attention. Rather than chewing on your shoes or furniture, your dog can receive the same satisfaction from chewing on rawhide.
What is Rawhide Made of?
Rawhide is made of bovine (cow) or swine (pig) hides that have been dried and processed into various shapes and sizes. Some rawhide chews have added flavoring, such as beef or cheese, and others have a knot tied on both ends.
A well-made rawhide chew should have some flexibility when twisted. Some rawhides are washed in formaldehyde or bleached with titanium oxide so use caution when selecting a chew. Many rawhides from North America are produced with fewer added chemicals.
Animal trainers and veterinarians warn against giving your dog bleached rawhides. Reading the labels on rawhides can help steer clear from unsafe chews. Also, you want to make sure you select a rawhide dog bone that is too large for your dog’s mouth.
Is Rawhide Bad for Dogs?
Rawhide dog chews are good for dogs. They have many benefits, such as relieving dog’s boredom, exercising his teeth and gums, and satisfying his need to chew. Below, we take a look at the pros and cons of rawhide for dogs.
Rawhide Pros and Cons
- 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 the dog enjoys helps redirect him away from chewing on household items–an asset in dog training.
- An aggressive chewer may swallow large pieces or consume an entire rawhide quickly, which could cause an intestinal blockage or pierce the lining of some organs.
- Some dogs, especially aggressive chewers, may suffer from broken teeth or slab fractures of molars from chewing compressed rawhides.
- Some added flavorings (visible or not) may stain carpets, fabrics and porous floorings, which in turn can stimulate your dog to chew on these items.
- Chemical preservatives found in various types of inferior rawhide may be dangerous to your dog.
Always supervise your dog while he enjoys any type of rawhide chew. When the 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, which results in small pieces of rawhide hanging off the chew. If this occurs, simply trim them with scissors to prevent the dog from ingesting them.
When in doubt, ask an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer (ABCDT). He can help you select the right rawhide for your dog and train her if chewing problems continue.