Many dog owners want to know the answer to the question “Are rawhide bones digestible?”. This is understandable as there are often reports and horror stories of animals dying due to indigestible objects becoming stuck in their intestines and digestive systems.
Lets be honest, dogs are not dainty eaters. They will swallow pretty much anything they can get into their mouths, be it tennis balls or you latest cellphone. Dogs just love to chew and if they are allowed to do so unsupervised then they can get into all sorts of trouble.
The good news is that rawhide is a natural product, it’s the raw hide of an animal, normally a cow, horse or bison and can be digested. After all, wild animals and even your pet cat will eat the skins of the prey that they catch.
The real question should not be “Are rawhide bones digestible?” but “How digestible are rawhide bones?”
How Digestible are Rawhide Bones?
There are many different factors that can determine how quickly rawhide is digested. Factors such as the type of animal the hide is from, the thickness of the hide, how the rawhide chew is made and any chemicals that are actually added to the rawhide during production can affect how digestible it is.
If your dog is breaking off small pieces of rawhide then it is unlikely to cause much of an issue unless you are feeding him several rawhide chews a day. It’s when your canine friend manages to pull off large chunks that problems can occur.
Always choose a good quality rawhide treat that doesn’t contain too many additives such as American rawhide for dogs. Softer chews are more readily digested but are also easier to break apart, such as is the case with compressed rawhide products.
Look for a More Digestible Alternative
There are alternatives such as bully sticks which are made from 100 percent pure beef, vegetable bones and even deer antlers available if your dog has issues with rawhide bones.
You may even want to consider one of the many durable dog toys on the market from companies such as Kong which can be stuffed with treats.
Ultimately you should act as a responsible owner and take care of your dog when they are eating or chewing on bones so as to minimize any of these types of swallowing issues. Remember that this is not just an issues related to rawhide products it applies to many dog treats and toys such from cow ears and bones to rubber toys.