Many dog owners ask whether rawhide for dogs is good or bad and what health risks it may pose? Obviously no pet owner wants to put their pets life at risk so understanding any dangers is essential to ensuring that your dogs has a long and stress-free life. There is a lot of conflicting information being spread around online so what are the real dangers associated with rawhide for dogs.
Health Risks Associated with Rawhide for Dogs
Dogs are not known to be delicate eaters and will swallow most of their food once it is a manageable size. This can cause problems for your pet if the food is not digested properly and in some cases can lead to chocking or intestinal blockage if the ingested rawhide is too large.
Other ailments can be caused by the chemicals that are used in the production of the rawhide chew treats. Preservatives such as arsenic are used to stop the raw hides from rotting during transport and shipping. Bleaching agents may be used if the hides are starting to discolor by the time they are processed. Insecticides and antibiotics may also be present depending upon the origin of the hides.
American rawhides are less likely to contain chemical preservatives so long as they are processed in the USA as they will only be frozen during transport.
As with any animal product there is a chance that bacteria, such as salmonella, may build up and cause gastrointestinal upset. Symptoms of which can include fever, vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhea and dehydration.
The Health Benefits of Rawhide Chews
That seems to have covered the dangers of rawhide and you may be thinking at this point that you are never going to give rawhide to your dog again but it’s not all bad news.
Giving your dog rawhide chew treats has its benefits as well. You just need to take some precautions, after all rawhide chews offer several health benefits for your dog or puppy.
Rawhide dog treats not only satisfy your pets hunger to chew but they also promote good dental hygiene for your lovable canine. They help to remove plaque and tartar and keep the jaws strong. Rawhide and other dog chews are essential to training your puppy and teaching it what and whatnot it cannot chew. Chair legs bad, rawhide good.
Always buy good quality rawhide, preferabley from the USA where there are more stingent controls on its production.
Tips to Avoid Issues with Rawhide Bones
Avoid compressed rawhide which is made up of small pieces of low grade rawhide that is more prone to breaking apart and being ingested.
Discard rawhide’s older than a week so as to lessen the problems caused by bacteria buildup.
Avoid artificially colored rawhide as it is just another chemical additive to worry about.
Look for single whole pieces of rolled rawhide. These are the most durable and less likely to disintegrate. Make sure that small pieces of raw hide are not hidden inside the roll.
Is Rawhide for Puppies Good or Bad?
Chewing rawhide bone can minimize a puppies teething pain and stimulate growth of adult teeth. You may want to start off with a thinner rawhide strip that is a little softer so that it does not damage your puppies teeth. You can also try putting some dog food inside so as to make it more attractive to chew on.
If buying rawhide bones then look at the knots on the end and make sure that they are not too small as they could be easily swallowed. You also find that these knots are made of separate pieces of rawhide and detach easily so check this first.
You may also ask whether dried pig ears for dogs good or bad. We all know that dogs love pig ears but due to their brittleness they can also cause problems. They are prone to snapping leaving small sharp shards which do not digest and can cause internal issues such as tears as they pass through the intestine.
Alternative Products to Rawhide Bones and Chews
There are alternatives to rawhide such as Bully sticks which are made from beef or plastic alternatives such as Kong and Nylabone which can also come pre-flavored.
So by all means give your dog a nice rawhide treat but don’t leave them unsupervised and once you see the rawhide soften then remove it until it hardens again. It bits start to come away from it then it is probably time to replace it with a new one. Is rawhide for dogs good or bad? In short there are risks but these can be minimized by taking the above advice.