Rawhide is bad for dogs for a number of reasons. Topping the list of risks associated with rawhide are: contamination, digestive distress, choking hazard, and intestinal blockage. These concerns are so big, that the Humane Society and ASPCA both discourage the consumption of rawhide for pets.
Puppies should never be given rawhide treats until they are at least 6 months old. Puppies have very delicate teeth compared to adult dogs, which means that chewing on hard substances can lead to teeth breaking. In addition, young puppies have smaller mouths and narrower digestive tracts than their adult counterparts.
Rawhide Digestibility. Generally speaking, rawhides are not easily digested, which is why large chunks broken off and swallowed pose such high obstruction risks. Any pieces your pup breaks off will have to pass through his digestive system in chunks, since they will not be broken down as well as the rest of his food.
Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. During manufacturing, the hides are cleaned and cut or ground. Then they're pressed into chewable dog treats of different shapes and sizes. To make them more appealing for dogs, some rawhide treats contain beef, chicken, or liver flavorings.
The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes the unregulated feeding of raw foods and discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens, because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs, as well as humans.
Rawhide bones and other edible chews can pose a choking and blockage risk. In fact, this is a much bigger risk than contamination or digestive irritation. If your dog swallows large pieces of rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract.
A good rule of thumb is to let your pet chew a rawhide toy an hour a day. If your dog enjoys chewing rawhide frequently, make sure it always has two or three rawhides to keep it busy. By providing your pet with a variety of chewing activities, you make the experience more interesting.
Bully sticks are another popular alternative to rawhide chews. These chews are often made from grass-fed, free-range beef. Bully sticks are easily digestible and help to remove plaque and tarter. You can also purchase bully sticks online through Amazon or in our front office.
According to most raw feeders, dogs should eat muscle meat (hamburger, chicken, turkey), as well as a healthy array of organ meat (heart, liver, kidneys), whole fish, and raw meaty bones (aka, RMBs).
Nylabone Dura Chew Power If you have a picky aggressive chewer, this probably the best chew to get him. It is made of textured, flavored nubs to entice even the pickiest chewer. The textured nubs not only enhances grip for your dog but will also massage your dog's gums, helping him to control plaque and tartar buildup.