Is Rawhide Safe For Your Dog?
Short answer, no.
What is rawhide?
Rawhide is the skin of animals such as cattle or pork that is removed, dried and prepared for your dog to eat. Rawhides come in different shapes, sizes and sometimes has added flavor.
What are the dangers of rawhide?
The main danger of rawhide is choking. If you’ve ever watched a dog chew on a rawhide, you know how stringy, soft, and long it can become. At some point, small pieces will start to be bitten off which can become lodged in the esophagus. The rawhide can quickly and easily become lodged in your dogs throat, blocking his airway and potentially tearing his esophagus’ lining as it tries to work its way down.
If your dog is drooling, panicking, pawing at their mouth or are not able to swallow water or food, it may be a sign they are choking.
The second main issue with rawhide is contamination from its manufacturing process. Because it is made from animal skins and material, salmonella is a huge concern as well as the nasty chemicals used to remove and treat the hide before it can be processed into dog treats.
So what are the alternatives to rawhide?
Bully Sticks - these are dried bull pizzles. There is no choking hazard, they are digestible, and they come in all the same sizes and shapes you might expect from a rawhide. These are high in calories, so don't over feed.
Antlers - they won’t splinter or create much odor, and they have nooks and crannies that really help get your dog’s teeth clean.
Lamb Ears - a great natural alternative to rawhide treats.
Kong - These are the ubiquitous red (and other colors) rubber oblong toys that you can stuff with treats and various spreads to keep your dog occupied and chewing for hours!
Frozen peanut butter, broth cubes - You can always go DIY and make your own frozen concoctions that your dog can work on for hours. These are especially great during the summer months
Dental chews and treats - there are a large range of dental chews on the market, including Greenies and local Melbourne based brand Bell and Bone.