Rawhide for Dogs: Risks and Benefits

Rawhide for Dogs: Risks and Benefits

Dogs love rawhide and they’re natural so what’s the debate about? Here’s the DL to help you make an informed decision if this is a treat you want to give your BFF.  

The pro rawhide side touts that rawhides are inexpensive and can keep a dog busy chewing contently for hours. They also claim that rawhides offer the dental benefits of cleaning and strengthening teeth.  

The other side warns against these treats for reasons of exposure to chemicals and choking or intestinal blockage. Let’s explore this! 

Exposure to chemicals 

Rawhides are the byproduct of the leather industry.  The process involves preserving the skin with chemicals in several steps and separating the valuable top grain from the internal, raw layer. The raw layer is then treated with more chemicals (hydrogen peroxide, bleach, formaldehyde) to whiten it and remove the rotting smell. Next, they are shaped into rolls, bones, and rings, and sometimes coated with flavorings, and paint to make them appealing to you and your dog. Lastly, they are treated with preservatives and dried at high heat.  

Choking and Intestinal Blockage 

Despite a dog’s very strong stomach acid, Rawhide is indigestible, so it doesn’t dissolve. If a large piece is ingested, it can cause a blockage causing death or requiring surgery for removal. Even small pieces can be dangerous if they aren’t passed. 

Rawhide chews are made all around the world and each country has its standard and cocktail of chemicals used in the processing. 

Regardless of whether you give rawhides or not, always supervise your dog when they have treats, toys, and chews.  

Check out our favorite rawhide substitutions:

Bravo! Bag-O-Chews Dry Roasted Beef Trachea Dog Treats
Earth Animal No-Hide Venison Dog Chews
Honey I'm Home Natural Honey Coated Mega Muncher Buffalo Dog Chews
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