Rawhides: Safe or Not?

As pup parents, we want to spoil our canine companions. One of the most common treats to give pups are rawhide chews. For those unaware, rawhides are created from “the inner layer of cow or horse hides,” per WebMD. As of late, there has been some debate over whether this type of chew can be potentially dangerous to give your dog. 

According to the American Kennel Club, rawhide chews can be particularly dangerous for dogs on the bigger side who have strong bites. The AKC notes that dogs with impressive jaw power can bite the chew in big pieces, which “can pose a major choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage.” 

In a 2019 YouTube video, Dr. Lindsay Butzer, a Florida-based veterinarian, acknowledged pet parents’ concerns about their furry friends possibly choking on rawhides. She explained that “rawhides are meant to be edible.”

“They work on them, they chew them, they do eat pieces of it as they are going through the bone,” said the vet. 

Dr. Butzer clarified that rawhides “can get stuck” and noted that they “are not the best bones” for your canine companion to snack on. She went on to say that certain breeds are more likely to have issues with rawhides. 

"Once they get to the end or they have a piece of it, some dogs like Labradors swallow these bones whole and run off, and then five days later, they have a stomach ache, they have a fever and they are in the vet because they have a foreign body, not every dog is going to get a foreign body from these," explained the vet. 

She then asserted that it is up to the discretion of the pup parent to give their dog a rawhide. 

“I’m for rawhides, I like the rawhides, they keep your dog occupied,” said the vet. 

If you feel uncomfortable giving your pup a rawhide chew, the AKC recommends purchasing your pooch alternatives like bully bites or Himalayan Cheese treats. Please consult your dog’s vet before introducing any new treats.


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