While rawhide treats may be popular, here are some points to keep in mind when deciding if they are right for your dog.
The inner layer of cow or horse hides are used to make rawhide. The hides are cleaned and or ground during the manufacturing process. Next they’re made into chewable different shapes and sizes. Some contain flavorings to make them more appealing.
There are some benefits of rawhide. Chewing can help relieve anxiety and can provide stimulation. There is less plaque and tartar build-up on dogs that chew regularly on rawhide.
While the risks are relatively small, they can be serious and for that reason should not be ignored.
Here are some of the most common risks of rawhide:
- Rawhide chews can contain trace elements of toxic chemicals. Humans can also be at risk when coming into contact with bacteria on rawhide treats.
- If a dog is sensitive or allergic to rawhide or the substances used in manufacturing, it can cause diarrhea.
- There is a choking and blockage risk. This risk is bigger than digestive contamination or digestive irritation. A blockage can lead to death if not resolved.
If you decide to offer your dog rawhide, wash your hands thoroughly after handing the treats to minimize your risk of exposure to contaminants.
It is advised that you ask your veterinarian how much is safe to give your dog. Generally the smaller the dog, the fewer the chews. Give one at a time at first, then wait a day to see how your dog responds.
When the chew becomes small enough to swallow whole, take it away from your dog.
Contact your vet if see signs such as:
- Repeated swallowing
- Lack of energy
- Signs of pain
- Refusal to eat
Not all rawhide treats are safe for your dog to eat. It has been reported that rawhides which have been produced outside the US were made from toxic chemicals. Try to be selective when choosing rawhide.
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