That classic picture of Fido curled up on the rug in front of the fire just gnawing away at the huge bone-shaped, brownish-colored “beef” flavored animal carcass his “Hooman” gave to him as a treat or means to keep those teeth off of another shoe. It is natural… this is what a dog is supposed to chew on and they seem to love it so how can that be a problem?
Many things are being said about rawhide treats. Are rawhide treats bad for dogs? These long-lasting, tasty treats keep teeth clean and promote oral health while keeping those canines busy but are they packed full of dangerous chemicals? Are we slowly poisoning our pets while encouraging them to chew their way to choking on or lodging a piece of undigested hide in their intestines?
Our fur-friends are very important to us. They are family! When it comes to family we usually put a lot of thought or care into gift-giving or food preparation so it is not to far fetched that we would research treats for our dogs. Like most other things in life, there are many factors to consider.
Rawhide is meant to be a long-lasting chew that slowly softens and breaks off into tiny digestible pieces as a reward for the pup’s diligence. With that in mind chew style is rather relevant. Soft chewers have to gnaw and slobber on the treat for much longer causing the treat to soften and break down in a safer manner. A heavy chewer has a better chance of breaking off larger pieces prematurely with a higher risk of obstruction or choking.
Ingredients are always important. The time it takes and where the rawhide is manufactured plays a huge role in the safety of the actual product. Finding out the process of the product could seriously lower the risks caused by chemicals, decay and even illnesses extracted by both the owner and fur-baby.
Age also plays a roll in the pros and cons of safety decisions and rawhide is no exception. Reactions and illnesses have different effects so both the age of the rawhide and the companion for which it is meant matters.
When taking the proper precautions rawhide can be safe. There are companies that use fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients in less time to minimize decay. Make sure to pick the size and shape that is appropriate for your canine’s age and chew style. Inspecting for any easily broken pieces and rinsing the treat off before help. Meanwhile supervising the actual enjoyment and removing any loose pieces before being digested is always recommended. Remember to always wash your hands after handling.
The time and attention paid to the purchase and supervision of the rawhide are key. If the goal of the treat is to occupy time and prevent excessive damage to furniture and shoes because supervision is not always possible then rawhide is not the answer. There are other alternatives available for an acceptable chew toy.
Contact Sweet Carolina Doodles if you have questions.