Is Raw Hide Bad For My Dog?

Everybody’s down on the raw hide, but I’ve seen small dogs gently chew it safely and big dogs swallow pieces whole, so I tend to think it depends on the dog.

The scary part about giving a dog rawhide is the potential to block your dog’s intestines and either kill him or at least cause a few thousand dollars in vet bills.

Personally, we’ve switched Napa to elk antlers (he LOVES THESE) and odor-free bully sticks, but here’s an expert opinion:

Is Raw Hide Bad For My Dog? Expert Opinion:

“Promoted as an “all natural” treat, rawhide does keep dogs entertained, perhaps even more so in its many basted, twisted, even brightly colored mutations. It’s the equivalent of that gummy-worm-fortified cereal made with real oats that children howl for all the way down the breakfast aisle,” notes TheBark.com.

From what we’ve read (and we’ve read a lot), most experts will say that it really depends on the dog as to whether they can have it. If your dog guzzles his or her food then you may want to hold off on the raw hide. The raw hide can clog up your dogs pipes if not slowly digested. This can cause all kinds of bad things for your puppy.

Anthony Holloway, Owner of K9Cuisine warns dog owners about other issues:

First of all, rawhide is not considered a food item. Thus, it is not covered by any labeling, processing, or content laws, and it may contain chemical preservatives. According to Associated Content, imported rawhide chews often contain toxins including arsenic, lead, titanium oxide, formaldehyde, chromium salts, mercury, cadmium and bromine. Even with the use of these highly questionable preservatives, the FDA reports that Salmonella has been detected in some of the imported chews. In the US and Canada, refrigerated trucks provide safer transport and the hides are generally only treated with hydrogen peroxide and a water rinse.

In addition to the chemical risk, rawhide can swell up to four times its original size in your dog’s stomach and cause life-threatening blockages. And dogs can chew off and swallow large pieces of rawhide which can get stuck in their esophagus, stomach, or intestines. This almost always requires surgical removal. In the terrible light of realizing too late, many dog lovers have posted warnings and alternatives on their websites, like The Northeastern Boxer Rescue who lost a gorgeous dog named Maxwell because of a blockage caused by a rawhide chew.

The worst tragedies are the ones that can be prevented. If you must give your dog rawhide, make sure it was made in America. Choose one of the higher end brands and make sure it compliments your dog’s proportions and habits. For safety, monitor the chewing. Throw away the small, chewed down pieces.

From My Mom Owner:

Napa’s vet suggested that we not give him raw hide. He mentioned odor-free bully sticks, which are odor free because the blood is drained from them. The other ones STINK. Bully sticks have been a real life-saver for us and our furniture. Napa’s a real chewy dog. I would recommend you watch your dog closely the first time you give your them one.


Side note: Do you run a business in the pet industry? Would you like to drive more traffic and sales to your site through a search-optimized pet blog? Get in touch with my office-mates at Lantern Content Marketing!

About Napa 'ze Dog

My name is Napa and I'm the Lantern Content Marketing Adventure Company office dog. They create content for business blogs, so I do my part by blogging about pet stuff. My favorite topic is poop! Since you asked, I'm an F2B Miniature Goldendoodle. Everything else you want to know about me is right over here!

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