You have probably heard a lot in the media recently about rawhide chews. While they are a popular dog treat and you know they are good for your dog’s teeth, are there hidden dangers? How can you decide if you should give these to your dog or not?
Rawhide treats are made from the inner layer of cow or horse hides that are cleaned, ground and pressed into different shapes and sizes. Flavorings can also be added such as beef, chicken, and cheese. The purpose of these treats is to get your dog chewing. All dogs need to chew, some more than others. It relieves anxiety, keeps their jaws strong and teeth clean.
There are some very small risks associated with rawhide chews. These are contamination, choking, and very occasionally digestive irritation. You can minimize these risks by keeping your treat area clean, handling treats with clean hands, choosing appropriate chew sizes for your dog, and not leaving your dog unattended while chewing a new type of treat. Also, you should remove the rawhide when the piece becomes small enough to be swallowed.
By exercising a few precautions and being aware of any potential problems, rawhide chews can be a good treat for your pup. If you decide against rawhide, some alternative chewing options are flexible rubber toys and balls or dental products like GreeniesTM. Keep in mind, however, that you should avoid hard marrow or hard rubber chews as these can break teeth. Happy munching!
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