Rawhide comes from the inner layer of hide on cattle, it is oven or sun dried and hard by the time it is cut and processed. There are very few regulations on rawhide for pets in the United States. Although they can be safe for dogs, like all toys you should do your research and supervise your dog while they are playing with it. Generally US rawhide is considered of better quality, the hides are generally thicker and they are oven baked instead of sun baked. When you sun bake the rawhide it becomes very hard, and slightly more brittle. Rawhides have been known to cause intestinal issues and general issues in the dogs digestive system. As a rule of thumb you want to follow these simple rules when feeding your dog rawhide:
- Do not give to young puppies or sensitive dogs
- Supervise your dogs chewing habits
- Remove any small portions or pieces your dog could swallow – they can cause extreme irritation in your dogs system.
- Inspect the bone everyday to make sure there is not anything your dog can swallow hanging off.
- Throw away any bones that start getting to old or dirty – They can carry many bacteria.
Following these simple rules you can help reduce the risks of your dog getting injured from a rawhide. As always keep a vet’s emergency number available for quick reference when you have any pet. If you are unsure if rawhide is the best chew for you dog, talk to your vet about the options.