Are Rawhide Dog Chews a Safe Dog Treat? Learn The Risks & Alternatives
While it’s comforting for dog owners to see how excited their pet becomes at the mere site of a bag of rawhide dog chews; more consideration should be given as to whether or not that treat is really safe for your dog.
For several years now, we’ve been sharing stories from other dog owners about rawhide including most (if not all) major brands! In fact, you’ll see a large link below where you can jump to the page and scroll to the bottom to read the actual stories.
You can also share you own and we encourage you to do so. Pay it forward and help someone else.
Some of the stories are ok, but the majority are frightening and range from diarrhea lasting several days to dogs actually dying.
What is your opinion on rawhide dog chews? Safe or not?
Read the stories here!
Know The Risks
There’s a lot of risk associated with this form of entertainment and our goal is to make sure that you “understand” the consequences. These risks are based upon stories we’ve received from others as well as our own experience with rawhide bones:
- Heavy Panting
- Foaming at the Mouth
- Swollen Cecum
- Possible Stomach Cancer
- Mouth Warts
- Digestive Tract Obstruction
- Possible Bloating (stomach twisting – deadly)
Here’s Some Great Alternatives to Rawhide Chews for Dogs
First, read the packaging label carefully. Manufacturer’s can be pretty tricky with their marketing tactics.
Many consumers innocently think products are made here in the USA only to find that in teenie, weenie writing at the bottom of the package on the back it says “made in China.” BEWARE: manufacturers will actually ship the American hide to China or other countries and have them process and package it. They then label it made in USA because the hide originated from the U.S.
Here’s some of our favorite alternatives to rawhide for dogs:
- Deer Antlers are an awesome chew for your dog and they’re safe. They are at the top of our favorites when it comes to a nice, long lasting chew that isn’t a bone. They are very high in calcium and truly do help to clean the teeth. You can buy them or if you know of someone that hunts deer; see if they will give the antlers to you and have them cut down yourself. Be sure to get the appropriate size for your dog. Our dogs have their antlers for several weeks and chew on them regularly.
- Sweet Potato chews are an excellent alternative and they’re a great form of fiber too! Unfortunately, we recommend that you AVOID those coming from China such as Dogswell. SamsYams are made in the U.S. and are considered safe. These treats ARE NOT a long lasting chew though.
- Lamb Ears or Beef Tails are another option as long as they are completely all natural and manufactured in the USA. The lamb ears are a soft, smaller treat and the beef tail is crunchy. Again, we believe that all treats should be fed sparingly if at all, and ONLY in the presence of the owner.
- Another great alternative are “Tripe Sticks”. Tripe is the stomach tissue of cows, sheep and oxen. A little stinky, but 99% of dogs LOVE tripe.
- While we were recommending bull pizzle chews (bull penis aka bully sticks) on a regular basis, unfortunately lately there have been some recalls on bully sticks due to bacteria issues. We still think it’s a nice treat, but buy and feed at your own risk. FYI, these treats are a muscle and not a bone which is what makes them a great treat. Depending on the thickness, they can be pretty long lasting as well. Warning though; they do stink!
What To Do If You Have Your Own Consumer Complaint
First, please share your story with us at the above link and help us to spread the word about rawhide dog chews. Secondly, get in touch with the consumers complaints department at the FDA in your state and let them know what’s going on.