Is Rawhide Safe for Dogs? Here’s What the Experts Say

When it comes to giving our furry friends something to chew on, there are a lot of options out there. From bones to bully sticks, there are plenty of ways to keep your dog entertained and his jaws busy. But one of the most popular options is rawhide. So, can dogs digest rawhide?

There’s a lot of debate over whether or not rawhide is safe for dogs. The answer, as with most things related to pet care, is it depends. Some dogs have no trouble digesting rawhide, while others can experience stomach upset or even intestinal blockages. The best way to figure out if rawhide is right for your pup is to talk to your veterinarian.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of giving your dog rawhide and find out what the experts have to say about whether or not it’s safe.

What Is Rawhide?

Rawhide is a type of chew that’s made from the skin of a cow, pig, or horse. It’s been around for centuries and is a popular choice for dogs because it keeps their teeth clean and healthy.

But there’s been some debate lately about whether or not rawhide is safe for dogs. Some people say that it can cause them to choke or even block their intestines, while others claim that it’s perfectly safe as long as you choose the right kind of rawhide.

What Are the Benefits of Rawhide for Dogs?

You may have heard that giving your dog rawhide is bad for him, but is that really the case? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of rawhide and see what the experts have to say.

On the plus side, rawhide is a great way to keep your dog’s teeth clean. It helps remove plaque and tartar buildup, and it’s been shown to reduce the risk of gum disease.

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Another benefit of rawhide is that it helps keep your dog occupied and entertained. A busy dog is a happy dog!

The main downside to rawhide is that it can be a choking hazard. If your dog swallows a large piece of rawhide, it could get lodged in his throat and cause him to choke. So it’s important to supervise your dog when he’s eating rawhide and to make sure he doesn’t swallow any large pieces.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Feeding Dogs Rawhide?

So is rawhide safe for dogs? Are there any risks associated with feeding them rawhide? Let’s take a closer look.

First of all, it’s important to understand that not all dogs are the same. Some dogs can digest rawhide just fine, while others may have trouble. That’s because every dog has a different digestive system, and what works for one may not work for another.

That being said, there are some risks associated with feeding dogs rawhide. For example, if a dog swallows a piece of rawhide whole, it could get stuck in its throat or esophagus. And if that happens, you’ll need to take them to the vet immediately.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some rawhides are treated with chemicals that can be harmful to dogs. So if you’re going to give your dog rawhide, it’s important to make sure you’re buying them from a reputable source.

How Can I Tell if My Dog Is Having a Problem With Rawhide?

If you’re questioning whether or not rawhide is safe for your pup, you’re not alone. A lot of dog owners are curious about this popular chew toy, and for good reason.

The main concern with rawhide is that it can cause digestive problems in dogs. This is because rawhide is hard to digest and can sometimes get caught in the intestines. Signs that your dog might be having a problem with rawhide include vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

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If you think your dog is having a reaction to rawhide, it’s best to stop giving it to them and consult your vet.

What Are Some Alternatives to Rawhide Chews for Dogs?

Dog dental chews, like rawhide, help reduce plaque and tartar on a dog’s teeth by satisfying their chewing instinct. Choosing high-quality rawhide is crucial to avoid potential hazards and digestion issues.

So what are some alternatives to rawhide chews for dogs?

Well, one alternative is a bully stick. These are made from dried bull penises, and they’re a great option for dogs that love to chew. They’re also high in protein and low in fat, so they’re good for your dog’s health.

Another option is a deer antler. These are soft and gentle on your dog’s teeth, and they’re a great source of calcium and minerals.

Offering raw bones like beef or lamb can be a natural and enjoyable dog chew. Ensure they are raw and large enough to avoid splintering.

Some dogs enjoy chewing on vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes. These can be a healthy and low-calorie alternative, promoting dental health. Dehydrated fish skins can be a tasty and healthy option. They’re abundant in Omega-3 fatty acids, promoting skin and coat health. 

Himalayan yak chews are made from yak milk. These hard and long-lasting chews are a good option for dogs that love to gnaw. They soften as they are chewed, reducing the risk of splintering. 

Pig ears are a natural treat that many dogs enjoy. However, they can be high in fat, so they should be in moderation. Chicken feet are crunchy and can be a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin, promoting joint health.

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When choosing an alternative for dog dental chews, you need to ensure that they are safe, appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing habits, and contain ingredients that support dental health. Additionally, consider consulting with your pet’s veterinarian for tailored recommendations. 

Finally, you could try a Nina Ottosson Interactive Dog Toy. These are made from durable plastic and can be filled with treats or kibble, which will keep your dog entertained for hours.

FAQs About Rawhide and Dogs

You might be wondering: can dogs digest rawhide? The answer is yes, they can. In fact, rawhide is a great way for dogs to relieve boredom and helps keep their teeth clean.

But there are a few things to keep in mind when giving your dog rawhide. First of all, never give your dog a rawhide that’s too big, as it could get lodged in their throat. Also, make sure to supervise your dog when they’re chewing on rawhide, as it’s possible for them to choke on it.

And finally, remember that not all dogs like rawhide. If your dog doesn’t seem interested in it, try a different type of chew toy. There are plenty of options out there to choose from.


The verdict is still out on whether or not rawhide is safe for dogs, but the general consensus seems to be that it’s not the best idea. There are a lot of risks associated with rawhide, from choking hazards to intestinal blockages.

There are a lot of safer and more digestible alternatives to rawhide, so if you’re looking for a treat for your pup, there are better options out there. Talk to your vet to see what they recommend, and always read the ingredients list to make sure you’re getting the safest product possible.