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Every time you walk into a pet store to select playthings for your dog, there is a strong likelihood of coming across a variety of items. However, on subjecting these to closer examination you would find that many of these are made from plastic, meaning they would eventually disintegrate in the face of a non-stop chewing onslaught. The outcome could vary from your dog swallowing bits of plastic or sustaining injuries like broken teeth, punctured gums and perforated intestines due to splinters. In such a situation, a better option would be to settle for a chew which is made of natural animal-based products and conforms somewhat to the dog’s omnivorous diet. Ever consider rawhide for dogs?
Canine chews are derived from a variety of materials, and not all could be suitable for your pet. Rawhide chews and those made from dried tendons are ideal options since they are of the right consistency and are also safe. Unlike other chews which are made from obscure animal parts, rawhide chews are not at all messy or disgusting and if chosen well, these can keep your dog busy and satisfied for a long time.
Discussed as follows are some of the most well-known brands of rawhide chews that you can consider buying for your dog.
The Best Rawhide for Dogs
Best Bully Sticks
Measuring 12 inches in thickness, these bully sticks are sourced from grass-fed cattle being reared on a range and hence are free from artificial additives, harmful chemicals and pesticides. Being high-protein low-fat with moderate moisture content, these form a healthy snack for your dog that can be easily digested and also cleans the moth of plaque, tartar and other dental remnants.
Sourced from natural beef
Measures 12 inches in length
High-protein low-fat diet with moderate moisture content
Brand: Best Bully Sticks
Weight: 8.2 ounces
Sourced from natural products
Odor-free naturally flavored
High-quality owing to being subjected to stringent procedures and regulations
Owing to being high-protein, consumption should be limited to one per day otherwise it could lead to stomach upset
If your pooch is particularly inclined to chew things up, then buying these is an ideal solution since a single stick would keep it occupied for a substantial amount of time. This rawhide chew is sourced from grass-fed cattle and claims to be 100% natural, meaning it must be free from pesticides, chemicals and added flavors.
Sourced from grass fed cattle
Offers a choice of 2 packs, wherein the smaller comprises of two sticks
In addition to being delicious they also clean teeth and gums of dogs
Brand: Good Buddy
Weight: 0.16 ounces
100% natural product
Improves oral hygiene of the dog
Reported as being delicious by past users
There is no surety as to whether the product is bleached as there is no clarification from the manufacturer in this regard
When you buy this product, what you get is a thick natural dog chew which is made in the USA and carries a distinct meaty flavor with a rough texture. Because it is naturally flavored and long lasting, it would keep your pooch away from chewing everything else in the house to shreds.
These are randomly shaped meat flavored chips
Low on calories and are long-lasting, thus being a healthy snack of the pooch
Brand: Pet Magasin
Weight: 15.4 ounces
A flavorful alternative that keeps canines busy long enough to distract them from destructive chewing habits
Free from artificial colors and hence these do not stain the carpet, upholstery or the floor
Acts as a breath freshener for the dog
What is unclear is where these chips are manufactured and while China is definitely not an option, much of the debate is between Mexico and South America
Being compressed rawhide chews, these rolls are versatile in the sense that they are as suitable for puppies as they are for larger breeds and aggressive chewers. These can be bought in various packs, so you can pick one as per the chewing requirements of your pet. In case you are trying these for the first time, the brand allows you to start small and gradually move on to bigger packs if your canines tale fancy to it.
Enriched with chondroitin as also glucosamine both of which promote good joint health
Flavored with natural ingredients and derived from cattle reared in open fields and sunshine
Available in a variety of sizes, ranging from small chew sticks for puppies to large rolls for bigger dog breeds
Brand: Raw Paws
Weight: 1.4 pounds
Safe and 100% digestible rawhide chew
Promotes good oral health and also supportive for hips and joints
It is subjected to minimal processing and hence is fresh and close to its natural form
Although these are tested and packaged in the US, they are manufactured in South America and India, which could be a deterrent for some buyers
Given the fact that dogs have a tendency to bite off large chunks of the chew, it is important for you to select a type which appears to be best suited to sustain the onslaught. To this effect, rawhide chews can be of different types wherein each is unique in terms of size, shape and texture and meant to serve a specific purpose.
Rawhide chews for dogs can be of the following types:
After having been processed, the rawhide is cut into strips and many such strips are rolled together till they resemble a thick bone. It is also common for rawhide rolls to feature knots at both ends which usually come off in chunks when the dog starts chewing on them.
The best way to judge a rawhide chew roll is to examine the end of the roll – if there are neat concentric circles, it means that the chew has been made by rolling a long sheet of rawhide and this is perfect for being given to dogs. In sharp contrast, if you notice breaks in circles and the layers are difficult to discern, it implies that the chew has been made from bits, fragments and small sheets of rawhide and would not be as long-lasting.
When rawhides are ground and then transformed into dog chews, they assume a granulated or extruded texture. Owing to the manner in which they are made, not only are they the softest in this niche but also the most crumbly because of which they are regarded as being ideal for younger dogs and pups. These are also not very long-lasting, meaning you would need to stock up quite a lot of them at a time if your canine has taken a fancy to them.
Multiple sheets of rawhide are compressed together and given a particular shape to be chewed upon by dogs. The resultant chew is dense and hard, thus lasting for a long time and hence is a perfect solution for large breeds and ardent chewers.
Rawhide chews for dogs could also take the form of chewflips, strips and chips all of which are small, flat and short-term solutions to the chewing problem. Your choice of a rawhide chew would also depend on the kind of chewer that your canine is – a dainty chewer would enjoy most with a soft rawhide chew while more aggressive and ardent chewers could be given dense and stiff rolls that would last long and also facilitate plenty of jaw movement.
Ask a dog owner, and the answer to this question will usually be in affirmative. Good quality rawhide chews come with multiple advantages, which is why they are regarded by pet owners as being good value for money and every bit worth the expense.
Attributes that set a good quality rawhide chews apart from their average counterparts are:
These are usually long-lasting wherein it takes about a week for a dog to chew them down;
Consistency-wise these are ideal to provide the dog with some serious jaw exercise;
As opposed to other rawhide chews that may have been bleached or treated with chemicals, these retain their natural color and flavor;
In the event that the dog bites off a large chunk of the chew and swallows it, there are no safety concerns;
Premium quality rawhide chews are fresh and carry a tinge of animal odor which is indicative that your canine would not be chewing anything that is decaying or rotting
Are Rawhide Treats Safe for My Dog?
While it is easy to guess from its nomenclature that rawhide is a by-product of the cattle industry, a fact that dog owners should be aware of pertains to the quality of the product. For the rawhide chew to be safe for your dog it should mandatorily adhere to certain qualitative requirements and the onus is on you as the pet owner to ensure that these are duly met.
All types of rawhides are sanitized, dried and packaged as part of the manufacturing process, but the version that would be most preferable for your dog would one that has taken lesser number of days to travel from the tannery to the pet shop. Fresh rawhides are also less likely to decay and rot and are relatively free from preservatives and other chemicals. They may be stiff initially but tend to soften and assume a juicy texture on being relentlessly chewed upon by your dog.
In addition to freshness, there are other factors that can determine whether or not the rawhide chew is safe for your canine. These are:
Thickness of the product, and the thicker it is, the better chew it would make for your dog;
Color of the rawhide chew, and light tan is preferable to stark white or any other color since it is indicative of not having been bleached, excessively treated with chemicals or painted upon;
Odor, as in a rawhide chew should neither smell putrid and nor should be totally devoid of any type of smell, rather it should carry a light meaty aroma
If selected with care, a good rawhide chew would not just be safe for your dog but also provide it with requisite oral exercise with the added advantage of being a dental cleaner.