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.
Best Rawhide for Dogs Buying Guide
Types of Rawhides for Dogs
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.
Are Quality Rawhides Worth the Expense?
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.