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Rawhide: A Much Debated Topic

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Rawhide Myths & Facts

So many facts and so-called facts regarding rawhide are debated that our clients don’t know what to think. We thought it would be helpful to address some of these issues.

Is rawhide safe?
Dogs will occasionally swallow pieces of rawhide, and small pieces will pass easily through the digestive tract. Although choking or intestinal obstruction with rawhide is very rare, it could potentially occur and common-sense prevention measures should be taken. A dog and a rawhide product should never be left together unsupervised. Some dogs may quickly chew and swallow large pieces of rawhide. When your dog has chewed on a piece of rawhide to the point of it becoming soft, take that rawhide chew away and substitute another. Allow the softened rawhide to dry and harden, and then it can be given back to the dog.

Is rawhide good for my dog’s teeth?
Like many classic favorites, there is nothing that withstands chewing, yet stays soft enough not to damage teeth, like rawhide. Chewing rawhide has the beneficial effect of removing plaque from the animals’ teeth and keeping them cleaner, important because periodontal disease is a real problem in many adult dogs.

Will rawhide help my dog’s stress level?
Chewing is a natural urge for any dog and can help alleviate boredom, which is one cause of stress. Rawhide can redirect chewing from inappropriate items like furniture, shoes, remote controls, or other forbidden objects.

We feel that rawhide is a good all-around choice for dogs, if they are supervised when chewing. Supervision should be used when your dog is playing with any object, including toys and bones.

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