Are Rawhide Chews Dangerous for Your Dog?

Rawhide chews and taking good care of your service dog

One big question is how safe it is to provide your dog with rawhide chews? If you have a service dog or are taking care of a service dog in training, then you need to take care of your dog’s health by watching what they eat. After all, there is a lot of time and effort put into training a service dog, and you should be extra careful when caring for your service dog. There are many different areas that you need to be aware of, including the kinds of treats and chew toys that you provide a service animal. There are many different thoughts on the subject, but let’s take some time to look into the matter a bit closer.


service dogsWhy do pet owners choose rawhide chews for their pets?

A rawhide chew is a treat that you can give to your pet that is all natural and avoids some of the unsafe chemicals and additives that you might find in other treats. It also has the added appeal of tasting like beef since it does come from a cow. The treat itself is just the skin of a cow that has been shaped in a way that is easily chewed by your canine. These treats are good for helping your dog to keep their teeth healthy and clean. It is of course and all natural option to provide your pet something to chew when they want a chew toy. However, just because it is all natural, that does not mean that it a safe option for your service dog to chew on. Let’s turn our attention to some of the dangers involved in rawhide chews.


Rawhide chews can damage the teeth and jaws of your pet

Because these chews are the skins of cattle, the chews can be difficult to chew and break apart. This is different from chewing on a bone or chew toy because the chew might be too hard to come apart in your dog’s jaw. When this is the case, you might find damage happening to your dog’s teeth or even their jaw. This may lead to a need for a vet to help deal with these injuries that could have been avoided.


Rawhide chews are rough and are known to splinter rather than rip

When your dog is chewing on a rawhide chew, they may find that the inside of their mouth is rubbed by the rough surface and have the inside of their mouth rubbed raw. This is a big problem for the animal, but even worse, you might find the chew splintering and those splinters might get swallowed. If they are, there is a chance that your pet might have internal punctures that could lead to huge issues that will need advanced medical assistance to deal with if you manage to catch these issues in time at all.


Chunks of rawhide chews can cause choking

Not only do these chews have the possibility of splintering, there is also the chance that they might break off in larger pieces. If these are swallowed at the larger size, then there is a chance that your pet might try to swallow them. If they do try to swallow one of these chunks, then there is also the chance that they might choke on one of those chunks. If you do decide to give your service dog a rawhide chew, please make sure to keep an eye and an ear open when they are chewing.


Rawhide chews can lead to indigestion and bad breath

The rough texture of these chews are more difficult for digest in a dog’s stomach so that your pet might not be able to digest them easily.


Your pet might experience an allergic reaction

Because these chews are made from the skin of cattle, there is a possibility that there are bacteria and other sources of infection your the chew depending on how carefully they have been created since not all companies that create items for your pets are as careful about how they create items for your pet.


How can you care for your dog if you decide to give them a rawhide chew for a treat?

While there are dangers to giving your dog a rawhide chew as a treat, but if you decide to give them one anyway, you should be aware of these tips. Also keep in mind that while we have talked about ways that rawhide chews can be dangerous, there is no direct connection to every dog that is given a rawhide chew. After all, giving your pet a rawhide chew will not always lead to these concerns and issues. Here are some important tips to giving your pet a chew for themselves.


Make sure you pick a rawhide chew that is the right size for your pet

When you choose a chew for your dog, make sure that it is not too large so that you do not have to worry about your pet hurting their teeth or their jaw from trying to bite down on too large of a chew.


Test various forms of rawhide chews to make sure there is no allergic reactions

While we have focused on rawhide chews made from cattle skin, there are plenty of other options that you can choose from. Test a variety of chews to see how your dog does with each of them to avoid any complications.


Make sure your pet gets plenty of fiber

Because there is the concern of indigestion, you want to make sure that there is plenty of fiber in their diet to help push the rawhide through their system. Some fibrous food items you can incorporate into your dog’s food: canned pumpkin pulp, steamed green beans, steamed sweet potatoes, or a spoonful of bran flakes, cooked oats, or millet. Consult with your veterinarian for more tips on ways to add fiber to your service dog’s diet.


What option will you choose?

There are certainly reasons to be concerned about providing your pet with a rawhide chew. However, there are still a large number of pet owners that are choosing to use them. As a service dog owner or raiser, you will need to evaluate the concerns and issues for yourself and choose if your pet will get them or not. If you choose not to reward your dog with a rawhide, there are plenty of other treat alternatives out on the market such as dental sticks, biscuits, and jerky treats.


Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers is committed to changing the lives of those with invisible disabilities such as Autism, Diabetes, PTSD, and Seizure Disorders.

Service Dogs by SDWR

Service Dogs By SDWR is committed to changing the lives of those with invisible disabilities such as Autism, Diabetes, PTSD, and Seizure Disorders. “Until there’s a cure… There’s a dog!”

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