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Choosing the Right Raw Hide Bone

Aug 17, 2012

Proper dog care by choosing the right raw hide bone for your dog

Dogs love to chew. When we’re lucky, they chew on their toys. There are times when furniture and even pillows become very attractive, but that’s a different story. For the most part, a bone is your dog’s favorite treat (aside from the love you give them) and they love to chew on them.

But, there are a few important things to consider when it comes to your dog’s choice chewing selections because not all rawhide bones are made equal. Some might be too tough, others may be too soft, and there are even those that can hurt your dog in certain situations.

Chewing selection

There are many different types of chewable treats, such as pig ears, chews that are made from pork, the hard-bone, and the classic rawhide. Now, it’s crucial that you understand the difference between rawhide and pigskins or ears. Rawhide is the section from inside cow’s hide and is cleaned and processed before your dog ever sets their teeth on it. Unlike pig skin, it is usually a tougher material and comes in a wider variety.

Granulated: The softest of the classic chew collection is the granulated rawhide. Though soft, it is not generally a good treat for puppies. It breaks easily and processes through the body much easier than most rawhide treats, but because it tends to clump, it can cause blockages in a puppy’s airway.

Stripped: There are also rawhide strips, often cut and twisted. These are comparably smaller but are easy to soften. Because of their small size, it’s not a good choice for large dogs or those that chew aggressively.

Hard-Compressed: You also have the compressed rawhide which is normally several layers of material pressed into a dense bone-styled structure. These are often very tough and generally good treats for larger dogs.

Classic: While the others seem to take rawhide to a different level, there is still the very dependable rawhide bone with knots on the ends. This is familiar and still widely used, making a dependable treat that dogs of all sizes can enjoy.

What’s right for my dog?

So, what should you look for in your dog’s chewing choice? It really depends on the size of your dog and how vigorous they are going to chew. Puppies generally chew very fiercely, mostly because they’re teething. But, some adult dogs tend to carry over that habit later in life, possibly because they are bored or anxious. Chewing is one way for them to calm down and relax.

You have to compare what types of rawhide would suit your dog’s needs. Puppies can lose their teeth when chewing, which is why rawhide comes in handy. But, if you go too hard or too soft, your puppy’s teeth can get stuck or chewed and ingested.

On the other spectrum, senior dogs tend to have more fragile teeth, which won’t grow back and can easily be infected if they crack or break. Avoid hard-formed bones. The preference would be the granulated bones which are soft enough to satisfy their chewing desires.

There is also a very big difference between your large and small dog, and it’s not just size. Be sure that you select rawhide bones that are big enough so that your dog can’t try to swallow them whole. A bone too big can also be uncomfortable for a smaller dog to chew. The material is generally thicker with the bigger sizes, no matter what type you choose, making it difficult for a Chihuahua to chew a bone made for forty pound dog. Most manufactures will post a size recommendation on their packaging so pay attention to what the directions say.

Caution when chewing

Because rawhide tends to get a little tattered and will eventually break up into smaller pieces, only let your dog chew when under supervision. You don’t necessarily have to be in the room, but it’s never recommended that you leave them unattended while they’re chewing because there is a choking risk.

Do keep in mind that rawhide is not a food source. Though it is a great way to keep teeth clean, it isn’t really considered a consumable item for your dog’s belly. When rawhide gets too soft, take it away and substitute with another. You can then let the hide bone dry out and harden. Then they’ll be able to start back over. Be sure to take smaller pieces away from your dog. Sure they may look at you like “what,” but it is for their safety because the smaller pieces can lead to choking and in some situations, block their intestines. Keep in mind that ingesting too much rawhide can also block your dog’s intestines. Only give this treat occasionally, especially if your dog tends to bite off large pieces.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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