Rawhide is an extremely popular treat for dogs with many perceived benefits. If you have a dog that chews unwanted items (your shoes or furniture!) then a rawhide chew can provide an alternative and act as a way of relieving boredom. Rawhide treats can also provide some dental benefit when chewed. But does rawhide pose a risk to your dog’s health? There isn’t a straight yes or no to this question. We will give you as much information as possible to make a more informed choice in consultation with your vet.

What are rawhide chews made from?

The clue is in the name, rawhide chews are made from the inside hide of cows and potentially other animals. The hide is later shaped into the different rawhide chews you will find in your pet shop and online.

What are the risks associated with rawhide for your dog?

Rawhide treats can be hard to digest when in large chunks. If you have a very aggressive chewer then there is a risk that larger parts of rawhide could cause blockages and potentially choking. 

If your dog is a little easier on treats and takes a long time to chew then the risks are much lower. An easy way to assess this is to observe your dog with a treat. If they devour the dog treat quickly and ruthlessly then rawhide probably isn’t a good option for them. 

Aside from intestinal and choking risk there is also the potential for infection. Whilst most rawhide is treated with brine it can be in transit for extended periods of time before it lands in your shopping basket. This does present a small risk of bacterial infestation, we would recommend washing your rawhide treats before giving to your dog and of course washing your hands afterwards.

Checklist whether to give your dog rawhide treats.

  • Assess your owns dogs chewing behaviour.
  • Always wash rawhide treats.
  • Always supervise your dog when eating rawhide.
  • Seek veterinary advice if you are still unsure.
Is rawhide bad for dogs?

Is Rawhide Bad for Dogs?

We hope we've given you enough information to allow you to feel more educated about rawhide and whether you feel it's a good choice for your dog.