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Are Rawhides Good for Dogs?

All dogs devour rawhide bones. But is this popular dog treat really good for your canine's health? Buzzle answers your question.
Pros and cons of using rawhides
Remember!
The size of the rawhide should be in accordance with the size and age of the dog, along with appropriate ingredients.
Rawhide is the inner layer of the hide of hoofed animals such as cows and horses. The outer tough layer is often used in the manufacture of shoes and garments. The inner layer is comparatively thinner and softer, and hence, is widely used to make chew toys for dogs.

Rawhide treats are available in a variety of options, but is this scrumptious treat really healthy? Well, that's a moot point. One school of thought believes that these chewy delights do more harm to the canine than good, while the other firmly states the opposite. The following Buzzle article makes an attempt to clear your doubts.

The Good



Prevents Dental Problems
All breeds of dogs have a natural urge to chew. The different shapes and sizes, in fact, aid in maintaining the dog's dental health. Dogs are often fed wet food, given the health benefits associated with it. But, sometimes, the problem with wet dog food is that it has a negative effect on the dog's dental health, owing to the chunks that get stuck in the molars or gum. This, in turn, becomes a tad difficult for the owner to clean the dog's teeth, and prevent dental problems.

Cleans Plaque
Studies show that, be it of any kind, a rawhide helps in reducing tartar buildup in a dog. The rawhide treat cleans the plaque, and also improves gum health and overall dental hygiene of the dog. These chewy treats are especially beneficial for puppies, as chewing helps in exerting the right amount of pressure on a pup's teeth which facilitates and stimulates growth of strong teeth. All these factors eventually contribute in the prevention of bad breath.

Relieves Stress and Frustration
Apart from improving dental hygiene, the innate urge of dogs to bite and chew on should be nurtured. Rawhides make for an excellent tool for the dog to relieve stress and frustration. Doctors suggest that such treats help dogs relieve anxiety, which is otherwise vented out on house furniture or leather shoes and bags!

The Not-So-Good



Risk of Over Indulgence
Often, owners opt for bones that are made from rawhide. Now, these bones come in several sizes and shapes―rectangular, flat, twisted, large and small chunks, chips, and rolls. More often than not, a dog tears away the rawhide treat, and is satisfied only after he consumes the given portion entirely. This leads to over indulgence in the treat which is definitely not desirable.

May Cause Choking
Most of the time, a complete portion of the rawhide is passed through his digestive system without any trouble. However, the dog (especially a pup or small-sized breed) consumes large chunks, too big to swallow and digest, causing it to choke. The rawhide can block the throat or the digestive tract. If this blockage isn't resolved instantly, then abdominal surgery is required.

Risk of Contamination
Another risk is that the treat might get contaminated with Salmonella or E. coli. Sometimes, these rawhide are also preserved with chemicals, to which your dog might be allergic. Although rare, sometimes, the rawhide can be difficult to ingest which leads to stomach problems and bad breath in dogs of any age and breed.

To conclude, rawhide treats are good for your furry friend's health only after you get an approval from a vet and monitor your pet's diet.
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Published: October 14, 2013
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