Pet parents love to give their pup something to chew on instead of letting them gnaw on a favorite pair of shoes. You’ll be happy to hear that there are a few safe alternatives to rawhide bones that could lower the risk to your dog (and your shoes).
So, why not give rawhide? Being made from the leather industry’s leftovers, rawhide could contain harsh chemicals or harmful bacterias. Remember, as a byproduct of the leather industry, rawhide can go through a series of processes including bleaching, coloring and preserving with chemicals. In addition, because of their toughness, rawhide chunks broken off and swallowed by enthusiastic chewers can become a choking hazard, and even cause intestinal blockage. This life-threatening risk has led to a raised awareness of the need for alternatives to rawhide.
The question then becomes how to satisfy your dog’s drive to chew in a way that’s safe, and maybe even healthy. Dogs should always be supervised whenever they’re given a treat, but there are ways to add to your peace of mind while your dog is happily chomping away.
One alternative to rawhide’s inner skin material are cow ears, which are made of cartilage. It’s important to make sure that the treats you find are free of preservatives, colors, or artificial flavors. These Premium Cow Ears are dried through baking, without the use of bleach. Even better, they’re gentle on tummies in case they are swallowed.
To reduce the risk of intestinal blockage, look for treats that are easy on the digestive system. This could be treats such as Water Buffalo Bully Sticks or Lungs. Bully sticks in particular are also great for dental health. When you choose an appropriate treat, your dog’s chewing action helps to reduce tartar and maintain their teeth.
Lastly, rawhide is sold by a vast number of different brands whose values and priorities are unknown. Picking up a plastic-wrapped treat at the grocery or pet store leaves unanswered questions about what sort of contaminant testing the treat underwent, if any. Find a chew treat that is backed by a brand who prioritizes safety, and has testing protocols.
As with any chew, you should always supervise your pet. The good news is that it can be quite entertaining to watch your dog thoroughly enjoying a good chew session. Just watch for any large pieces that break off and remove them to help keep your dog safe. Settle in and enjoy the show!
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