Rawhide as a Dog Treat

Filed Under: Dogs, Diet & Nutrition

Rawhide is the inner layer of cattle hide which is processed and given to dogs. Most dogs dearly love to chew on rawhide pieces, but problems can occur if the rawhide given is too small for your pet. Often an overzealous pet will swallow pieces or small rawhide bones rather than chewing on them. This is especially true when there is competition for treats among several dogs. Swallowing these large pieces can result in choking. It’s better to choose a rawhide treat that’s too large for your dog, rather than too small. If you haev several dogs, try to separate them when giving them rawhide treats to prevent them competing with one another for the chew—this can also prevent swallowing of large pieces. Dogs that try to devour rather than spend time chewing should only be given bones too large to swallow. When these become tattered from chewing, they should be discarded.

Basted bones have a flavor coating, most commonly beef, while infused bones have flavor throughout. Hartz Mountain has a patented process in which chicken stock is infused throughout the entire rawhide. According to Hartz Mountain, dogs prefer the infused to the basted varieties. Be sure your pet has no dietary allergies to beef or chicken before giving them these flavored treats.

For your dog’s health, the pressed variety of rawhides are not recommended. The pieces can be easily separated during chewing, and actually repack together in the stomach or in the intestines, resulting in blockage of the digestive tract.

Plain rawhide is approximately 80 to 85% protein, 10 to 12% fiber and moisture and 1 to 2% fat. The fat content is higher in the basted bones. Rawhide should not be used to supplement a low calorie diet since it contains approximately 130 calories per ounce.

According to Dr. Jill Richardson, who is Director of Consumer Relations at the Hartz Mountain Corporations, chewing rawhide can effectively decrease plaque in teeth by 25% when given as a daily treat. Rawhide coated with antiseptics, such as Hartz Mountain’s with hexa-metaphosphate, can reduce plaque up to 83%. When you cannot brush your pet’s teeth, chewing rawhide can be used as an aid in the prevention of dental disease.

Topics: dental

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