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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve read on various sites that not all dogs are at risk when chewing on rawhide, and to watch how your dog chews those things. Can someone explain to me what I’m supposed to look for? Is the danger if/when the dog swallows bits of rawhide that are too large?

I have just started giving her rawhide, and I haven’t seen her tear off large chunks. She just goes at it and it shrinks gradually until it disappears.

Now does that mean that (as long as she maintains this chewing pattern) she is not at a very high risk for a health problem?

Long story short on why rawhide, she just isn’t interested in anything soft that I’ve given her, and I’ve read stories of dogs cracking teeth on cattle hooves & antlers.
 

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Yes, choking or intestinal blockages are the biggest risks with rawhide, as far as I understand. And those are both much higher risks if your dog is biting off and swallowing big chunks. A good chewer/gnawer that's only taking off a little at a time is probably fine. I mean, there's a choking risk for anything that goes into their mouths - some dogs have even choked to death on kibble - but it's going to be a much lower, more acceptable risk. It still might mean it's a supervision only chew, but that's going to be up to you and your comfort level.

Just be careful where your rawhides are sourced - they can wind up with some nasty chemicals in them, especially with cheap or imported chews (China in particular has much more lax standards for processing treats and chews for dogs, which has had devastating results in the past). Obviously these low-quality products can come with additional risks, like digestive upset or worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I've read that made in USA rawhide products are best, so if I decide to continue with rawhide, I'll locate a good product that is safe. I just bought some from target to see if that would do it for her chewing, and she loves them.
 

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Sounds like a plan!

Also, as with any chew, I'd be careful of how much she's consuming at any given time. Even if she's only taking off little bits, eating a whole bunch (depending on her size) in one day might be a lot for the digestion and again increase blockage risk, you know? Or, again, just upsetting digestion in general.
 

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Personally, after having to reach down a dogs' throat one too many times to retrieve a hunk of rawhide they were choking on, I don't give mine rawhide at all.

If your dog is a power chewer, then rawhide is inappropriate. If they are a light chewer, then rawhide might be okay.

If you want to try it, make sure of where it is sourced from, and only offer it under supervision. If you notice your dog starting to rip off and attempting to swallow large hunks, take it away. Once the chew gets down to the point where what's left could be swallowed, take it away. If you notice bits of undigested rawhide in their stools, then don't offer it again.

Too much of any treat can cause loose stools.
 

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What breed do you have? My girl is a teething 5mo apbt- so a power chewer. I give her meaty lamb/goat leg bones from the local butcher shop. They have the same ones at most pet stores I just like to buy local when I can. It's great for ripping and doesnt seem to upset her tummy. Also she cant rip chinks off. She loves to gnaw off the ball joint ends. Just watch letting her get at the bone. I think I have a pic I took as an example of done. Disclaimer always supervise your dog with a bone.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My girl is a Belgian Malinois mix (heavy on the mix), about 12 mos old, 55 lbs.

Don't bones offer the same danger? If bones are safer, for sure I'd go with those. OK maybe I have confused antlers, hooves, and bones..... :(

What breed do you have? My girl is a teething 5mo apbt- so a power chewer. I give her meaty lamb/goat leg bones from the local butcher shop. They have the same ones at most pet stores I just like to buy local when I can. It's great for ripping and doesnt seem to upset her tummy. Also she cant rip chinks off. She loves to gnaw off the ball joint ends. Just watch letting her get at the bone. I think I have a pic I took as an example of done. Disclaimer always supervise your dog with a bone.
 

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Bones are good under supervision. Dont give them to him if he wants to crack it for the marrow. Thats not good. You said he wanted to rip though. The remaining meat should be dried like jerky so it ll rip into strands real nice. My girl is tring to get her front milk teeth out do she looks like shes in puppy ecstasy. The texture does not really lend itself to ripping off chunks if you get the appropriate size. Shes a little bigger then my girl, but should have a similar bite (im basing that almost entirely on seeing them on top dog so if anyone can confirm that would be good) It's not processed like rawhide though so it side steps some of the issues mentioned earlier. If you have a local butcher shop they usually sell them reasonable. Note there is a cartilage ball that will need confiscated whrn its chewed down in legs, but they seem about right for pepps. She has a bit of a finicky tummy and rawhide gave her gas/loose stools. The meat bones dont.
 

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Raw beef knuckle bones are good for a lot of dogs. Again, with supervision.

If you give trachea/gullet chews, either make sure that the ones you get have the thyroid glands removed or give them very sparingly. Otherwise, they could cause hyperthyroidism.
 

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No that's just a dried treacha. Hollow. No glands attached. It has these great ridges that she can slide over her achey gums. if your dog tries to bite down and shatter it stop using them immediately. They rip nice too though.
 
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