September 02, 2009
Rawhide: Good or Bad for Pup?
By David DiBenedetto
As a pup owner who has been out of the game for more than a few years, I’ve been amazed at the choices of chew toys for dogs. There are pig ears, dried bull’s penises (lovingly called Bully Stixs), Antlerz (which best I can tell are pieces of deer antler), genuine cow knuckles, femurs (some flavored, some bleached, some stuffed with peanut butter), and on and on.
One day I gave Pritch a Bully Stix and she devoured most of it so quickly that I took it away before she could finish. And about an hour later she vomited all over her kennel. No more Bully Stix for her. Besides, I felt kind of queasy buying a retired bull’s penis.
When it comes to rawhide you could spend a day—and a fortune—finding your dog’s favorite flavor. There are literally aisles of this stuff at pet stores yet many people feel there’s nothing worse you could give your pooch. The most harmful effects of rawhide are that it can cause blockages in your dog’s intestines or create a choking hazard when small pieces are swallowed whole. Additionally, rawhide made overseas may be preserved with chemicals that are arsenic based.
The safest bet it seems is Nylabones. But they just don’t hold the attention span as well as a piece of ’hide. For now, I occasionally give Pritch a large rawhide bone and monitor her while she works on it. When she gnaws it down I toss it in the trash.
What’s your take on rawhide: sanity-saver or just not worth the risk?