Rawhide For Dogs: Is It Safe For Your Chihuahua?

Dogs love to chew on different things, such as shoes, clothes, wires, and sometimes your furniture. Luckily, many options are available to replace your precious belongings and save them from your pup’s chewing instincts. You might’ve come across Rawhide chews for dogs in various shapes, sizes, and colors. But are these safe for your furry friend, especially for smaller ones like chihuahuas?

If you’re planning to buy a rawhide chew for your pet anytime soon, read this article first to learn more about these doggie treats:

Rawhide chews are made out of untanned inner layer skin of cows, often free-ranged and grass-fed. Sometimes, this dog chews can also be created using horse hide.

What gives them their texture and hardness is the manufacturing process the skin goes through. Steer hide is degreased, or get their fat removed using lye. Then they’re processed and cleaned with several chemicals, like bleach and hydrogen peroxide. The latter compound gives most rawhide chews their white and yellowish colors.

Rawhide treats are generally flavorless. However, some manufacturers process the treats with additional flavorings like meat and color them with dyes. If the process of creating these treats makes you wary of giving them to your pup, there are natural variants available. You can consider a safer alternative rawhide for dogs for your furry friends instead.

Benefits of Rawhide Treats

As mentioned earlier, dogs love to chew. They need to, after all, since it’s their natural instinct. The act of chewing also helps alleviate anxiety and provides stimulation for dogs.

Rawhide treats are the perfect tools to keep chew-happy dogs, especially puppies, away from your shoes and the feet of your tables and chairs. Letting your dog chew on rawhide also offers them dental benefits like cleaner teeth and stronger jaws. Your pet can also avoid tartar and plaque build-up by chewing rawhide regularly.

Are They Good For Chihuahuas?

Rawhide For Dogs

Like people, dogs are different from each other. It’s a given that bigger dogs will have bigger jaws, resulting in stronger bites and harder chewing styles. Smaller dogs like chihuahuas will have the opposite.

Since chihuahuas are soft chewers, rock-hard rawhide for dogs might damage their teeth instead of cleaning or strengthening them. The age of your pet chihuahua will also affect its chewing style. In general, puppies’ and senior dogs’ sets of teeth are more delicate and brittle. So, before looking for rawhide treats, consider your chihuahua’s age.

Fortunately, safer raw hide chew alternatives have different toughness levels. Dehydrated chicken feet and cow ears are better for juvenile, older, and smaller dogs for their softer texture. Try to avoid giving your chihuahua harder rawhide chews to maintain their jaws’ healthier shape.

Also, if you notice your chihuahua munching on the grass, it would be a great idea if you could just give them a raw hide treat to stop them from ruining your lawn and even lessen their boredom.

Possible Health Risks

Because of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process, rawhide treats may lead to possible side effects for dogs. These synthesized materials may cause digestive irritation. Rawhide for dogs also doesn’t easily break down during digestion, which can pose a risk by obstructing the esophagus or digestive tract. This concern may be the case for larger dogs that bite off large chunks of rawhide then swallow them.

Tooth damage is another major health risk that dogs can have from rawhide chew. The chihuahua, in particular, is a breed that commonly suffers from dental issues. While rawhide treats can help clean and strengthen teeth and gums, one made of tougher material may further harm their tiny jaws.

Keep an eye out for your chihuahua if you decide to give them a rawhide treat. Bring your pet to the vet immediately in case you spot the following symptoms afterwards:

  • Sudden fever
  • Gagging
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Significant weight loss
  • Regurgitation
  • Repeated swallowing
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

If your chihuahua has a history of digestive problems or tends to break treats into chunks, it’s best to provide them with a safer alternative.

Rawhide Alternatives

Your chihuahua can avoid specific health issues by chewing on a natural alternative rawhide for dogs. Some options you can choose from are:

Bully Sticks: These treats are made of beef muscles. Many pet stores also have these available in different brands. They’re pretty high on the toughness scale, so give these sticks to your chihuahua with caution.

Beef Tendons: These are great for ‘flossing’ your dog’s teeth and are suitable for dogs of any size.

Raw Bones: These easy-to-access chew toys are available at your local butcher shops. Bones will loosen the bacteria in your chihuahua’s mouth and also freshen their breath.

Whichever you pick for your pet, it’ll keep them preoccupied for a while. Since chewing can cause too much salivation for dogs, you can expect to clean stains and odors after your dog finishes their rawhide toy.

Final Thoughts

Chihuahuas, like many dogs, love to sink their teeth into something. If you don’t want your little pet to destroy your leather shoes or cable wires, giving them a rawhide chew toy will keep them busy for a moment. More so, while they are enjoying their dog chew treat, they’re also achieving better dental health. Just don’t forget to talk to your dog’s veterinarian first before giving your furry pet this kind of treat, just to be sure that it’s safe and appropriate for them.

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Mike Stiven
 

I'm a pet owner, blogger, and writer from the Massachusetts. I've worked at the Alpha Dog Training Center, a dog boarding and training facility, and also shared the knowledge garnered over the years with a good number of pet sites. As a firm believer that great care has to be given to pets, beside sharing my whole experience in this blog I also work as volunteer at pet stores during the weekend.

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