Friday, August 14, 2009


Owning dogs we all know how much they love to chew on things from the time that they’re little puppies right on through their senior years. There are a zillion products on the market to cater to your dog’s need for exercising his jaws. The challenge isn’t trying to decide which one to buy; it’s trying to find one that won’t be dangerous to his health.

Some of the most popular dog chews are the rawhides. Rawhides come in all sorts of sizes and shapes from sticks, to pieces and even to be made to look like a bone. One can only guess why they made them to look like anything at all. The dog certainly doesn’t care what it looks like. He just can’t wait to get his teeth around it. So the manufacturer makes it to be appealing to the consumer. I’ve seen these chews in beef and chicken. Rawhide can be in one big piece or sometimes you’ll find it compressed.

Now take a look at the back of the package and where the product is made. 99% of the time it is made in a foreign country. What are they processing their product with? What’s really in that rawhide? Can you trust it to be a healthy product?

Besides where it comes from and what’s in the rawhide product, just how safe is this for your dog to consume? Many years ago, before I knew any better, I would give my puppies rawhide because of their great need to chew on something. I can not tell you how many times the rawhide would get all mushy and they couldn’t swallow it and they would begin to choke. I would have to stick my hand down their throats to pull the yucky mess back out again. And what about the adult dog that does swallow it? It is not uncommon to hear of dogs rushed into surgery because they have a blockage due to eating rawhide!

I classify pig ears in the same category as rawhide. Again they are excellent for chewing on, but like rawhide, where do they come from, and what is it doing to your dog’s intestines?

Some of the Nylabone products claim to be edible and digestible and does not contain any plastic or sugar. I have used the Nylabone products for my own dogs. I’ve given them the pressed digestible bones without any problems. Still I wonder how easy it is for them to digest this product.

Some people have now resorted to giving their dogs more healthy things to chew on like peeled sweet potatoes, carrots or other vegetables that are not toxic to dogs.

So there you have it. I’m sure some people will continue to use these products anyway claiming that they have never hurt their dogs. Maybe they’re just fortunate. Hopefully they always will remain so.

Prices will vary depending on size: $3.99 and up

My rating: rawhide (1), pigs ears (1), Nylabone digestible (3)

1 comment:

  1. The best things I've found for chewing are deer antlers and bully sticks. They don't get slimy, don't smell bad (actually I can't smell anything at all although the dogs apparently can), and last a very long time. Bully Sticks brand is all natural dehydrated bull penis. Other brands are on the market now but I don't know how natural they really are. Deer antlers should, in my opinion, only be used if they are from natural shed collection. No deer are harmed in the process of getting your dog his chew this way and, if from wild deer, they are 100% natural. Free range or pature raised farmed deer are a good second choice though.

    Another treat to avoid are the COOKED hooves. They can splinter, cutting both the mouth and intestines of your pet. They are NOT digestible in their cooked form and can cause serious intestinal damage if large chunks or amounts are swallowed. If you must get hooves, get the raw ones from