Most dogs love hard treats on which they can chew. They provide them with an activity and can scrape plaque off their teeth. However, buying these bones can be expensive, and you may not know the source of the ingredients in store-bought treats. Rawhide can be difficult to acquire on your own, but if you can find it, you can make your own treats at home.
Making Rawhide Dog Chews
Find a butcher or tannery where you can purchase rawhide, which can come from larger animals, such as cows, deer and elk.
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- Cut the rawhide into small pieces, depending on the size of your dog and boil for about 20 minutes. For additional flavor, boil with a beef or chicken bullion cube.
- If the pieces start to curl, flatten them under a large cookie sheet.
- Allow pieces to dry overnight.
Rawhide presents a choking hazard to dogs because they get gummy when chewed and can get stuck in your dog's throat. To reduce this threat, always supervise your dog when he is chewing on a rawhide. Make rawhide pieces that are as large or larger than your dog's head.
- When the rawhide can fit in your dog's mouth, throw it away.
- Take a rawhide away from your dog when it is completely soft.
- Allow it to dry overnight before giving it back.
If you aren't sure about the fat content or choking hazard of rawhide, there are healthy homemade alternatives as well. Instead of using the hide, you can cut muscle meat from animals, such as chicken or turkey, into slices and dehydrate it in your oven or a dehydrator. To use your oven, set to 200 F and cook meat slices for two hours. For a vegetarian option, cook sliced sweet potatoes at 250 F for three hours.