You strive to be the best dog owner around, so you regularly pick him up a pack rawhide chew sticks, which he seems to enjoy. However, although your pup may love his chew sticks, it's important for you to be aware of the potential dangers of these treats and proceed with caution.
Chew sticks are long and narrow. If Bandit gnaws his way through the middle, he's left with two smaller pieces. He could wind up swallowing one of those sections -- and potentially choking -- if he's overly excited about devouring his treat. Ensure that you don't feed him raw hide when he's very hungry and liable to eat too quickly. What's more, you should only give raw hide (in any form) to your pup under supervision.
Even if a big chunk of rawhide manages to make it down Bandit's esophagus safely, it can swell up in his belly or intestinal tract. In the worst-case scenario, he'll suffer from a blockage and not be able to go to the bathroom. Your vet could have to get your pooch in for surgery right away to remove the obstruction.
Rawhide chew sticks are made of dried up animal skins, which undergo a lot of processing to remove any animal hair. The use of chemical treatments, like hydrogen peroxide and sodium sulphide, can potentially be harmful for your pooch in large doses, so make sure that they are a once in a while treat.
By Melodie Anne Coffman
About the Author
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.