Rawhide strips, which are relatively cheap and clean, are a favorite treat for dog owners and their furry companions.
However, these rawhide bone chew treats can actually be detrimental to a dog’s health for a variety of reasons.
Rawhide chews, on the other hand, are difficult to digest and come in many different shapes and sizes.
Should you be concerned if your dog ingests rawhide strips?
The answer, unfortunately, is a resounding “Yes”.
Rawhide swallowed can cause serious choking hazards and can lead to intestinal blockages or other life-threatening conditions. You should immediately visit the vet.
In this article, I’m going to help you understand the dangers of giving your dog rawhide strips, as well as exactly what to do if your dog swallows one (or a few).
Finally to finish off, I’ll give you some better alternatives to try with your dog instead!
Side note: I am an Amazon Associates member. I will recommend products I feel are of real benefit to my readers and their pets. If you click on the links on my website and end up purchasing something, I might receive a small commission from the big boys.
If you do buy something, thank you! I really appreciate your support and I’ll always do my best to put out more quality content for you )
The Main Points You Need to Know: What Should I Do if My Dog Swallows Rawhide Strips
Even if you don’t have time to read through the rest of the article (You really should!), Here are some important points to remember if your pet has swallowed rawhide.
- Rawhide can cause serious complications in dogs that have swallowed it. While it’s possible for a dog to pass rawhide pieces, sometimes a dog will either choke or suffer an intestinal blockage which are both emergency situations.
- It’s important not to panic if your dog happens to swallow a rawhide. However, it’s still important for you to take quick and immediate action. First, ensure your dog isn’t choking and take away any remaining rawhide pieces. You should contact your vet immediately or take your dog to an emergency vet clinic.
- Rawhide treats can be difficult to digest, as we have already mentioned. Dog owners should avoid giving rawhide to their pets and look for safer alternatives.
Does Rawhide Break Down In A Dog’s Stomach?
It’s totally possible that swallowing rawhide will lead to nothing more than a minor stomach ache, so not every scenario is guaranteed to be a troublesome one.
However, rawhide treats don’t break down readily in a dog’s stomach- and that’s precisely the problem that has to be contended with.
Rawhide is known to have a tendency for expansion in the stomach due to its ability to absorb moisture. Once it has been digested, it will pass through the digestive system intact.
This puts your dog at high risk for serious complications, such as an intestinal blockage.
Rawhide can be found in the digestive system, which could lead to food being passed undigested. If the piece is large enough, it could also cause damage to the intestinal wall.
Sepsis is a serious infection that can be caused by internal bleeding. Sepsis symptoms include:
Sepsis can be fatal if it isn’t treated quickly. If your dog is trying to pass a piece rawhide, you should immediately get it checked out. Call your vet immediately.
The higher the likelihood that your dog will require a costly and complicated procedure, the longer you wait.
How long does it take for a dog’s to digest a rawhide?
They are the simple answer. don’tActually, you should actually take it in.
Instead, the rawhide is typically passed through as-is. This process can take between 24 hours and 5 days depending on how large the rawhide is.
What should I do if my dog eats rawhide?
To ensure your dog is safe if your dog swallows rawhide, you should do the following:
In many cases rawhide ingestion won’t lead to any serious issues, so here’s a few steps on what to do before you go into an all-out panic:
1. Inspect Your Dog’s Mouth And Airway
Open your dog’s jaws so you can see inside their mouth and throat. You should check to see if there is any rawhide in the tongue, cheek, and airway.
2. Remove Any Remaining Rawhide Pieces From Your Dog’s Mouth
If you can see the rawhide, it will need to be removed. It can be removed by using your fingers.
NEVER Use Anything long or sharp (like chopsticks and pliers) to try to remove any remaining rawhide.
This is because the use of these tools can increase your dog’s risk of getting a puncture injury.
If the pieces still won’t come out, perform the canine Heimlich maneuver. Canine Heimlich methodology is similar to how it’s done on people, but with a dog’s anatomy taken into account.
Put your arms around your pooch’s body with your hands under his ribcage, and squeeze firmly to try and dislodge the rawhide.
3. You should remove any rawhide pieces from this area
You should check the surrounding area for any additional rawhide. If your dog eats any more, they’ll be adding to what might already be brewing inside its body.
4. Contact Your Vet
Your vet should be notified if you consume large amounts of rawhide.
It would be helpful for you to make notes and provide any information that you have about the situation to the vet, such as the time and stomach problems experienced.
Depending on your dog’s size, even tiny pieces of rawhide can create issues. After taking in all the information, the vet can advise you whether your pup should be brought in.
5. Keep an eye on your furry friend
Sometimes your vet will ask you to keep an eye out for your dog for a set period.
Pay special attention to any variations to normal eating, drinking, and potty behavior (such as if your pooch’s poop gets stuck halfway), and don’t hesitate to contact your vet again if you do notice anything strange.
7. Check Your Dog’s Poop
You’ll have to do a little more than cleaning up your dog’s poop for a day or two.
Rawhide isn’t broken down by the digestive system very effectively, so you’ll need to be certain it has made its way out.
Yes, you do know what that means.
You should inspect your dog’s bowel movements for blood or other abnormalities every time it passes. If you do spot anything alarming, it’s best to call your vet straight away.
Alternatively, if your dog doesn’t go to the bathroom and is constipated, call your vet.
Due to the rawhide factor, there’s no way to know for sure whether it’s simple constipation or if there is an obstruction in the colon. It is best to consult a professional.
What should I do if my dog eats rawhide too fast?
If your dog eats rawhide too quickly, it can cause him to swallow more. This could lead to the same consequences as those we have already mentioned (namely, Choking Or intestinal blockage).
As we’ve already mentioned, rawhide has been shown to be effective. NOT be digestible, so your dog shouldn’t be eating it in the first place.
However, if he’s eaten it already then you will need to follow the steps we have outlined above.
How do I know if my dog has a rawhide blockage?
Rawhide is a popular treat for canine companions. However, feeding it to canine friends can have serious consequences.
This is because dogs’ jaws have been naturally designed over the years to ‘rip and swallow’ when they eat, rather than chew and chew to break down food as humans do.
This causes pooch to rip off large pieces from the outer layers of rawhide chews, and then inhale them whole.
If your dog has swallowed large quantities of rawhide, be sure to keep an eye on them. If your dog is showing any of the above symptoms, immediately call your vet.
- Lodged Pieces Of Rawhide: If you open your dog’s mouth and can see the rawhide but can’t get it out by any means, you need to take your dog to your vet or an emergency vet as quickly as possible.Your dog may suffocate if the rawhide gets stuck in the throat, so it’s imperative to act immediately to prevent this from happening.
- Problems with/ Changes to Breathing Patterns. Abnormal breathing can be a sign of trouble. If your pup starts to pant abnormally or makes strange movements in his mouth, you should be concerned.
- Vomiting Profusely: If your dog won’t stop throwing up and /or heaving (Particularly if There are hard white chunks of spew.If he is ill, immediately take him to an emergency hospital. This could be an indication that rawhide is stuck to the stomach.
- Unable to Poop or Straining: Your dog may have difficulty passing stool.Rawhide acts as an absorber of fluid, swelling the stomach and taking in fluids. Constipation can be made worse by the rawhide’s size and decrease in fluids.
- Other Poop Issues: If you think there is a piece of rawhide stuck in your dog’s behind after he poops, please don’t try and pull it out.You don’t know what’s going on with that piece of rawhide and if there is an edge you may tear the rectum. Instead, take him to your vet.
- Diarrhea is when feces are either liquidy or not solid. This can indicate that there is an obstruction in your colon. It’s a sign the digestive system is trying to pass the rawhide.
- Severe Lethargy: You know your dog’s behavior best. If your dog is lower energy than normal, doesn’t want to come out of its crate, or is getting harder to wake up, then there is a cause for concern.A sudden change in behavior could indicate something more serious. You don’t want to sound like a broken record. But, call your vet!
- Signs of panic: An obstruction in the digestive system can cause anxiety in your dog. This might be displayed by:
- Your Dog May Be In Pain. Check your dog regularly for any changes in his movement. If he’s refusing to move from one spot, has a strange way of getting around, or won’t stop whimpering, he may be in pain and should be examined more closely.
Should I be worried about my dog’s ability to poop after eating rawhide
Extreme pacing and excessive drooling are just a few of the signs that your dog is in distress.
This could be a sign that your dog has become panicky or blocked. It is important to get your dog to a vet as soon as possible.
How can a vet treat my dog’s Swallowing Rawhide?
If you suspect your dog has swallowed rawhide strips then contact your vet immediately.
If the ingestion has occurred within the last 30 minutes or so, the vet may advise you to induce vomiting* in your pup.
*Inducing vomiting should only be done under professional guidance.*
A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can be used to induce vomiting. The dosage is one teaspoon per 10 pounds of dog weight. This can be administered directly or through food such as bread or milk.
After the dog has taken the solution allow it to play for 10-15 minutes. This will cause the solution in its stomach to bubble up and eventually force it out.
If it doesn’t work after the first attempt, a second dose can be provided in the same manner. If it fails again, consult your veterinarian for the next steps.
If your vet wishes to examine your dog, make sure you get there as soon as possible. The higher the risk of injury, the faster you get to the vet.
Once you are at the clinic, the vet will firstly analyze your pooch’s medical history and perform a physical hands-on assessment.
The results of these tests will be followed up by X-rays, urine analysis, and blood tests to determine if an obstruction has occurred.
These tests are vital because they can rule out other conditions like infections, gastroenteritis, and hormonal abnormalities.
The vet will then be able to determine the best treatment plan after the examinations.
Treatment depends on the location of the blockage. It may require either surgery or an endoscopic procedure. Some dogs may need to remain in hospital for a few more days to monitor their condition.
What’s a good alternative for rawhide?
There’s no denying that dogs like to chew. Try these safer options if your dog likes to chew rawhide.
- Natural produce: Look for produce that can withstand some serious chewing like carrots and green beans, cabbage stalks, or apples.
- Nylabones: This fake rawhide can be broken down into granules your dog can eat. Make sure you get one big enough your dog can’t swallow it, and replace it once it gets small enough to choke on.
- Rubber toys: There’s a wide variety of chewable rubber or wood-like toys. Some toys, like the Kong, allow you to fill them with peanut butter or treats. Yum!
- Yak Chews – These chewy treats are made with Yak milk. They are a delight to chew and taste great for dogs. Keep an eye on how big the chew is and replace it as needed.
- Treat puzzles: A puzzle or snufflemat with treats might be the perfect gift for your dog if they like a challenge and a reward.
- Rice chews: Rice chews are exactly what they sound like – rice chews are digestible chews made from rice.
- Dental chews are a special type of chew.Dentastix(An example:has the added benefit of cleaning your dog’s teeth!
There are other options:
Here are some alternatives to rawhide. They are safer and can also be made at home.
Popsicles are delicious treats that you can enjoy with the whole family. These homemade pupsicles are a great way to give your furry friend a sweet treat!
Homemade Puppysicle Recipe
- 2 bananas (medium sized preferred)
- 32 ounces of plain yogurt
- Peanut butter: 3-4 tablespoons
- Blend the bananas, yogurt and peanut butter in a blender until smooth.
- Use silicone molds to pour the mixture. These molds can be of any shape, but I prefer these. adorable ‘paw and bone’ ones) and can be purchased easily on Amazon.
- The molds can be difficult to transfer to the freezer without spilling so I recommend placing them on a piece of cardboard or a large notebook before filling. This will make it easier to transport them to your freezer.
- The molds should be placed in the freezer until they have completely frozen and solidified. You can then take the molds out of the freezer and give one to your pet. The rest can be stored in the freezer for later.
If your dog isn’t satisfied with a sweet treat like the pupsicles listed above, a meaty option like jerky might work better. Here are some of my favorite dog-jerky products that you can find online.
My Favorite Dog Jerky Products:
- Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats — Not only are these jerky treats available in several flavors (including beef, chicken, and turkey) but they have a soft texture that make them easy to enjoy for any dog. They’re also made in the USA!
- “I and love and you” Nice Jerky Bites — These tasty treats are grain-free and also made in the United States. Made without any artificial preservatives, Nice Jerky Bites come in a variety of unique flavors your dog will love, including salmon & chicken, beef & lamb, and more!
- Newman’s Own Beef Jerky Treats — While your furry friend will certainly love these treats, you’ll definitely love them just as much because 100% of the proceeds go to charity.
DIY Dog Chewy Treats
This pumpkin applesauce dog treat recipe is for you if you love making treats for your pet.
Your dog will love the taste– and you’ll have lots of fun making them!
Pumpkin Applesauce DIY Dog Chew Recipe
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree (make sure it’s 100% real pumpkin paste, no additives)
- 1 cup applesauce
- Combine the pumpkin puree with the applesauce in a bowl. Mix until combined. Again. You must have pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- The mixture must then be evenly spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 7-9 hours at 175°F.
- You should check on your dog chews every hour once you’ve reached the 5 to 6 hour mark. Why?Your treats might take longer than 7-9 hours due to the fact that ovens vary. It all depends on how thick and even you spread your mixture.
- These treats are ready for you to enjoy once the middle is no more sticky and soft.
- Let the treats cool on a cooling rack. Allow the treats to cool until they are slightly warm but still manageable without burning your fingers.
- Cut the entire thing into small pieces (you can cut them so they are the same size as your dog’s regular treat). You can also cut them into 3-inch strips, roll them and twist them to make chew sticks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Rawhide Made Of
Hide refers to an animal’s skin, and rawhide is simply animal skin that hasn’t yet been processed with methods such as tanning.
Canine rawhide treats are made of the inner layer from beef cattle hides, but you can also purchase hides from pork or buffalo.
After it has been removed from the hide top layer, it is cut and washed. Then it is baked in an oven at high heat.
How Many Rawhides a Dog Can Have in a Week?
Honestly, your dog probably shouldn’t be having any rawhides– whether that be in a week or any time frame for that matter.
It’s especially unsafe if given unsupervised and can cause a laundry list of problems, which can lead to life-threatening scenarios.
You should take care of your furry friend.Like I know you do! then ditch the rawhide and go with something safer that we’ve listed above!
Can Rawhide Kill my Dog?
The short answer is yes.
Of course, it’s not certain that a dog will die from eating rawhide, but the risks are greater than you may think.
They could choke, experience an intestinal blockage or perforation.
Or, you could have no problems. You simply never know– But is this a risk you are willing to take?
Are there any alternatives to rawhides for dogs?
Absolutely! You have many options. Take a closer look at the ‘Alternatives’ section above to choose the treat that suits you and your pup best.
As you can see, if your dog swallowed rawhide strips you’re right to be at least a little bit worried.
Ingestion can lead to choking and intestinal blockages.
All of these conditions can be fatal.
If your dog exhibits any of these signs, including extreme pacing and abdominal pain, excessive panting or inability pass stool, you should immediately take them to the vet.
If it does not turn out to be anything, the best thing to do is to replace rawhide with something safer. You can even make your own if you’d like!
No matter what chewy treats you choose to give your dog, ensure you keep a close eye on him when he’s eating them to prevent him from choking or suffering any other adverse health complications.
You can read the rest of our blog to learn more about dog behavior and how to be a better pet parent.
Jessica Adams is the owner of two dogs, one cat and an avid blogger. She has always loved animals and her love for them only grows as she learns more about how to care for them properly. Jessica loves sharing all sorts of information with pet owners – from animal nutrition to medication, toys to beds, everything in between.
She’s also a writer who pours herself into every project she takes on – so you can be sure that when you read her blog posts or articles you’re getting the best there is!