As a pet parent, it's essential to always be on the lookout for the best food and treats available for your dog. Aside from fulfilling their purpose of providing nutrition and keeping your pup fed, these treats and chews need to be safe as well.

Since dogs are known to be constant chewers, it's crucial to have a decent chew toy to help them stoke that natural drive. Instead of selecting a product based solely on taste or flavor, it helps to opt for a chew toy that's both durable and safe.

If you're a longstanding pet parent, then you've probably already heard of rawhide chews, and some of the mystery as to whether or not they cause more harm than good. Chances are, you've probably bought a few packs of rawhide chews yourself and given them to your dog without a second thought. Rawhides are extremely popular and commonplace, after all.

You're probably thinking to yourself, "Are rawhide chews actually that bad?"

We're glad you asked!

In this feature, we will provide 5 healthy and safer alternatives to rawhide chews, and why you should make the switch sooner rather than later.

Let's get right into it!

THE RISKS OF RAWHIDE

As a brief overview of why we are featuring some healthy alternatives, rawhide chews can be dangerous. The degree of this danger depends on several factors, such as breed and chewing style.

An aggressive chewer who gnaws with excessive force can break the rawhide treat into tiny pieces and become a choking hazard to your pet. There have even been concerns regarding ingredients found in these chews, as they are commonly made from dried animal skins acquired from slaughterhouses and placed into high-salt brines to help preserve them. This means that various chemicals are present, and while most are seemingly harmless, the lack of transparency and inconsistency in the bringing process can be troubling.

Another cause for concern when it comes to rawhide is digestive issues it can cause for your pup. Since rawhide can be gnawed and broken up into smaller pieces, there is always the potential that those small rawhide pieces could cause digestive issues and lead to constipation.

Because of these drawbacks, many pet owners have resorted to healthier (and safer) alternatives, and lucky for all of us, they're made readily available!

Here are six healthy alternatives to rawhide chews:

1. Himalayan Yak Chews – If you're looking to keep your dog's dental health in check, Himalayan Yak Chews do the trick quite well. They are one of the toughest chews available on the market today, which makes them one of the best choices for pet owners with extremely aggressive chewers. They can cover quite some ground, regardless of breed, taste, and size. You also don't need to worry about chemicals, fillers, or questionable ingredients, as yak chews only have natural ingredients that are free from preservatives and additives. While rawhide is not fully digestible, Himalayan Yak Chews are specifically made to be safe for canine digestion. There are also naturally high in protein.

2. Nylon Chews – These chews are another great alternative for rawhide treats. Nylon chews and bones help scale your dog's teeth and come in different textures to cater to your dog's comfort level in terms of chewing. They also come in a variety of flavors to help stimulate your dog's chewing tendencies and keep them occupied for long bursts of time.

dog chewing on a nylon dog bone

 

Nylon chews come in a variety of shapes and chew strengths. One popular pet brand that makes high-quality nylon dog chews is Bark Bone. These nylon dog chews are made with FDA-compliant, 100 % pure nylon and are flash sterilized with a variety of flavors that dogs love. Lucky for you, you can shop all the Bark Bone Nylon Dog Chews on Petmate!

3. Bully Sticks – One of the more popular rawhide chew alternatives, bully sticks have a reputation for being one of the best available options in the market today. They are easily digestible and are a good source of amino acids that help support your dog's musculature, coat, and brain. Similar to Himalayan Yak Chews, bully sticks are also free from artificial chemicals, preservatives, and additives. To top it all off, bully sticks are also excellent sources of protein.

4. Edible Dental Chews – Just like humans, dogs are also candidates for gum disease. Supplementing your dog's diet with quality dental chews can make quite a difference. Dental chews can get rid of bad breath and saliva build-up, and improve teeth and gum health. These treats are generally digestible, with many serving as a gluten-free source of protein and energy for your dog. When buying dental chews, make sure to choose the size that works best for your dog's breed!

5. Sweet Potato Chews – One of the easiest to make, sweet potato chews, complete our roundup of healthy alternatives for rawhide chews. These are great options to help aid digestion due to high levels of dietary fiber. Sweet potato chews are also good options for improving your dog's vision and muscle strength.

THE WRAP-UP

We hope this feature helped you in looking for some healthy alternatives for rawhide chews. Always remember to consult your veterinarian whenever opting to introduce new treats and food into your dog's diet.

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