Puppies love to chew on things. Whether it’s that brand new toy that’s already being ripped to shreds or your favourite shoes, they are constantly on the hunt for something to gnaw on. At what age can puppies have rawhide?
Rawhide treats and chews might seem like an excellent way to provide a puppy with a less destructive alternative, but are they safe?
The Low Down On Rawhide Chews
Raw-hide chews are made from cow and horse skin, specifically the inside layers of their hides. These layers are separated, cleaned, and either cut or ground then processed and pressed into a variety of different shapes of dog treats.
Often, they contain additional flavours so they are more appealing to our canine companions.
So, at what age can puppies have rawhide?
Teething is a painful process and a rawhide chew can help your puppy work through it, but make sure you have read about the risks and go about it in a safe manner.
The truth is that there is no specific age or rule for when a puppy can start eating rawhide, and opinions differ greatly depending on who you ask.
Some provide rawhide treats to their puppies at as young as 10 weeks, and others don’t even give their adult dogs rawhide.
As such, it’s important that you are aware of the risks involved with providing these treats to puppies and even adult dogs. These risk factors can help you ultimately decide whether or not your puppy is old enough to have rawhide.
The Risk Factors of Rawhide Treats – What You Need To Know
Edible chew treats and rawhide products are will always present a possible choking hazard.
A puppy who eagerly tries to swallow a too-big piece can wind up with a rawhide piece lodged in the oesophagus or even in the digestive tract.
This can be quite a serious problem depending on where the blockage is and can require surgery to fix, and if not resolved quickly, it can be fatal.
A good idea to combat this would be to observe the way your puppy eats. Present them with some varieties of rawhide – only when you are around to provide supervision! – and watch how they deal with it.
Does your puppy try to eat large bites and have a tendency to scarf down huge chunks? If so, rawhide may not be for them.
Even if your puppy responds well to rawhide, make sure to be around to keep an eye on them. Remove the treat from them once it grows to a small enough size to swallow whole.
Dogs can be allergic or have a sensitivity towards rawhide or the items used in its manufacture.
Problems such as diarrhoea, vomiting, or loss of appetite can occur in these situations. This is why you should check with your vet first to see if your puppy can safely eat rawhide.
When you do start giving your pup rawhide treats, start with something small and then wait one or two days, monitoring their digestive and intestinal responses to see if they can safely consume rawhide.
If your puppy becomes ill after eating rawhide for the first time, take them to the vet.
Do note that rawhide should be consumed in moderation and that too much of it can lead to gastrointestinal problems, especially in puppies.
The process of creating rawhide products involves separating that hide from the animal it comes from, and this involves a number of chemical processes.
While not innately harmful themselves, some less credible brands and factories may use potentially toxic chemicals during this process that stay on the treat as it is made.
This can include things like formaldehyde and arsenic. It’s a bigger risk with factories outside of the US, so opt to purchase rawhide products made in America.
What Does This Mean For Rawhide Treats And Puppies?
A large number of rawhide products and treats are eaten and enjoyed by dogs around the world every year, meaning the statistical chances of your puppy being affected by these risks is quite low.
But as with any other new treat or food, you should speak to your vet first to find out if rawhide treats are safe for your puppy.
On the whole, rawhide provides plenty of benefits. It keeps a dog occupied and engages their natural instinct to chew without sacrificing any of your household items and furniture.
It can help ease the pain that comes with teething in young puppies and can encourage stronger jaw development while also promoting healthier teeth and gums overall.
But whether they should be given to puppies or not is often a debated topic, as there are alternatives to rawhide treats that can provide similar benefits.
Rawhide is a great way to keep a dog occupied and present them with something they can chew on happily for as long as they want. Do it the safe way, and puppies, too, can enjoy them!
It is better to buy them something to chew on. Because some dogs even start to eat stones if they don’t have anything else to chew on.