Top 5 Best Rawhides for Dogs: Safe and Healthy Rawhide Alternatives

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Dogs and bones go together like PB&J, but what do we really know about the rawhides we feed our canine companions? Rawhide bones are traditionally made from the inner layer of a horse or cow's hide. This hide is stripped and cleaned of all the debris, cut or ground, then pressed into bone shapes or other treats of different shapes and sizes.

On NolongerWild, we are going to uncover all the facts about rawhide bones for dogs, what the benefits and cautions are of feeding this type of treat and our top five best rawhides for dogs on the market today.

Best Rawhides for Dogs at a Glance

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Features

Rate

- Healthy with no fillers

- Gluten and grain free

- Uses chicken that has been hand wrapped around the rawhide for added flavor and a protein boost

- Tested for quality

- Comes in many different choices for all types of dogs

- Comes in a variety of lengths and pack sizes

- Healthy and digestible

- Safe for all types of dogs

- Low in fat

- High in protein

- Chemical/preservative free

- Low odor

- All natural flavor

- Thicker fibers for a longer chewing session

- Good for small to medium-size dogs

Products

Types of Rawhides for Dogs

Did you know there are FIVE common types of rawhide bones? These include:

1. Granulated Rawhide. As the name implies these rawhides are made from ground up rawhide and are the softest ones on the market (they crumble). These are great for puppies and those "lazy" chewers.

2. Compressed Rawhide. This type of rawhide is made from several layers of rawhide that is compressed into a very dense, bone-shaped chew. It does not have any knots on the ends and is perfect for large dogs or those aggressive chewers.

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Compressed Rawhide does not have any knots on the ends and is perfect for large dogs or those aggressive chewers.

3. Chips, Strips & Chewflips. These tend to be smaller as they are cut from strips of rawhide. They also tend to soften more easily and are not recommended for large dogs or aggressive chewers as they could pose a choking hazard.

4. Rolled/Cut Rawhide. These are usually made from two sheets of rawhide that are rolled together with a knot on each end to make a bone-shape.

5. Bully Sticks. Made from the penis of the cow, these "rawhide" chews are an all-natural alternative to traditional rawhide bones.

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Bully Sticks are made from the penis of the cow

Tips to Keep the Rawhide Chewing Fun

Since rawhide bones are made from a natural substance, they will break down. For this reason, we have found some precautions you will want to take when giving your dog or puppy this type of treat - keep the rawhide chewing fun!

  • Check with your vet. If you are unsure of which type of rawhide is okay for your pooch, ask your veterinarian for his/her recommendations.
  • Separate your dog from the "pack". Some dogs may get territorial with their bones and tend to try to gulp them back, for this reason, let your pooch gnaw on his bone away from your other pets.
  • Find the right rawhide. Since there are different types of rawhides, on the market, finding the one suitable for your dog's size and chewing habits is important. You don't want your dog choking or gagging on large chunks of this treat.
  • Supervise. Always supervise your dog with a rawhide bone, especially a new type you are just trying out. 
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 If your dog is sensitive to artificial dyes, be careful with the rawhides added flavors

  • Too small? Throw away. Once your dog has worked the rawhide into a small chunk or piece, it's best to throw it away to prevent choking or intestinal blockage. 
  • Basted rawhides. These have added flavors (which can contain dyes) added to the outer surface of the bone. If your dog is sensitive to artificial dyes, this may pose an allergen problem. In addition, the basted bones can also become very messy once your pup has licked and gnawed on the coating for a while.

Signs of Problems

Even with precautions, rawhides (like any other tough chew) can cause problems. Watch for these signs in your dog.

  • Vomiting/trying to regurgitate
  • Gagging
  • Repeated swallowing
  • Diarrhea with or without blood
  • Lack of energy
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Refusal to eat or weight loss 

​If your dog has recently eaten a rawhide bone and is now exhibiting any of these symptoms, be sure to call your veterinarian and tell him/her the symptoms and the type of rawhide that was consumed.

References:
http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/rawhide-good-or-bad-for-your-dog#1
http://www.fidosavvy.com/rawhide-dog-chews.html

The Best Rawhides for Dogs - Our Top Picks 

Now that we've learned the ins-and-outs of rawhide bones for dogs, let's take a look at our top 5 picks of the best rawhide bones for dogs. These are really cool!

5

This 100% USA made rawhide chews are perfect for small to medium size dogs. Even though each bone only measures 5 inches long they are made from thicker fibers for a longer chewing time. In addition, this company also carries other varieties of the rawhide bones in plain and different flavors.

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PROS

  • Comes in an 18 pack
  • All natural flavor
  • Thicker fibers for a longer chewing session
  • Good for small to medium-size dogs
  • Reasonably priced
  • USA made

CONS

  • May be too small for bigger breeds
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Though the origin of these sticks may make pet parents pause for thought, they do provide an all natural alternative to those traditional rawhides. These Bullysticks are from grass fed and free range cattle and contain no preservatives, antibiotics, additives or chemicals.

In addition, they are high in protein and huge on flavor. This company doesn't cut corners to sacrifice the quality of their products for their bottom line. That's why they can offer you a 100% money back (no questions asked) guarantee.

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PROS

  • Sourced from USDA/FDA approved beef
  • 100% guaranteed
  • Low in fat
  • High in protein
  • Chemical/preservative free
  • Low odor
  • Comes in a 10-pack  

CONS

  • 6-inch size may not be suitable for some dogs
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These premium compressed rawhide bones are made from 100% all-natural beef and contain no additives, preservatives or fillers. They are very safe because they are highly digestible and come in a variety of sizes; 4, 6 and 10 inches long. Raw Paw Compressed Rawhide Bones are a great way to reduce plaque and tartar buildup on your dog's teeth, giving her a cleaner and fresher mouth.

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PROS

  • Comes in a variety of lengths and pack sizes
  • Healthy and digestible
  • Safe for all types of dogs
  • 100% money back guarantee 

CONS

  • A bit expensive than other brands
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The Digest-eeze company has developed a rawhide bone that is 99% digestible and made with the natural flavors of pork, chicken, and beef. They are tested for safety and health so you know your dog is getting a good product. There are also many different types of the Digest-eeze rawhide products so you can be sure to find something your pooch will love. 

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PROS

  • Tested for quality
  • Comes in many different choices for all types of dogs
  • Reasonable priced 

CONS

  • Some pet parents may not feel comfortable giving their dogs pork
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Taking our number one spot is the Lucky Premium Rawhide Chews - any dog would be lucky to have one of these awesome chews! These rawhides are made from only two ingredients; rawhide with 98% fat-free chicken breast wrapped around it. These delicious chews are not only healthy, but they have been made gluten and grain free for those dogs on more restricted diets. In addition, the Lucky brand also comes in a variety of sizes to suit all breeds of dogs. 

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PROS

  • Healthy with no fillers
  • Gluten and grain free
  • Uses chicken that has been hand wrapped around the rawhide for added flavor and a protein boost
  • Made in the USA 

CONS

  • Pricier than other leading brands

The Best Rawhide Chews Conclusion

Giving your dog rawhide is a great way for dog to fulfill his chewing instincts, as well as to help relieve boredom and to give him a cleaner mouth. However, as with any product be sure to supervise your dog while he is eating a rawhide and remove the bone when it becomes too small to avoid a choking hazard and other potential problems.

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