How long does rawhide take for a dog to digest? Can your dog eat rawhide, and what is this actually? All of these are common questions many dog owners have on their minds.
Today, we are going to answer all of them and even provide you with the details and specifics you need to know. Without further ado, let’s begin.
If you want to get an answer to how long does rawhide takes to digest in dog question, you need to know what this is. Rawhide is a part of an animal’s skin that wasn’t exposed to tanning. It can come from deer (rare), cattle, or buffalo. But it can come from a horse as well. Manufactures will clean the hide first and then shape it properly.
Rawhide comes in many flavours and sizes. You can see that liver, chicken, or beef flavours are all available on the market. Not all of these are digested in the same way. Not all dogs will do the same, so you do need to pay close attention to what we have to say.
Rawhide will clean the teeth and massage the gums. Bones in this treat are beneficial as well but they can cause severe issues. If your pet consumes a large amount of rawhide, it can cause some problems in his digestive tract, including blockage.
Can Dogs Actually Digest Rawhide?
The answer here is yes and no. They can digest rawhide, but only if it is properly chewed and comes in very small amounts. In a nutshell, dogs will need between 1 and 3 hours to digest this treat.
This will depend on the breed of your pet and also the type of rawhide he consumed. The size of the piece is important as well. Below, you can see this process explained in more detail. We will explain how long the rawhide will stay present in each part of the digestive tract.
Rawhide will only pass through the trachea. It won’t remain here unless it gets stuck. If this does happen, your dog will need immediate help.
If the rawhide sticks, you will notice drooling, distress, choking, and even a dog trying to pull it out using the paws.
It is used to connect the stomach to the mouth, and it is a very long organ. Rawhide can stick here as well, although this happens rarely. The symptoms include regurgitation and drooling. Once again, your pet needs help.
Stomach and Also Intestine
Rawhide can stick inside the curvy intestine. You will notice that your god is vomiting and has diarrhea. He may avoid food or show signs of abdominal pain.
In this scenario, help from a veterinarian is mandatory. It is known that this issue can cause peritonitis, which is an infection and a very serious one.
Measures For Prevention
The best thing to know when feeding your pet rawhide is that prevention is extremely important. First of all, always give him small pieces that are suitable for his breed. Smaller dogs need smaller pieces, while large dogs can eat large pieces.
The differences in size are not massive. If he still swallows a large piece, there are three things you need to do. Start with the first one and move to the second or third if needed.
Decide Which Treatment Is Needed
If your dog swallows a small piece of rawhide, it will pass all by itself eventually. There is no need to do anything. But if your pet has severe diarrhea, vomits all the time, and has abdominal pain, you need to keep an eye on him. If you notice dehydration or bloating, you need to take him to a veterinarian.
This refers to a case in which a dog swallowed a small piece of rawhide. If the piece is too big, you need to take him to a specialist immediately.
Home Treatment Option
In case your dog vomits after he eats, he has a blockage. If you notice that there is no rawhide present in the vomit, it means that he cannot remove it by himself.
In this case, you will need to take him to a veterinarian. This is extremely important. If the situation gets worse, you may lose your pet.
You can also check the poop for rawhide. If you find it and you already know that he swallowed it, there is no reason to be concerned. Rawhide is successfully eliminated. But if you can’t find it and your dog still has the symptoms mentioned earlier, once again, professional help is needed.
It is always a better choice to take your dog to a veterinarian if you notice any symptoms, just to be safe. A vet can perform X-rays of the abdominal area and see any blockage. If it is present, it means that your dog is unlikely to remove it without any help.
A vet can perform surgery in order to remove rawhide. He may use endoscopy as well. This is a less-invasive and safer method. Keep in mind that after the procedure, he will need proper recovery treatment. What this means is that he must rest and he needs a suitable diet.
This simply means that your dog will need a soft and specific set of foods to consume in order to avoid possible damage to the intestine where the procedure was performed.
Alternatives To Rawhide
While rawhide chews can be a fun and tasty treat for your dog, it’s also important to consider safer, more digestible alternatives, especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach or has had digestive issues in the past. Here are a few alternatives that you might want to consider:
- Bully Sticks: These are made from the pizzle or penis of a bull and are fully digestible. They’re tough and durable, making them a long-lasting chew for most dogs.
- Dental Chews: Dental chews are designed to promote good oral health in dogs while also satisfying their need to chew. These chews come in various shapes and sizes and are generally safe for consumption.
- Antlers or Bones: Deer and elk antlers are popular chew alternatives that are long-lasting and come in various sizes. Similarly, bones – particularly large ones – can be a good choice, but make sure they’re raw and large enough to prevent choking hazards.
- Rubber Chew Toys: These aren’t consumable, but they can offer a long-lasting chewing experience for dogs. Toys like Kongs can also be stuffed with treats or peanut butter to keep your dog entertained for hours.
- Vegetable-Based Chews: Some chews are made from sweet potatoes or other veggies. These are a great choice for dogs that are on a diet or need to limit their protein intake.
While these alternatives can be safer than rawhide, it’s essential to closely supervise your dog when they’re enjoying any chew or toy. Each dog is unique, and what works for one dog might not be the best option for another. Always consult with your vet before introducing new chews or toys to your dog’s routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if a rawhide chew is causing digestive problems for my dog?
Signs can include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy. If your dog shows any of these symptoms after eating a rawhide chew, contact your vet immediately.
Are there any dogs that should never have rawhide chews?
Dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies, aggressive chewers who could choke on or swallow large pieces, and dogs with poor dental health are generally advised to avoid rawhide.
How often should I give my dog a rawhide chew?
This can depend on your dog’s health and chewing habits, but many vets recommend limiting it to once a week or less, especially if the dog has a sensitive digestive system.
What size rawhide chew is appropriate for my dog?
As a rule of thumb, always buy a chew that is larger than your dog’s mouth. This reduces the risk of choking.
Is it true that rawhide chews can help clean my dog’s teeth?
Yes, the action of chewing can help remove plaque from your dog’s teeth. However, there are safer alternatives that can provide this benefit without the risk of choking or digestive blockage.
Are there specific brands of rawhide that are safer than others?
The safety of rawhide can vary based on how it’s processed. Look for “digestible” chews and avoid those made with lots of artificial ingredients.
My dog loves rawhide chews. How can I make them safer?
Always supervise your dog when they’re chewing and take away any small pieces that could be swallowed whole. Also, consider trying one of the safer alternatives listed above.
How long can I leave a rawhide chew out for my dog?
If your dog has not finished their rawhide chew during their chewing session, it should be discarded. This can prevent contamination from bacteria that may accumulate on the chew.
Can puppies have rawhide chews?
It’s generally recommended to avoid giving puppies rawhide chews until they have their permanent teeth – usually around six months of age.
Are colored rawhide chews safe?
Colored rawhide chews can contain artificial colors that may not be safe for your dog. Always check the label for any potentially harmful ingredients.
The Final Word
How long does rawhide take to digest in a dog in general? It takes 1-3 hours if the piece doesn’t stick inside the digestive tract. If it does, you will need to take him to a vet and remove it manually.
This is a mandatory process, and it can save your pet’s life. Keep in mind that this does happen, and it is a worthy reason to be concerned.
For those dog owners who panic all the time, feeding dogs rawhide isn’t recommended. You should use something else.
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