What determines whether or not dog chews are safe, just depends on what the chew is made of.
For those who may not know, I have a pretty busy page on my main website where other dog owners frequent to read and share stories/opinions about rawhide. The stories are quite scary and I recommend checking them out if you have a little time to sit down and sort through them.
Most dog owners want their dog to be happy. This includes good food, exercise, play time and entertainment which is where the dog chews come in. Many dog owners lean towards rawhide for entertainment purposes simply because of how long it lasts. Unfortunately, it’s not a healthy entertainment choice for dogs.
I often coach dog owners on how to implement a healthy diet for their dog. What’s funny is that many dog owners struggle with the dog treat issue. It’s almost harder for the owner to give it up than it is for the dog!
Alternatives To Rawhide for Dogs
Keep in mind that dogs don’t need to be kept busy every waking moment of the day. Dogs are usually pretty content when they are getting everything that they need as mentioned above. Exercise and a healthy natural dog food choice goes a long way. Dog chews and treats should be given sparingly, yet you want to make sure you are feeding healthy treat choices when you do.
Here’s some great alternatives to feeding rawhide:
Deer antlers are my favorite alternative. They are very hard like a bone and contain almost almost all calcium. They last a long, long time. They’re not like rawhide, but more like a bone, but even safer since they aren’t actually a bone.
Bully Sticks are another excellent choice, but I should probably let you know that they are actually “bull penises”. Don’t get too grossed out; it’s a muscle and it’s also low fat! No hide involved.
Most dogs absolutely LOVE them and they are long lasting. They entertain my dog’s for approximately 10 minutes which is good. If you can; purchase treats made in the USA, but I have to warn you that they are more expensive.
Tripe Sticks are another great treat and alternative to rawhide. They too are low fat which is excellent! Although they don’t last as long as bully sticks, their still a super option.
Dogs LOVE, LOVE, LOVE tripe!
Tripe dog chews usually come in springs and sticks. Green tripe sticks are very healthy and include all the original fatty acids, but they are VERY stinky. It’s a great treat for out doors or in an area where you can put a big towel down and not have to worry about it. The picture above is tripe springs which are not the same as green tripe sticks.
I typically give my dogs bully sticks, but if for some reason I can’t get them, then I give them tripe springs. I’m not feeding them the treat for any nutritional value; it’s just really to give them something they like to chew on. They last maybe 5 minutes, not as long as bully sticks, but long enough.
Sam’s Yams Sweet Potato Treats for Dogs are another of my favorites and made in the USA. However, many of these treats are now made in China and I’m warning people to stay away from those. Look CLOSELY AT THE PACKAGE in fine print on both sides. Depending on the brand and thickness, they last a couple of minutes. Again, not as long as bully sticks, but a nice healthy alternative as well. DO NOT BUY ANY SWEET POTATO CHEWS FROM CHINA! Sams Yams are made in the USA….
If possible, make your own.
When Lulu was alive she not only had liver disease, but was also in cancer remission. The above treats were recommended by her nutritionist.
Outside of baked snacks, my dog’s only get two bully sticks a week and on the other days they get one sweet potato chew. That’s it!
What do you think? Do you have any alternatives to rawhide that you can share with everybody else here? We need them, so please share them with us!