Dogs have a natural instinct to chew. It keeps their gums and teeth healthy and helps to keep them occupied. Many pet owners make the mistake of giving their dogs rawhides. While this was acceptable at one time, we have since learned that rawhides are dangerous and unhealthy for your dog. Rawhides can contain chemicals, is a choking hazard, can cause digestive issues and some can even do damage to your pet's teeth. Here are some of the safer and healthier alternatives to rawhides.
Sam’s Yams/Sweet Potato Chews
Sam's Yams and sweet potato chews are large cuts of sweet potatoes that have been dehydrated. When dehydrated, the texture is similar to rawhides, allowing your dog to safely and naturally chew. These chews also have the nutritional benefits that go along with sweet potatoes. If you want, you can also make your own at home by cutting a sweet potato into wedges and then baking them in an oven for about three hours at 250 degrees.
There are many benefits to feeding your dog carrots. They are inexpensive, low in calories and provide your dog with a variety of vitamins and minerals. If you are looking for alternatives to rawhides for your dog, carrots may be a great option. When placed in the fridge, the carrots stay extra crispy, making them perfect for chewing on for smaller dogs. For larger dogs, freeze the carrots to provide them more of a chewing challenge.
Himalayan chews are made by the mountainous people of the Himalayas. They are a product that is similar to a hardened cheese, made from yak or cow milk. They are designed to be placed in the mouth and chewed on for hours on end, without breaking down. Dog's love cheese, so this gives them a flavor they love in a product that is long-lasting, safe and allows them to chew for hours on end.
Another great alternative to rawhides for a dog are KONG toys. These are rubber toys that are designed to withstand chewing by even the strongest of dogs. They can be chewed alone or filled with flavored foam that adds taste and texture to the toy. They're designed not to break apart or shred, making them safe for your pup.
The last product to consider if you are looking for a healthy alternative to rawhides for your dog is Chilly Bones. This product is a canvas toy that is made in the shape of a bone. When placed in the freezer, the material inside freezes, giving it the texture of small ice cubes. Your dog can munch on this while teething or when it is hot out outside. It's safe and reusable, making it a great alternative to rawhides.
What are your favorite healthy dog treats? We'd love to hear from you. And while you are at it, be sure to schedule your appointment with Park Hills Animal Hospital today if your dog is in need of routine veterinarian care. You don't even have to call — you can fill out a form to request an appointment.