Rawhide toys are cheap, easy, and fast for dog owners and they are quite popular. Rawhide is not only bad for your dog it is potentially lethal.
Rawhide to put it simply is dried leather. Your belt, your shoes, that wallet at the department stores are all leather and so is rawhide.
As a professional dog trainer one of my first lessons during my certification classes was about proper toy selection for dogs based on breed, health, and safety. Rawhide topped the list as the number one toy to avoid.
Here are a few quick reasons to avoid rawhides…
1. They are leather and still smell like leather. Dogs can’t determine that $300 pair of shoes from that $3 rawhide toy you bought her the day before.
2. They are hard to digest. Raw hides take days and sometimes weeks to digest.
3. They can get stuck in your dogs system. If this is not treated immediately your dog could die.
4. They are easily eaten by Pit Bulls and other medium to large dogs.
Alternatives to Raw hides
Kong toys. Kongs are an outstanding replacement for raw hides. Kongs are not chew toys though. They are toys you fill with treats or stuffing and then allow your dog to have them for short periods of time.
Kongs also double as a throw toy for fetch. Remember not to leave them with your Pit Bull as the breed has been known to eat some pieces off of them.
Bully Sticks. Bully sticks are all natural chews made from Bull parts and can be purchased online. Like Kong’s, bully sticks should not be left with your Pit Bull unsupervised because your dog might want to try and swallow more than they can.
Nylabones. Made from digestible material nylabones are a great alternative to the hard to digest rawhide chews.
Whatever you choose to replace the raw hides with make sure it is digestible or proven to be tough enough for a Pit Bull to play with for any amount of time.
Remember there is no such thing as indestructible toy so always supervise your dog with the toy or chew until you are sure the toy is safe or the chew will not harm your dog.