Rawhide is a popular ingredient in dog treats, but experts don’t recommend it because of the associated risks. Here are the best rawhide-free treats for your dog.
Why no rawhide? Well, while rawhide certainly isn’t as dangerous for dogs as foods that are immediately toxic, there are a handful of risks that come with rawhide chew toys that you may wish to avoid. These risks include illness resulting from contamination via poor manufacturing processes, digestive irritation (that you’ll be stuck cleaning up), and even surgery as a result of esophageal and bowel obstruction. You can avoid the late-night cleanups (or worse, late-night emergency vet visits) by swapping out the rawhide for an alternative. Here are our top picks!
Pet Factory Beefhide Chews
Beefhide is 99% digestible and a much safer option than rawhide. These peanut butter-flavored braids are made with beef collagen, which promotes healthy skin, nails, and fur. These chews are hefty and will take even the most aggressive chewers a long time to get through.
SmartBones SmartSticks are some of the most popular rawhide alternatives on the market. These bones are made with real meat and veggies and are enriched with vitamins and minerals. They’re easy to digest and will rarely cause the gut issues commonly associated with other chews.
Made from beef pizzle (Look it up if you want a more specific explanation.), bully sticks tend to last longer than any other rawhide alternative treat. Even the most aggressive chewers can gnaw on these for hours before making a dent. However, the smell can be intense, so they’re best enjoyed outside.
Himalayan Cheese Chews
Himalayan cheese chews are made by boiling yak milk and drying it for several weeks until it forms a hard chew. Your dog will work on this treat for hours before being able to scrape small bits off, so it’s best for those that tend to inhale their treats. They contain only natural ingredients with no preservatives.
Nylabone Healthy Edibles
Nylabone is a long-standing, trusted brand for dog owners. Their Healthy Edibles last longer than most treats but are best for light or moderate chewers. They’re made with real meat for an irresistible smell and flavor.