The above video has been circulating around Facebook for quite a while. I am sure most of us have watched it. I also am guestimatting that most of us have also given our dogs rawhide chews. I know I have! Until one of my dogs inhaled a huge chunk of it and then hacked it up hours later. It made me realize that a rawhide is like playing Russian Roulette with your dog. It's only a matter of time until that twisted hunk of hide becomes an obstruction in your furry friend's stomach. And let's face it, watching the above video and actually seeing how a rawhide is made is somewhat cringeworthy. GROSS.
Dogs need to chew on things. It not only cleans their teeth and is a natural way to strengthen their jaws, but it also combats boredom and relieves stress and anxiety. For puppies it also alleviates the pain that comes along with teething. Today, I have made a list of seven alternatives to a rawhide chew. I think some of them you will find somewhat surprising!
- (I am inserting a shamless advertisement plug in here.) KONGS We love kongs here at Bark City and we offer frozen kongs to our doggy clients! Kongs can be stuffed with hunks of meat, peanut butter, favorite treats, the list goes on and on. At Bark City, sometimes we stuff them with a mixture of cottage cheese, green beans and a protein, sometimes it's a yogurt mixture, sometimes it's an Honest Kitchen recipe... basically, whatever suits our fancy and is seasonal.
- Frozen Fruit and Veggies: Yep, you can give your dogs frozen apples, sweet potatoes, bananas and or carrots. Don't bother with chopping them up. Just toss the whole fruit (or veggie) in the freezer. This is a great option for summer months to keep your dog cool.
- Dehydrated Yams You can make these yourself if you'd like. There are a bunch of recipes out there on the world wide web. Basically, you slice up a yam and dehydrate it (or cook it on a really low temperature in your oven). There are also a lot of companies out there that make them for your convenience.
- Deer antlers Deer antlers are a great alternative and last forever. They are good for aggressive chewers if you choose the right size for your dog and still monitor your aggressive chewer. Basically, you should always monitor your dog while they are gnawing away at something.
- Himalayan Dog Chews What the heck are these? Basically, a Himalayan Dog Chew is a hardened hunk of cheese. These chews were born from an ancient recipe for a snack chewed by the people of the Himalayas. It is traditionally made from yak and/or cows milk. Once your dog has officially chewed it down to a 1" chunk, you can microwave it into a puffed up treat to give back to Fido!
- Fish Skin Bones The name of this treat is kind of misleading if read wrong. No, you are not giving your dog fish bones. What you are giving your dog is something that looks similar to a rawhide bone, but is instead made of fish skin! We all know how good fish oil is for our precious pets! ..also...p.s... Honest Kitchen makes some dried fish skin sticks. They are called "Beam Talls".
- Raw knuckle bones Basically, you just go to your local butcher and ask them for dog bones. These should not be cooked, because that is what causes bones to splinter off and cause choking. These bones should be raw, hefty and will have a bit of flesh left on it. Raw butcher bones provide your dog with minerals, proteins, enzymes, and essential fatty acids. Your dog will love you forever.