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Safe Rawhide Alternatives

Updated on April 29, 2019
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Jennifer is a Senior Business Administrations major, and Economics Minor at Illinois State University.

Everyone likes to keep their dogs busy by chewing on treats. It is an easy, and usually pretty cheap way to keep your dog busy and not engaging in destructive behaviors such as chewing on couches, shoes, or digging holes in the backyard. A common treat pet owners give to their dogs is rawhide chews. These are fairly cheap and can be found at most supermarkets, pet stores, and even farm supply stores. Rawhide chews are made from discarded animal skin, usually cow skin. These pieces of skin are usually the pieces that "didn't make the cut" for leather products. After the skin is cut they are placed in salt brines to slow their decay and dosed with chemicals such as formaldehyde and lime. These chemicals can be very dangerous and even deadly to dogs, especially if they are made outside of the United States.

SmartBones (DreamBone) are made with vegetables, and meat. They come in many shapes such as bones, sticks, and chews, and also come in small, medium, large and X-large.These bones take a while to chew like rawhide, but are made with safe ingredients. The outside is made out of vegetables and is a thick and tough consistency. In the middle of the vegetable layer is a layer made out of meat, cheese or peanut butter which keeps the dog interested. These treats are fairly priced, between $7.99-$13.99 and can easily be found at most superstores, drug stores, and grocery stores.

Bully Sticks are an all natural chewable treat made from beef pitzel and dogs love them. They are very tough to chew and takes a long time to get through the treat. One thing to make sure when buying these treats is to make sure that they are made in the U.S, and they say "all natural". These treats will go through minimal processing and be overall healthy for your dog. Bully Sticks come in many shapes and sizes, so it is easy to find one that is right for your dogs size, and chewing style. There are a few downfalls to this treat, as some of them can be smelly if they have the vein in them, but to avoid smell, make sure to buy them "veinless". Bully Sticks can also be pricey, depending on the size and shape they can range anywhere from $5-$25 each.

Sweet Potato chews are great for dogs as they are healthy and should only include one ingredient, sweet potatoes. These chews are dehydrated which gives them a thick and chewy consistency which will keep your dog busy for a while. There are many pros to sweet potato chews, such as they are usually cheap, and you can even make them at home which will reduce cost even more. They are also very healthy for your dog, sweet potatoes are a common ingredient in dog food.


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