Rawhides vs. No-Hides: Which One is Better for Dogs?

Rayna Skiver - Author

Oct. 13 2022, Published 3:30 p.m. ET

Rawhides vs. No-hides
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If you have a dog, you’ve probably heard of rawhides and no-hides. What you might not know is that there’s actually a big difference between the two when it comes to how they affect your dog's health.

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It’s our responsibility to look out for our pets and make sure we know the best options out there. Keep reading to learn more about rawhides vs. no-hides and other healthy alternatives available.

What’s the difference between rawhides and no-hides?

Rawhide Chews
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Chewing is really important for dogs. It helps with keeping your dog's teeth clean, strengthening their jaw, and relieving anxiety. Both rawhide and no-hide chews are supposed to accomplish all of these things. And while your dog might love them both equally, they are significantly different.

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Rawhides originate from the hides of horses and cows. These hides get pressed into dog treats, usually with added chemicals. On the other hand, no-hides are supposed to be more natural and produced without the use of animal hides and chemicals, though they may still be made with animal products.

From the outside, there’s not any obvious differences. They’re all on the inside.

Are rawhides bad for dogs?

According to Fetch by WebMD, there are a lot of risks associated with rawhides, such as contamination and choking.

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Rawhides are made using a lot of chemicals. Some typical chemicals used are hydrogen peroxide, bleach, titanium oxide, and formaldehyde (used to preserve it).

An article from Dogs Naturally Magazine states: “When rawhide chews have been tested, they’ve shown things like lead, arsenic, mercury, and other toxic metals.”

The use of these chemicals can lead to a greater chance of contamination and exposure to bacteria.

Choking and intestinal blockages are also major concerns of rawhides.

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According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, if your dog accidentally swallows pieces of rawhide, it can sit in their stomach without breaking down for months.

“This can cause digestive problems … and eventually, create dangerous intestinal blockages or bowel obstructions … that can lead to death if not removed,” the magazine explains.

This information makes it clear that it might be best to avoid rawhides in order to keep your dog safe.

Are no-hides a better alternative?

Homemade Dog Treats
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You can make healthy dog treats right at home.

While it’s true that no-hides can be a better alternative to rawhides due to their more natural ingredients, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best option.

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No-hide products still put your pet at risk of choking, so it’s very important — no matter the toy — to keep an eye on your dog when they are chewing. If you are choosing to step away from these chews altogether, there are many other alternatives that are guaranteed to be good for your dog.

One popular choice is the Kong, which is a natural rubber toy that you can fill with peanut butter. Many pet owners love the Kong because it’s long-lasting and reusable. The brand makes all sorts of toys that come in various shapes and sizes.

You can also make healthy chews at home. Frozen carrots and sweet potatoes both make for great zero-waste and affordable options.

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Dog Holding Carrots
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Frozen carrots are good for your dog.

For the carrots, all you have to do is put them in the freezer and then give one to your dog when they’re ready. Just make sure to stick to one a day, as they tend to be very high in fiber. Click here to try this easy recipe.

Sweet potato chews are just as easy. All you have to do is cut them into whatever size pieces you think are best for your dog and then pop them into the oven.

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