Rawhide vs beefhide: What’s the difference?
All beefhide products are rawhide, but not all rawhide products are beefhide. Rawhide can be made from any animal hide, or even a combination of hides. Beefhide, on the other hand, is specifically made from cow hides. Rawhides and beefhides are both made in exactly the same way.
Manufacturers of rawhide chew treats are not required to list the source of the hide on the treat label. Therefore, some pet owners feel more comfortable purchasing beefhide treats so they know exactly what type of hide they are getting. However, it’s important to note that beefhide is a rawhide product, and has all the same pros and cons as any other rawhide treat for dogs.
Many dogs love rawhides. They’re flavorful, satisfy a dog’s natural inclination to chew, and can help alleviate boredom. Rawhides tend to last longer than other treats, so they can be used to keep your dog busy and provide mental stimulation.
Some rawhide treats are treated with enzymes to break down plaque and tartar, which can help improve your dog’s dental health. It’s important to note, however, that this is not a substitute for daily brushing. No treat will be quite as effective as a toothbrush for oral health!
Despite their benefits, rawhide and beefhide treats do have some drawbacks. Many dogs experience digestive upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, from eating rawhide treats.
Large chunks of treats that are swallowed can pose a choking hazard or obstruct the digestive tract, requiring emergency veterinary care. Hard rawhide chews may cause fractured teeth or damaged enamel, requiring general anesthesia and professional veterinary dentistry to address the problem. Rawhide treats are also a significant source of calories, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
Rawhides don’t just pose a risk to dogs, either. Studies have shown (opens in new tab) that rawhide treats can be contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Clostridium difficile (C. diff).
These pathogens can not only make your dog sick, but they have also been associated with illness in pet owners (opens in new tab) who were handling the contaminated rawhide treats. These findings are particularly concerning for households with young, elderly, or immunocompromised family members who may be more susceptible to such infections.
What are the risks associated with rawhide and beefhide treats?
There are a few gray areas concerning how safe beefhide and rawhide treats are. For one thing, they can lead to choking problems. When your dog chews on them, they become soft and start to come apart. Many dogs choke on the little parts that break apart from both rawhide and beefhide.
Tiny pieces also get stuck in their teeth and cause pain and discomfort. In few cases, these beefhide and rawhide treats can lead to intestinal blockage. Here are some common risks associated with beefhide and rawhide treats:
Similar to all pet toys, rawhide treats may contain small quantities of toxic chemicals. Like other animal and human foods, Salmonella or E. coli contamination can also occur. Humans can also be affected when they come in contact with the bacteria on rawhide treats.
Some dogs are very sensitive or hyperallergic to rawhide or other substances used in their production. It can lead to problems like diarrhea.
Rawhide/beefhide bones and other dog treats can cause blockages and may lead to choking problems. There’s also a higher chance of inflammation in the digestive system.
When your dog swallows big pieces of these treats, it can lodge in its throat or other parts of its digestive system. Based on its size and location, the vet can take out the pieces easily by passing through his throat. However, in severe cases, surgery is required to remove them from the stomach or their intestines. If left untreated, the blockage can be fatal.
Are There Any Dangers of Giving Your Dog Rawhide and Beefhide?
We’ve talked about what rawhide and beefhide are as well as some of the benefits of using them for your dog to chew on. But what about the drawbacks of using them?
You may have heard that rawhide and beefhide chews are dangerous for your dog. But why? What are the dangers involved with giving your dog beef or rawhide chews?
Rawhide and beefhide chews break down into smaller, softer bits over time. If your dog is a heavy chewer, he may break off much larger pieces and attempt to swallow them. These chunks of hard animal hide may easily become lodged in the dog’s esophagus, causing them to choke.
Of course, a choking even is an emergency and may be life threatening. If your dog is choking, and you can’t remove the obstruction yourself, you’ll want to get him to the vet immediately. Which, of course, may not be possible if the dog begins choking while you’re away from home.
Less aggressive chewers are far less likely to break off pieces of rawhide large enough to choke on, but it would be a good idea to observe your dog’s particular chewing style before leaving him alone with the rawhide. Pay attention to how aggressively he chews it and whether or not he’s able to break off any pieces.
If your dog’s a heavy chewer, it’s best to only let him have rawhide or beefhide when you’re around to supervise him.
Remove any large chunks that he bites off before he has a chance to swallow them.
Are Beefhide chews safe for dogs?
Is Beefhide considered rawhide?
Is beef hide safe?
What’s better Beefhide vs rawhide?