It’s a known fact: dogs love to chew on whatever they can, be it a shoe, a toy or a treat. We’re pretty partial to our shoes, so we tend to gravitate to giving our dogs something they can chew on for a good long while: rawhide.

These chews are tough enough for our furry friends to enjoy while keeping them occupied and using up their excess energy. Because they are edible and long-lasting, rawhide chews offer pooches entertainment – a fun dog toy! – together with the satisfaction of eating a yummy dog treat. In this post, we’re going to talk about how to select safe and healthy rawhide dog chews that your dog will drool over.

Choose All Natural Rawhide Chews

Many pet parents are switching to natural foods for themselves and their families. And that includes their pets too. When you’re choosing a rawhide, there are a few things you need to look for on the package to make certain it really is natural.

  1. Is the chew made from 100 percent rawhide?
  2. Does it come from an animal that’s humanely-raised and grass-fed?
  3. The fewer ingredients the chew contains, the better. You only want to see rawhide/jerky and natural food additives and flavor on the label.
  4. What shouldn’t be on it? Salt, sugar, corn, gluten, wheat, artificial flavor, preservatives, dyes, hormones or complex ingredients that you can’t pronounce.

Note: bright colors or red dyes are a dead giveaway for an unnatural dog chew.

Check the Manufacturer Follows Strict Food Safety Guidelines

The last thing you want to do is give your dog a chew containing harmful chemicals or bacteria. How can you be sure the chews you buy are safe? Again, check the package. Are they made in certified food safety facilities under strict regulations and guidelines? Check the brand’s website to see what they do to ensure the quality of their treats. Do they comply with FDA/USDA standards? Do they test their products regularly to verify their safety? In the past few years, there have been several prominent pet foods and product recalls from China, so it’s best to avoid dog chews from that country.

Beef Chews versus Buffalo Chews

A chew is just a chew, you’re thinking. But there’s a big difference between beef and buffalo chews. Buffalo contains more protein and less fat, which adds up to a healthier treat for your pet. One to try: the new Buffalo Range line of All Natural Buffalo Rawhide treats. They’re made from only four ingredients, including 100 percent buffalo rawhide. And they’re basted with a hickory-smoked flavor your dogs will go crazy for.

Buy the Right Size and Type

Man pulling stick from dog

Rawhide chews come in so many different varieties and sizes. Sticks, twists, bones, chips, rolls, braids and rings; it can be tough to decide which one to buy. Our advice? Choose a chew that’s larger than your dog’s mouth. If it’s smaller, he might swallow it whole. Pick a chew that’s a shape your dog can grip / hold on to. Dogs like to hold their chew steady with their paws while they chew away.

Also, look on the package to see if the chew is fully digestible. Once you have the right size and shape chew, experiment to see which type of chew your pooch prefers. Or mix them up to keep things interesting for your dog. After all, we humans like to try different types and flavors when it comes to our treats!