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Rawhide bones

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What is a safe amount of rawhide bones and bone chips to give my 70 pound dog? He has been getting two or three 2 inch X 3 inch rawhide chips a day, and occasionally a rolled rawhide bone about 6 inches long X 1 inch in diameter. Any harm in these treats?

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I hear things either way on rawhides and our vet recommends the compressed ones to help clean their teeth.

 

To me they are a sanity saver! I will get them out when I finally have a chance to sit and relax. Keeps the dogs busy and I can catch the news. I don't leave them out when we are not home and supervising, I am afraid they may choke.

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I don't give rawhide at all! I won't give a lecture-but the majority of the opinions that I have read and heard are that rawhide is no good! It isn't digestible and sits in the stomach. I give a good old femur bone or other big thick bone to Bailey and it lasts forever. I throw it away when it gets gnawed down to where large pieces start breaking off.

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I have to agree with BaileysMom on this one. I too have heard nothing good about raw hides. We buy Nylabones and Mia will chew those, plus they last forever and do a good job cleaning her teeth.

 

Mia's mommy, Gimmie Sue

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Hi all. I discussed this topic with my vet about a yr ago when my older dog showed an interest in them. Told they were non-digestable, sit in the stomach when finally swallowed whole, and produce increased stomach acid. I tried them anyways and found she indeed swallowed them, many times wayyy too big which scared me cause she choked, and usually threw them up. Some dogs do fine with them, but not mine. pig hoofs are better I am told, and of course nyla bones.

 

karyn

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I agree with the others about how they are not good - plus the chemicals some companies use to dry them bother me. I use "bully sticks", other beef tendons and other natural treats. (plus the Breathalicious treats are great!)

 

Hope that helps give you ideas. If you want to know of good places to buy, just pm or email me. (I'm cheap and shop around).

 

Emily

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Why not feed raw knuckle bones? They are a great source of entertainment, they are healthy and the bits they eat are digestable. I won't feed rawhide, I don't think it's safe.

 

RDM

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Hate to be a wet blanket about hooves, but we took one out of a dog a few years ago. The dog had gnawed down about half of it and then swallowed the rest. The pointy tip of the hoof had perforated the intestine and set up an nice raging peritonitis and the perforated intestine had to be resected. Dog did great, though. He's still wobbling around at the age of 14. I won't give hooves for that reason and because I HATE stepping on them in the middle of the night! :mad: I do give the occasional pig ear (though there are those who will tell you they can carry bacteria, which is no doubt true in some cases) and I do give the occasional pressed rawhide, but only occasionally, because they cause dissention among the ranks (Kenzie mysteriously ends up with all of them in her crate, crouched over them and snarling as if posessed every time another dog even looks at her.) They do help clean the teeth, though, at least on my dogs. As a general rule, pigs ears and rawhides are high in fat and salt, and should be limited for that reason alone, particularly in overweight dogs or ones who might become that way (in other words, no one's dogs HERE :rolleyes: ). However, the high salt thing can be a strain on the body even in lean dogs. Most animals like salt - they need to, since in the natural world salt may be in low supply so they shouldn't turn it down when it appears - but as pointed out elsewhere, dogs do not have the high need for it that horses and some other animals do. Dogs have sweat glands only on their feet, so in the absence of vomiting and diarrhea (or serious blood loss) they mostly hang onto their body stores of electrolytes, and can readily replace their normal losses by eating.

 

As far as digestibility - I think it depends on how big a chunk the dog chews off. Many dogs are a bit intemperate about rawhides and will practically swallow them whole. Then they really ARE indigestible, and can become a nice GI foreign body that has to be vomited up, passed with difficulty, or removed at surgery. So if you give them, the dog should be supervised while they have them so you can prevent this. Any chew-treat can do this, so I always take the bones etc when I leave the house. Nothing in life is risk-free, so we all have to choose which risks we prefer to take and then live with the consequences. Nylabones and regular beef bones have been known to crack teeth. Booda velvets and Greenies have had chunks swallowed and removed at surgery. Chicken and beef bones have been known to perforate intestines and cause impactions. I think you have to read your own dog a bit to see what works best in your own case, as well as consider the health impacts (whatever they might be) and then make the best choice you can.

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I've had problems with almost every type of bone out there... knuckles breaking teeth, bully sticks being swallowed in large hunks, rawhides swallowed whole, etc... and my vet friends tell me they're seeing Greenies stuck in or tearing esophaguses. Not every bone works for every dog, but I have had luck with compressed rawhides and N-bones (available thru KV, but $$$$). Supervise whatever you do give.

 

But I try to give my dogs enough exercise and "work", whatever that may be, so that they don't need bones. Granted, they've had a lot of bones lately since the ice is prohibiting them from doing anything outdoors.

 

-LS

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One treat they get that you can't hurt your foot one, they can't splinter, and it's fairly quiet is a large Kong with sliced Rollover or Nature's Choice rolled food stuffed in it. If you cram a few large slices of the rolled food in the Kong, or a large marrow bone, your dog will spnd hours trying to get it all out. As they lick the rolled food will get soft and make it harder to get it out. Even my AB's can't beat this trick.

 

HKM's Mom

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Originally posted by HKM's Mom:

One treat they get that you can't hurt your foot one

Oh I beg to differ! Not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything (*sigh*) but Kongs ROLL. If you step on one of those suckers when you aren't expecting it, your feet go right out from under you.

 

If you cram a few large slices of the rolled food in the Kong, or a large marrow bone, your dog will spnd hours trying to get it all out. As they lick the rolled food will get soft and make it harder to get it out. Even my AB's can't beat this trick.
Kongs are good for lots of stuff. I freeze babyfood in Kongs and it will last for hours. However, I do find that some dogs will give up on the Kong if they are having trouble getting tuff out of it. And Piper has learned that if she repeatedly drops the Kong on the hardwood floor, stuff bounces out of it. That's SO irritating. I guess it should go under the thread of "things your dogs do that annoy you."

 

RDM

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Thanks for all the good information, especially from Ak Dog Doc. I will re-think giving rawhide chips to Bailey. I have noticed that lately he seems to chew them less and wolf them down more, which is not a good thing from the digestibility standpoint.

 

I fed my prior dog (Lab/Elkhound-X) one rawhide chip per day for 9 years and she always did fine with them. There were never any remnants visibile in the stool so she must have been digesting them okay. But Bailey's tendency to not chew them much is worrisome.

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And Piper has learned that if she repeatedly drops the Kong on the hardwood floor, stuff bounces out of it. That's SO irritating.
Jill not only drops it but throws it into the air. It's hard to pack stuff in it so that it lasts more than a couple of bounces. I kind of enjoy seeing her playing with it.

 

We bought a buster cube, but had to return it immediately because she started giving it the same treatment and those things are really hard - you don't want them flying around.

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on that note, what about squeaky toys? i won't get any for ben b/c i'm afraid that he'll completely destroy it and eat everything (including the squeaky), and i know that it isn't good for them, but squeakies seem to be the only thing that pet supply stores sell besides rawhides, cloth bones, and nylabones. even most of the rope toys (the ones where the ropes are representative of the arms and/or legs) seem to have squeakies (anyone know why that is, btw?). Ben has a stuffed snowman rope toy that he absolutely loves (luckily no squeaky), but its so hard to find those kinds of toys. I guess I'll just have to rely on that and his baseball. the funny thing is, he won't touch a ball unless it has already been used (either for sports or by another dog). go figure.

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deafbat --

 

My son's 8 month old ACD/Catahoula dog was given a rope toy to chew on. She chewed it into pieces and ate the pieces. Then she got sick and they took her to the vet. The vet had to do emergency surgery to clear an intestinal blockage caused by the rope. So the rope toy was a very bad and costly idea ($500).

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oh, i know. i monitor ben's rope toy activities very closely. i've managed to take away almost every piece of rope he's chewed off and, thankfully, he doesn't chew it unless we've been playing 'get it' or i tie the rope up even more and stuff cookies into it--in which case, he's only interested in getting the cookie out (he uses his tongue and paws to do that).

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I don't give beef bones anymore due to one dog cracking a tooth. But a friend bought a side of meat and was trimming fat from it. He gave me a big bag of it. I was thinking maybe I could stuff some of that in a kong to give them something to work on for a while. I know too much fat can cause pancreatitis (sp???). But would just a little stuffed in a kong be okay a couple times a week?

 

BTW, my dogs are lean, especially my super boney pup. So I'm not worried about the calories.

Jennifer

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Sasha simply adores rawhides... but she does chew them up really well. I try to limit, but with the weather and bitter wind chills lately, she doesn't want to go out as much, and has been getting more than usual.

 

I do the Kong thing - I can fit two regular milk-bones in hers, but smear one with peanut butter first. Put them in, smoosh them together, and jam in some munchy-sticks to try to pack it all in. Usually the peanut butter will buy some time. If (for some odd reason) the peanut butter dries out, it makes it *really* hard to knock them loose. Sometimes I use a bit of beggin-strip over the opening holds it in. She figured out the "throw it down and stuff bounces out" trick very early on.

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Deafbat-

 

Have you tried the "Cube" toy. It has a little hole and you can set it to let out more or less treats. And since it is square it takes a bit longer to get the food out, and you can stuff quite a bit in. Although with Bailey it only took about 2 hours to figure out that he could pick it up by getting his teeth in the hole to hold and then kind of toss it so it lands hard and food comes out. But it sure is funny watching them figure out what exactly to do with it.

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Originally posted by jvw:

But a friend bought a side of meat and was trimming fat from it. He gave me a big bag of it. I was thinking maybe I could stuff some of that in a kong to give them something to work on for a while. I know too much fat can cause pancreatitis (sp???). But would just a little stuffed in a kong be okay a couple times a week?

The only thing I would be concerned about is that large quantities of fat can cause diarrhea. If you stuff a kong with beef fat, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises!

 

RDM

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I have a red ball thing made by Kong that you can stuff cookies into...the holes are shaped like doggie biscuits. I stuff all sorts of things in it, left-over meat, that rolled dog food etc..if you really pack it in hard it can take quite a while to get it out. No raw hides for my pup, and pig ears make her throw up and have yukky poop. Tonight I was snacking on some capers and she ate a few of them, but it was obviously only because she didn't want to be rude....

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Tess gets Kongs with yogurt, applesauce, cream cheese (low fat), and bits of turkey & cheddar cheese cut up into little pieces. I sometimes put them in the freezer (yogurt and applesauce require it) but with just cream cheese or melted (and cooled!) cheddar cheese, I just refridgerate. Tess does not seem to care for real peanut butter. She did like the Kong stuffing that was peanut butter flavored, but her all time favorite is the cheese in a can that you push the nozzle to get out... I put some of that in, put some kibble in, more cheese, and then freeze it.

 

Tess LOVES her squeaky toys. She only gets them for a little bit, though, each day. I have found a few that stand up to her the vigorous "Where IS that thing????" and she can have those more often.

 

One thing she really loves is that IQ Puzzle thing that has four balls inside it. She used to stick her nose in to grab the balls, but now she just grabs it and shakes it very vigorously :rolleyes: and all the balls go flying out. She panics and then herds the balls into a corner, then moves them from place to place, one at a time.

 

Tess gets Greenies, but she chews them completely up and she only gets them when I am there to watch her. The only thing she gets unsupervised (like if we go out to dinner and leave her in her crate) is a Kong with something frozen in it, but that has nothing she can possibly choke on (frozen applesauce works great for that). Tess does not seem to need much entertaining in her crate when we go out, though. I just make sure she has had plenty of exercise and plenty of mental exercise and she sleeps the entire time we are gone.

 

I also sometimes put some homemade fruit leather into the Kong. I put it in and push it against the sides so she has to lick away at it to dissolve it. That also is a supervision-only item.

 

Tess has not tried much fruit yet, but I am hoping to find out what she likes and then I put that in Kongs as well... I think she likes peaches and banana, but can't be sure yet. She always eats things the first time. After batting them around the floor to make sure they don't bite. :D

 

Allie & Tess

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Deafbat-

You can get the cube at petsmart or petco.

 

I saw those IQ puzzle toys at the Discovery Channel Store at the mall. There were two different ones, the one with the balls in it and one where there are a bunch of rings around a bone that can get pulled off. I almost bought them-I think I will go back and buy one now!

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Oreo loves the "buster cube" too. It's time to get a new one though because he has managed to chew up the "core" that locks in the food, so they are not indestructable. I am thinking of getting a bunch of smaller ones (to use all at once) to keep him busier.

 

I just got him a "Busy Buddy Twist n Treat" from Sitstay.com that is fairly easy to use, can hold an variety of treats and is adjustable for a big range of difficulty.

 

I am sorry to learn about the dangers of hooves - Oreo loves them.

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