What Age Can Puppies Have Rawhide

Rawhides are one of the most favorite treats of puppies. Just like puppies love Braunschweiger and butterscotch, you must have known that two important things to focus on while discussing a treat are, that either it is safe or not, and on how much amount it should be given. The same goes for Rawhides but what age can puppies have rawhide?

In this article, we are going to tell you some facts about giving rawhide to your puppy, the ideal age, and its benefits and risks. Keep reading if you want to know more about rawhide and your puppy.

what age can puppies have rawhide

Ideal age for giving the dog Rawhide:

Everyone has a different opinion about giving the dog Rawhide treat, and each dog owner thinks according to his own idea. On asking few dog owners that at what age puppies can have rawhide, you may get multiple answers. Some will say it is good to offer them when they are about 10 weeks old, however, some careful owners do not find it a good move to offer even their adult and healthy dogs such treats with a slight chance of risk.

In our opinion, we would suggest all the dog owners make the decision depending on their puppy. The breed, health, lineage, and many other factors are there which make the rawhide safe or unsafe for the pup at the age of 6 months. However, a general rule of thumb is that whenever your pup starts teething, it is ready to have such treats. Now such development varies in every dog breed hence, you have to be observant if you want to provide them treats.

In most of dogs, the age at which the dog starts teething is 12-16 weeks, or we can say 4 months to 6 months. But the proper teething or the time when multiple teeth start developing occurs at the age of 16 weeks or more. This doesn’t mean that the time the dog reaches the age of 6 months it is safe for you to give it rawhide. Be patient, and try not to give them rawhide until they have developed all their teeth.

What’s better? You can offer your dog an easily digestible treat, which is safe and beneficial at the same time. Why is that so? Because such rawhide treats include safe ingredients and artificial substances that assist in digesting them in the dog’s body as compared to usual rawhide bones.

Healthy or bad:

You must have heard the fact that when a dog is teething it needs several things to help the pup pass the phase, as teething is never something that puppies enjoy. A rawhide chew can be helpful for the puppies to make their teeth grow stronger.

But there are always risks as well! Just like other treats, rawhide is good as well as bad for the dogs. If you are well-aware of all the risks, and you think your dog can manage them, then offering your dog a rawhide will do no harm.

Why is it safer for adult dogs but not puppies?

Adult dogs are stronger and well-grown so they can deal with most of the things quite easily without getting any risks. But when it comes to puppies, they are sensitive and still in the growth process. They require ultimate care, and cannot handle risky stuff. So, it is always good to be at the safer site and does not bother the puppy for any possible concern.

The above-mentioned concept is to let you know that rawhide has risks, and it is not a thoughtful idea to put your pup at risk just to make it feel happy. Safety and health come first. There are some other reasons as well that make the treat unsafe for puppies. Want to know? Let’s have a look!

The puppies have delicate stomachs and gastrointestinal tract which makes it difficult to digest rawhide. Secondly, the growing teeth might not bear the treatment and cause disruptiveness in the growth. Last but not least the pups have small and sensitive gums as well as delicate mouths which are not developed properly until they turn into adults. Gums are at the risk of having cuts and bleeding in such a small age.

How long should a puppy chew rawhide?

If your dog is well-trained, it might stop eating the treat when it becomes quite small. But for the dogs which are not treated well for this concern, they keep on chewing it until you stop them. Yes! This means you have to supervise the pup the way we told you while offering cow hooves to the dog. The time when the treat is small enough that the oup may swallow it, you need to take it away from it. Why is that so? You know well!

There is always a risk of choking, blockages, cuts, and other digestive problems that can make your dog unhealthy and cause some serious issues.

How Is It Made?

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If we talk about countries like the USA, they use lesser chemicals in the production of rawhide as compared to other countries. Other countries usually use multiple chemicals to preserve the rawhide so that it may be transported safe and sound. But in the USA, refrigerators are used to transport the product without any damage.

What is the entire process? Well, an ash-lye solution is what the rawhide is dipped into in the first step to remove the fat and hair from it. In the next step, water mixed with hydrogen peroxide or bleach is used for further cleaning. However, in some countries, formaldehyde or arsenic are being used in the manufacturing of rawhides for pups, but these two are banned in the USA for safety concerns.  Lastly, some add artificial flavors and aroma to make it more exotic for the dogs or leave it the other way, natural yet smoky.

Why Do Dogs Love Them So Much?

What do you think the dogs love, rawhide, or chewing any treat? Well, rawhides are tasty, they let the dog kill its time, and they are helpful in cleaning the teeth as well. But after all, they are chews! Dogs like to chew treats as a scavenging instinct.

Some dogs only like to chew rawhide because this way they get the attention of their owner when he supervises it. Others might chew to relieve their stress or anxiety we don’t know it, until we get to the basic reason.

What are the risks associated with rawhide?

If we offer the pup rawhide in an adequate amount, there are lesser risks that can be neglected if proper care has been taken. But if you don’t care how much your dog is chewing the rawhide, it is going to harm the dog in many certain ways.

Here we are going to discuss some of the common risks of giving rawhide to your dog which you shouldn’t ignore. Let’s have a look!

Rawhide Digestibility:

Every dog has a distinct digestibility of rawhide depending upon its health and way of chewing. Usually, large chunks of the rawhide are broken off and ingested by the dog which makes it difficult to digest. So, most dogs face difficulty in digesting rawhide. There is a huge risk of obstruction here because these chunks will not be broken down any smaller and can also hinder the digestion of other substances.

Choking or blockage:

We know that rawhide bones are something the dogs can chew, break, and ingest. The fact that they are edible increases the risk of blockage and choking. If, in any case, your dog manages to ingest a large chunk of the rawhide bone, it will be stuck into the digestive tract of the dog, let it be the esophagus, stomach, or intestine. Hence, there is a huge risk of intestinal obstruction. A vet may help in such conditions, but sometimes surgery is the only way.

About choking, if while swallowing the chunk gets stuck into the dog’s throat, it will gasp for air, and whine in pain until the chunk is removed. Choking hazard is a death risk as well so, always be concerned when your dog is eating or chewing rawhide bones.

Digestive irritation:

Allergy! It is something the dog might have towards many food substances. Some dogs can be allergic to rawhide as well so, they can develop conditions like diarrhea and vomiting after chewing rawhide. Always consult a vet before doing so to make sure your dog isn’t allergic to rawhide, or any other product used in its manufacturing.


There is a possibility that rawhide treats or chews contain a slight amount of contaminants such as E. coli or Salmonella which can be harmful to a dog’s health.

Things to do:

When you see your dog that it is trying to ingest the rawhide chew, just jury up and take it out from its mouth before it swallows it. This will not only reduce the risk of choking and obstruction, but your dog can retain it in its body for weeks, which can be prevented as well.

However, some manufacturers try to make rawhide chews safer for dogs by adding fewer chemicals and making them more digestible. Also, some well-trained dogs are intelligent enough to not ingest the larger or even smaller pieces making the treatment safe for them without any chance of digestive or choking issues.

In the end, the decision is yours. If you can afford high-quality rawhide treats which are safe, you can offer them to your 6 monthly puppy, but if you cannot, then it is better to find any healthy alternative than offering poor quality and unsafe rawhide. Choose a thicker hide, as it will give your dog more time to chew and leave it sooner than usual. The best option is to consult your vet to be certain.

When it is okay to give your dog a rawhide?

Now as we know we can offer the dog rawhide after the age of 16 weeks, but for those who are still not convinced, they can offer their dog the treat by following certain things.

  • If your vet says that it is fine to let your dog chew on rawhide, then you can go for it.
  • You are willing to supervise your dog for the entire time it chews it, then it is good for your dog.
  • If you purchase a high-quality rawhide that is more digestible than others, it is good.
  • You have checked that your dog isn’t allergic, it is a safer option.
  • If you prefer US-based rawhide treats which are less chemical interacted than others, it may be the right choice.
  • Your dog is in good health with a stronger immune system, it is worth taking some risks.

Are there any Alternatives?

You must remember that we have compared Greenies and Whimzees in a previous article, which has shown that both the treats are worth offering the dog. There is not much difference in the chewing style and time for both the Greenies and Rawhide treats, so what’s the harm in choosing the safer option.

The taste is good, quality is better, lesser risks what do you want more? Rather than looking for the right time to let your dog have rawhide, it is better to look for the right treatment. There is no choking risk in those treats, all thanks to the soft texture also, they prevent the risk of infections unlike rawhide treats

Rawhides don’t have additional health benefits but fortunately, Greenies are both fun and beneficial for your pup. In our opinion, it is better not to put your dog at risk and buy safe and

Bottom line:

What age puppies can have rawhide? Well, puppies can have rawhide when they reach the age of about 16 weeks, but it is still a risk. It all depends on your dog’s activity level, weight, breed, and most importantly health. In our opinion, if you want to offer your dog the treat, consult the vet first, and make sure the dog is in good condition, otherwise opt for other alternatives.

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