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I have heard several different things about giving rawhide bones/chews to large dogs and problems that they might cause with digestion. I know that we have allowed Bear to eat a rawhide bone on occassion when he has been given one as a present/treat by someone else but we have never purchased it for him oursleves. So, just wondering if there is any truth to this school of thought?

I have heard this from time to time too, though never from my vet. I do buy my dog rawhides and I figure it's better for him than my sneaker or the stuffing from a pillow! The poor guy is teething! When he has them he chews on nothing else. Without them he chews anything he can reach, including my coffee table! I'm a fan of them myself, and like I said, my vet has never said anything bad about them.  I get the really thick ones tied into bones or a big braided ring. It takes so long for him to finish one of those.... not the same as giving the little "pig ear" kind that they finish in 10 mins.  If you're worried about it you might want to try the Nylabone. They are supposed to be much better for dogs and take a long time to eat (days) We have gotten those before and he liked it a lot too. (they do cost more though)

I'm glad you brought this up, as I've been wondering the same thing.  I've heard that rawhide can be bad for their digestive systems, especially if the dog is too young.  Seamus loves them, but sometimes they make him vomit.  We asked our vet about it, and he didn't seem to have any concerns about them at all.  We also give Seamus huge bones from either pet smart or the grocery store.  I think they are called butcher bones or something like that.  Seamus loves them.  They are pretty messy, but they last a really long time.  I've been worried that they may be chipping his teeth though. 
He also has a bit of a plaque problem.  We don't brush very regularly b/c he hates it.  I recently got some dental rawhide from the vet which he loves, but again they make him puke sometimes.
I'm at a loss.  I want to give him what is best, but is the stuff I do give him that bad?

Our breeder told us to NEVER give real bones. Even the kind you get from a pet supply store. Infact our buyer agreement states that his health warentee is void if we feed him real bones.  Nylabones are good for the teeth, made of natural ingredients and because it takes so long to eat them there is less of a chance of it bothering his tummy....cause he never has much of it in his tummy at once. And they make them in so many different flavors.
Again, I've never had a problem with rawhides, as long as they're big enough to take a long time to eat. And afterall, the point is to have something satisfying to chew, not to eat!  The big braided ring he  has now is about half gone, but he's had to for a couple of weeks, and we have 2 other dogs that chew it from time to time (I take it away if I catch them)  The bone shaped ones I find he chews through much faster.

I also heard how rawhide can be hard to digest. I switched to uncooked bones from the butcher. My guys love them. Their a lot cheaper than rawhide and a lot better for them.


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