Veterinarian warns public to STOP giving rawhide bones as treats

Any dog owner can tell you, keeping your pup stocked with plenty of interesting things to chew on is a must. It’s just a fact of life, dogs love to chew. They also love to shred things to pieces and sometimes swallow those pieces whole. Overall, this is perfectly normal and even beneficial behavior. Chewing can keep your dog occupied while cleaning and strengthening their teeth. There is one thing, however, that shouldn’t be on your doggos list of things to chew. That’s rawhide treats.

Rawhide bones can pose major health risks to your dogs.

KPAX News Source: KPAX News

Flathead, Montana veterinarian, Dr. Jevon Clark is one of many vets urging the public to STOP giving rawhide treats to dogs.

Clark works at the Kalispell Animal Clinic and he readily passes along this warning to all of his clients; rawhides are dangerous for canines. As it turns out, there’s a very simple yet solid reason for his message; these treats can gum up the digestive works.

Oftentimes dogs are able to get those things all soft and gross and gushy and swallow great big chunks of them which can pass through their esophagus into their stomach, but then they can’t get out of their stomach,” Dr. Clark explains in an interview with KAJ18 News.

Wikimedia commons/Shane Adams Source: Wikimedia commons/Shane Adams

Dr. Clark went on to explain that when this happens, those large chunks can form different types of blockages. Any sort of blockage can cause extreme health issues for your dog, from organ failure if it’s not removed right away and even death.

As a result, veterinarians have to use extreme measures to extract the rawhide.

And so, they can either get intestinal blockage in their small intestine. Or, they actually just stay in the stomach and we have to go in and get those things out,” Dr. Clark continues.

Wag! Source: Wag!

If you suspect an intestinal blockage from rawhide or any other item, it’s important to see your vet immediately.

An intestinal blockage can happen even with smaller chunks of rawhide, too. What happens is that the small intestine is blocked from receiving food and water. If not extracted, it can end up blocking all blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract.

This is where rawhide treats and other swallowed items can take a deadly turn.

Doggy Stuff Source: Doggy Stuff

Without a consistent blood supply, the intestinal tissues will begin to die off, and the item causing the blockage can actually perforate the small intestine walls. From there, bowel bacteria can leak into their abdominal cavity. This causes septic peritonitis, a condition that often proves fatal if not immediately treated.

So, if you’ve been feeding your pup rawhide treats, how can you tell if they have a blockage?

Wellness Pet Food Source: Wellness Pet Food

Fortunately, there are a few tell-tale symptoms that can alert you to any type of blockage. These include a sudden loss of appetite, difficulty passing a bowel movement, vomiting, and more. Depending on when the blockage was formed and the size of the item causing it, your vet may induce vomiting to try to remove it more naturally. If that method won’t work, though, dogs will often end up in surgery, which can have its own complications.

While people can induce vomiting in dogs at home for many reasons, suspicion of an intestinal blockage should never be one of them. Always seek out your vet if you think your dog may have one.

The good news is that there are some great alternatives to rawhide treats. Source:

A great alternative to rawhide treats, as suggested by Dr. Clark, are nylon and rubber chew toys, some of which come in flavors. The reason these are deemed to be “better” for your pup is because they are much more durable. Your dog will have a much harder time breaking it down into little blockage-building bricks that will hurt them and your wallet later on.

To learn more about the dangers of feeding your dog rawhide treats and how to avoid them, watch the interview with Dr. Clark below.

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