If you are in the unfortunate situation where you are asking: “What should I do if my dog swallowed a rawhide?”, we will try to give you quick help below.
Here’s a quick step-wise guide on what you need to immediately do:
- Do not panic! (Not easy to do, but try)
- If you find your pup’s rawhide chew toy missing, immediately check your pups mouth and remove any remaining pieces of rawhide from its mouth
- Remove any other pieces from the dog’s surroundings as well
- Call your vet for advice
- Monitor carefully for symptoms such as uneasiness, breathing difficulties, vomiting and nausea. Take your dog to the vet if any of this happens
- Check the poop regularly to see if the dog has passed it out. If it happens, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
Now let’s come back to why rawhide is so dangerous. Despite their popularity, rawhide treats are:
- Not so great for dental hygiene because it loses its hardness after some time
- Once it does that, it is more of a choking hazard than a chew toy, and
- If you knew the ingredients used in its manufacturing will give you a heart attack!
When your dog chews down the rawhide and its pieces get stuck in its mouth or throat, it can cause the poor pooch a lot of discomforts.
In this article, we will talk more about where rawhide comes from, why it’s dangerous and what you can do if you find out that your dog has ingested it.
What’s Rawhide Made From?
Most dog owners are surprised to learn that rawhide isn’t a product of the beef industry. It’s not some kind of dried meat candy.
In fact, it is a by-product of the leather industry (come on people, the word “hide” is right there in the name!). It is made from the skin of animals like pork or cattle, which is removed, dried, prepared, and packaged as a treat for your dog.
In other words, rawhide is the inner part or layer of the hide of hoofed animals. It is made from that part of animals used to produce leather shoes, upholstery, and clothes.
How is it made?
The leather from animals is taken through a four-part process:
- First, preservative chemicals are added and sodium sulfide liming is used to remove hair from it
- Then, the hide is bleached in hydrogen peroxide
- Toxic dyes like Red 40 and Titanium oxide are added to make the product look shiny and beautiful
- Glues that use chemicals like Lead, Mercury and Arsenic are used to make the final product.
I hope you are still on your seat after reading that hair-raising list of toxic chemicals!
Can Your Dog Digest Rawhide?
No, in most cases rawhide will pass through the dog’s internal system and come out as poop.
Generally speaking, rawhides are not digestible. How well your dog is able to take it also depends on the size and breed.
If your dog eats large chunks of rawhide, it will enter and cause an oesophageal or intestinal obstruction. Apart from being hard to swallow, rawhide can also cause gastronomical issues since its fragments can remain inside the stomach for weeks, and in some cases, months.
While you cannot permanently stop chewing treats for your dog, what you can do is to look for alternate treats that have digestible ingredients.
What Should I Do if My Dog Swallows a Rawhide?
First of all, do not panic. Until you start to see some symptoms of discomfort in the dog, there is a decent chance that the rawhide will just pass through its system and come out at the rear end. That said, here is what you can do.
Immediately check your puppy’s mouth
The first thing to check is your puppy’s mouth to see if there is any treat wedged in there – look deep into its throat as well. It is advised to be thorough in your check-up since many a time, our beloved pups hide or ‘cheek’ a treat they don’t want to share. So, yes, be very active when you examine its mouth, tongue, cheek, and throat.
Remove the remaining pieces from the mouth
If you can see the remaining pieces of rawhide stuck in your puppy’s mouth, it is best to remove them manually, that is, with the help of your fingers. Make sure that you do not use any sharp tools like a fork or chopstick to remove it since it can hurt your little friend.
However, if the pieces remain stuck in the mouth even after several attempts to pull them out with your fingers, we would recommend you to follow the canine Heimlich maneuver – go behind your dog, wrap your hands around his abdomen, and squeeze your clasped hands right below his rib cage with a bit of pressure so that he would throw out the lodged product if any of it is still stuck in his throat area.
Here’s a video that demonstrates how to Heimlich your dog.
Check your surroundings to remove any pieces of rawhide
It is a crucial step to follow if your dog has swallowed rawhide, even though many people skip it. Look for any left-out pieces of rawhide in your surroundings that your dog might eat again.
You must remove it from the area before your furry friend picks it up with his mouth and swallows it again.
Call your vet immediately after checking your puppy’s mouth
Call your vet and tell them about the whole situation, even if you aren’t sure whether your dog has swallowed the pieces. Also, let them know if your pup has some pre-existing digestive issues, for this will help them understand the entire situation and guide you accordingly.
In most cases, the vet will tell you to closely monitor your pup for signs of vomiting, feeling uneasy, unusual lethargy, or more. They can also call you for immediate examination if they feel that the situation might be more complicated than usual. In any case, follow the professional’s advice rather than seeking a solution by yourself.
Keep a lookout for symptoms
After your vet asks you to monitor your pup for the day, it is on your part to check out its activities and observe any noticeable changes in their eating, drinking, and other regular activities. Even if you notice a minute change in their routine, you should take them to the vet.
Keep a check on your pups poop
It is certainly not a pleasant thing to do, but as a dog owner, it is your responsibility to check whether or not the pieces of rawhide have passed through its poop.
You might see small details or large chunks of the treatment as well, which is normal and, honestly, in a way, it’s a good sign since you will know that it’s passed out. However, if you notice blood in the poop or on the rear, immediately call the vet and let them know about it.
On the other hand, in case your dog feels constipated and doesn’t poop for 2-3 days, you need to call the vet since it can be a sign of bowel obstruction.
What To Do if Your Dog Swallows Rawhide – Symptoms To Watch Out For
As long as your dog poops out the rawhide, it would be fine, even if it acts funny until the whole piece passes through the stool. The trouble, however, begins when it shows the following symptoms.
Throwing up/Vomiting repeatedly
If your pup is throwing up repeatedly after swallowing the treat, take it to the nearby animal hospital or a vet ASAP, for there is a possibility that a piece has been lodged in its digestive tract and thus, needs immediate care.
Your dog might be choking or experiencing some pain in the throat; if he starts to breathe funny or has a shallow breath, then he might be feeling choked in his throat due to a lodged piece of rawhide.
Even if you have removed any stuck parts from his mouth, the work might be wedged in the esophagus of the dog, and thus, it will require you to take it to vet care immediately.
If your pup is usually quite active and jumps around the house and he shows signs of sluggishness after swallowing the treat, this might mean that there are bits and pieces still left in his mouth or throat.
Whether your dog is constipated or producing watery stools, immediately take it to medical care. Inability to poop might also mean bowel obstruction, and loose motions can be signs of either bowel obstruction or intestinal problems. In any case, it is essential to get a professional opinion.
Panic or pain
From extreme pacing, drooling, and heavy panting to whining, limping, hunching, or not settling at all – if your dog shows any of these signs even after a few days of swallowing the treat, you know what to do! Do not take any chances and blame it on the weather or similar causes, for it can be a severe issue to look into by a professional.
What To Do If My Dog Ate Beef Jerky?
Check if the beef jerky had toxic ingredients such as Xylitol or garlic.
The only thing you can do is call a vet, set an appointment, and pay a visit with your furry friend. However, before reaching the vet, you must pick up the package of the beef jerky and read its ingredients. Learn about them so you can keep an eye out for content that may have a toxic effect on your pup.
If you notice an ingredient (such as garlic or xylitol) that can be toxic for your dog, call your vet and tell them about the same. They might ask you a few questions about your pup’s activities or if there is any change in its behavior.
If you do not see any noticeable difference, the chances are that it is okay. Even so, your vet will guide you to observe your pet’s daily habits for several days closely.
If it shows a sign of lethargy, breathing problems, anxiety, or Vomiting, you should let your vet know about the same. If your pup has an upset stomach that can be ache, watery stools, or constipation, rush immediately to the nearest animal care hospital.
A Few Final Words
When it comes to your pup’s health, it is better safe than sorry. We recommend you provide your dog with an alternative dog treat instead of rawhide, which is difficult to digest and made from the most toxic of chemical processes.
You can give them homemade popsicles, DIY dog chew treats, homemade dog jerky, and more. Also, always consult your vet before giving treats to your dog, for they know the body type of your furry friend, and it helps in deciding what food may or may not suit them.
Thank you for going through the article we hope your questions are now answered and your pooch is out of trouble! If there are more questions, we request you to write them down in the comments section and we will get back to you with answers.