Finding Safe Dog Chews


I would not advise giving dogs rawhide chews imported from abroad unless there is an indication of country of origin. This is because of the many steps in processing from various countries of origin include cow hides from India where widespread cruelty has been documented in “cow shelters”. For details visit my website Hotspot Pets 6-7 Inch “USDA Certified Facility Rawhide Dog Chew Bones from Grass Fed Brazilian Cows” raise another issue. Should we be importing these and the beef from Brazil because of its assault on the Amazon forest to clear land for agriculture and beef production?

There should also be a statement, as with Master Paws Rawhide from Mexico, distributed by Menard Inc. Eau Claire WI “Contains no chrome, arsenic or other toxic elements”.

Tannery industries are listed as the most polluting activity due to the wide type of chemicals applied during the conversion of animal skins into leather. Chromium salts, Phenolics, Tannins, organic matter, Azodyes, Cadmium compounds, Cobalt, Copper, Antimony, Barium, Lead, Selenium, Mercury, Zinc, Arsenic, Polychlorinated Biphyenls (PCB), Nickel, Formaldehyde resins, and Pesticide residues. are constantly released to the environment in tannery wastewater. Many of these chemicals pose a significant health risk to workers in tanneries and may be retained in rawhide chews given to dogs.

Some dogs enjoy chewing Nylabones and the Chewbrush which is FDA food-safe and durable plastic with no BPA, latex, or impurities and has tooth-shaped slots designed to fit and clean all sides of your dog’s teeth at once. Raw beef shank or rib bones are acceptable. Cooked bones can splinter and perforate the guts if swallowed. They are also harder, like antlers, sheep horns and hooves also sold for dogs to chew that can all result in costly cracked tooth problems. Check www.earthanimal for safe, non-hide dog chews.

Whatever chews you decide upon, limit chewing time to 10-15 minutes daily and remove any small pieces the dog might swallow and have an intestinal obstruction especially with the knotted end of raw hide chews.

Cattle penis “bully” sticks, tracheas (wind pipes) and beef tendons, if from the U.S. and simply dry-processed, may be safer and help keep teeth clean. Widely sold dried pig parts for dogs to chew should be avoided because of the not infrequent recalls because of Salmonella and other bacterial contamination that can put entire families at risk. All such animal parts may have been subjected to atomic radiation which can result in radiolytic break-down products which could be toxic.

Dogs enjoy chewing and it is a relaxing activity that does help keep teeth and gums clean, but often only on one side since many dogs tend to chew more on one side tan the other. So regular teeth cleaning with a brush and veterinary approved paste or a home-prepared paste of equal parts salt and baking soda in equal parts aloe vera gel and Green tea, with a drop of essential oil of Thyme every evening is advisable.

Get puppies and kittens used to having their teeth brushed early in life can make this health-care maintenance a breeze later in life. The costs and suffering from dental problems especially in cats and small-breed and flat-faced, (brachycephalic) dogs is a major health issue as per my posting, Dental Problems in Companion Animals, on my website.

From ANIMAL DOCTOR Syndicated newspaper column June 2022


Dogs enjoy chewing which helps keep their teeth clean and gums healthy. But hard bones and deer antlers can crack their teeth while bone chips, corn cobs and the knotted ends of rawhide chews can be swallowed and cause intestinal perforation or obstruction calling for emergency surgery.

Many rawhide chews for dogs are from cattle-hides processed abroad and can contain toxic chemicals so are best avoided. I also advise against purchasing dried pig parts such as ears and feet which can be contaminated with Salmonella and other potentially harmful bacteria putting pets and family members at risk I recently gave my dog a 10-inch stick of highly compacted shredded rawhide. Within less than ten minutes, she had chewed and swallowed two-thirds! I was concerned she might get a gut impaction so gave her milky water to drink and plenty of exercise but would never again give her such a product labelled all natural and made in the U.S.

I have since tried Earth Animal’s No-Hide® Chews for dogs. The flavor I gave my dog was basically plant-based (contains egg), was very impressed with the simple, clean ingredients (they were listed on the front of the package), and how long they lasted. Our dog relished chewing the tasty roll for 15 minutes until I took it away. She had only gnawed away a few inches and the soft ends hardened as they dried for later chewing.

I always recommend allowing dogs to chew for short periods of time just to help keep the teeth clean and for some tasty boredom busting. And because we all want the best, most enjoyable chewing experiences for our dogs, it is important to remember that they should not be left unattended when chewing as anything that goes into their mouth can potentially become a choking hazard. I encourage you to visit Earth Animal’s Chew School to learn how they suggest choosing the right chew!