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I've heard a lot of varying things...so I thought I would turn to the people I trust and seek your insight!

A few weeks ago we were at a BBQ at a friends house with Mowgli, a yellow lab (but fully grown PUPPY) and a miniature pinscher.  The dogs were in love with each other, and it was fun to watch them play...and hilarious since they are all such varying heights, sizes, etc.  (believe it or not, Mowgli and the lab were the most scared of the maybe 10 pound min pin - who had a mean attitude!  Very territorial and growley).  Eventually, we all needed a break from their running and "spazzing".  So, Jeremy handed out rawhides - little ones (even tho Toby the min pin was not too keen on sharing them) about the size of pencils - to all the doggies.  They were obsesssed with them.  It kept them occupied for a good 1.5 hours.

 

I picked some up and gave one to Mogwli the other night.  It was the same thing.  He was so involved in the rawhide I had so much time to get things done without him barking or hanging off my pant leg.  If I walked by him he would guard that thing with his life as though I was going to rip it from his little puppy grip!  I've never seen him do that with anything else... (well, maybe his dad's sunglasses =)  But I have since heard that they can cause obstructions and someone mentioned to me they could possibly cause them to choke (which, I suppose is a risk of any toy..).  Is it safe to let him have these every once in awhile?  I'm not willing to risk him getting a serious medical condition so that I can have peace when I'm cleaning.  But, I'm curious as to what you all might know about them?

 

Much Appreciated!

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Comment by Laurie, Nug & Puk on May 20, 2012 at 6:55pm

Wow Grace, that had to have shocked both you and Mark. My 3 will protect bones from each other but I'm glad to say that they have never growled at me when I take them away. I hope Mark took it away from him for a while! It is sometimes a hard lesson for us all to remember that they are dogs Huh!

Comment by Jo Bill on May 20, 2012 at 6:50pm

WoW!  Pemon must've really liked that rawhide to do that to Mark!  I'll bet he got in LOTS of trouble.  Gizmo has a rawhide last night and Terry thought it looked too small and we should take it away.  I decided I would wait until he found something else to do ..... he gets bored with one thing sometimes and finds something else.  It got to be bedtime and when I looked for the chew it was gone!  Guess I didn't have to worry about that anymore .... and I really wasn't worried anyway.  It'll all come out in the end ...... hahahahahahaha!

Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on May 20, 2012 at 5:41pm

Jo, whenever we give Pemon a real bone and it has some meat on it, we make him take it outside to eat.  Our old next door neighbors sent Pemon a rawhide bone with knots in it.  He had it hidden for a few weeks and then pulled it out the other day.  In the past when we bought him this, he didn't want to have anything to do with it, which suited us just fine.  But he was working on this last night and had it all unwrapped.  Mark went to take it away from Pemon and Pemon did something to Mark that he has never done.  He growled, bared his teeth and snapped at Mark.  Whoa.............needless to say Mark really yelled at him.  I don't think Pemon will ever do that again.

Comment by Jo Bill on May 18, 2012 at 2:25pm

Kristen, we gave Gizmo small, rolled rawhide chews when he was about 10 weeks old.  They were about 8" long.  I noticed one night that he chewed one down to about 1/2 and then ........... swallowed the whole thing!  From that moment on, he never got the small ones again.  We do, however, buy the large rawhide chews for him now.  He likes to choose which one he wants out of the package.  I buy an assortement of flavors in one bag and lay them out on the floor in front of him.  He sniffs each one, sometimes coming back to sniff certain ones a second time.  Then, he grabs one and trots off like he's just won a prize.  We let him chew them until it looks like they are too small for him and then they get thrown away.  NEVER buy chews that have knots in them!!!!!!  We had a Schipperke who swallowed the knot whole and had a slight obstruction.  We were lucky that he was able to pass it, but it caused him a lot of pain and a vet visit.

 

We buy knuckles for Gizmo to chew most of the time now ... or a hard bone (non-flavored because it gets into the carpet UGH!).  We still throw them away when they look like they could be a hazard to him.  Sounds wasteful, but I'd rather waste than harm my puppy.

 

Hope this helps.

Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on May 16, 2012 at 7:47pm

Problem is Pedro will advise Mowgli to perform the surgeries... ;)

Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on May 16, 2012 at 7:40pm

Mowgli should talk to Alessandra's Pedro regarding stuffed toys.  He performs surgery on all of them. We don't have the problem with Pemon.  Thank Heavens.

Comment by Kristen on May 16, 2012 at 4:19pm

Thank you all so much for all the information.  I do think I will continue to let Mowgli have the rawhides - but as special treats when i am able to keep an eye on him.  Just the other day I had a very long day at work and had some things I needed to get done at home and I wanted to workout but didn't want to put him in his kennel to go to the gym as he had been in his kennel long enough.  So, I compromised.  I popped in a workout video, and, since it's next to impossible to be jumping around without a doodle being right there under your feet, I let him have a rawhide and watched him while I exercised.  It gave me the 45 minutes I needed, and, he stayed safe and happy.  When I was done and the rawhide had gotten soft and had expanded, I took it away (even though he was holding his jaw SO TIGHT around my fingers his little head was shaking - serious!) and threw it away.  I won't give him plush toys anymore because i know he eats the stuffing, but, I feel like I can moniter the rawhides a little better.

Thanks again everyone!

Comment by Laurie, Nug & Puk on May 15, 2012 at 9:23pm

I have to agree with both of you also! Everything has it's risks, I know my dogs eat a lot of things outside that they should not, but hey, dogs will be dogs no matter how much I treat them like children, heck my kids ate lots of disgusting things too!

Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on May 15, 2012 at 7:05pm

You are absolutely right Dianne.  Everyone has to make their own decision whether to let them have rawhide or not.  And the problem is they do eat everything.  When Pemon was small any little black "whatever" on the floor he would eat immediately.  Didn't matter what it was.  All you can do is keep an eye on them.

Comment by Dianne and Dulcie on May 15, 2012 at 6:56pm

Kristen - I just recently saw all the negative stuff on rawhide chews, but I guess the choking and obstruction stuff can happen with any number of things.  I have had such issues with Dulcie trying to eat wood, string, plastic,(Even pennies - Jeez!)etc. that I finally reasoned out the rawhide was better.

I have owned dogs all my life and have always let them chew on rawhide without incident, but we all have to make our own decisions about the risk!

 I have been letting her chew on Purina Busy Bones Rawhide rolls (not the Busy Bones, but the rawhide rolls - they come in two sizes and have a meaty kind of center) and when she gets the end really soft and chewable, I clip it off with scissors to keep her from swallowing too much.  She's perfectly happy to start gnawing again.

I, too, needed a little bit of time to cook dinner, etc.!  We also do quite a bit of car riding and it helps to have something for her to chew on besides my car seat or her leash! 

I never let her chew without being somewhere close by and I don't leave them in her crate, either.  Hope this helps!

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