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D2004-47

Dear Daisy Dog

Is rawhide an acceptable gift for a dog? Some people say yes, but others say rawhides aren’t safe.

Daisy Responds

It depends on the dog – and the rawhide.

I love Chew-eez brand rawhide strips, and research has shown they help remove plaque from teeth.

I also like an occasional rawhide bone, but thanks to my brother Sam, we don’t have them in the house. Sam swallows huge chunks, and Mom is afraid they will cause a blockage.

Rawhide chews are also inappropriate in homes where dogs fight over prized possessions or might bite a person who tried to take the chew from the dog.

Responsible chewers like yours truly can be given brand name rawhides, preferably from U.S. companies.

Bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, which sometimes contaminate generic rawhide chews, can infect dogs and humans, causing vomiting and diarrhea.

Furthermore, some foreign-made rawhides have been contaminated with such chemicals as arsenic and formaldehyde.

One more caution: Because even small pieces of rawhide can get caught in the back of the throat, always supervise your dog when he chews rawhide.

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