4 bags of dog chews

Best Rawhide Alternative Chews

Why you should switch from rawhide treats to a natural chew

Any good pet owners want to keep their dogs (and dogs' teeth) happy. Happy dog, happy life! I think that's what they say. But finding the right dog chew can sometimes be a challenge since there are so many options to choose from. When looking for rawhide alternative chews, you're really looking for a natural chew for your dog.

As you may or may not already know, rawhide and rawhide bone are chemical-laden and can cause intestinal, esophageal, and airway blockages. If you’re asking, “what's wrong with rawhide? is rawhide bad for my dog?” read our article about rawhide here.

In this article, we will share with you some of the best rawhide alternative chews for your pup such as bully sticks and other 100% natural healthy chews.

What are the Safest Sized Chews for Dogs?

When choosing chews, consider the size that is right for your dog first. This one’s easy, just make sure that the chew is big enough to stick out of both sides of your dog’s mouth. Smaller ones may cause choking if the dog accidentally swallows it whole, especially if it's delicious! Now, let’s get right into 7 rawhide alternatives that you can give your pet.

Sweet Potato & Salmon Chews

These are a softer chew and dog treat: great for a senior dog, small dog, and adorable dog.  One of the best rawhide chew alternatives is salmon & sweet potato chews. It may be softer chew but it will still give your dog plenty of benefits. The sweet potato chews are either dehydrated or dried. If your dog has allergies, this is an excellent choice but always consult your vet beforehand. If your dog has few or soft teeth, this can help reduce tooth fractures while getting a tasty reward. These chews can be quick dog treats or long-lasting if long as your pup doesn't have too many teeth! (Send us a toothless dog picture, please!)

Ear Chews

Ear chews are not so long-lasting compared to other chews like a bully stick. Nonetheless, your dog will still definitely enjoy this snacktivity. Your pet can get numerous benefits from ear chews. They also help in maintaining clean teeth. Cow ears and Pig Ears are among the most popular. Texture-wise, Pig Ears are more of a big crunchy potato chip and Cow Ears are like toasted bread. Like potato chips, keep in mind that pig ears contain more fat. If you have older dogs, they’re more prone to liver issues and pancreatitis. So keep the fat content in check. Try to avoid giving a whole ear to smaller dogs. Since it’s fatty, it may cause an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Himalayan Dog Chew

For vegetarian pet parents with an aggressive chewer in the house, go for Himalayan chews. Some dogs may be chewing on them for a week before they finish it, it all depends on the type of chewer! Himalayan chews are usually made up of 3 basic ingredients such as yak’s milk, cow's milk, and lime juice. Take note that they’re hard, but your furry friend will definitely enjoy gnawing away at this and it's a great dental chew. These are a delicious reward for canines looking to sink their teeth into a project.

Antler Chews

Antler chews are fantastic rawhide alternatives and dogs love them. Note to dog owner: Antlers are naturally shed by the animal, no animals were hurt in this process! However, when you’re buying antler chews, know that they’re not all the same. For example, elk antlers are less dense compared to deer antlers. If you’re worried about your dog getting tooth fractures, go for elk antler chews or moose antler chews. Also, your dog may like split antlers more than whole ones so that your dog's teeth can reach the marrow immediately without having to chew on the hard outer shell.

Bully Sticks 

Bully sticks are made from just one ingredient, which is beef pizzle. Which is just beef, but we will explain pizzle in another article. Bully sticks are softer compared to other chews, so no need to worry about tooth injury. Bully sticks are tough but will soften as your dog chews. They are great for healthy teeth and as satisfying as raw bones. The best bully sticks do and frankly should have a "natural" odor. Make sure your Bully Sticks are not dipped in any artificial casing to mask the odor. If you really can't stand the smell, try another rawhide alternative option to make sure your dog is chewing something 100% natural. Note: These are high in protein so if your pet food lacks nutrients, your dog may get an upset stomach.

Other Rawhide Alternatives 

Maybe you have a dog who’s been used to rawhides. You can choose a chew that can closely resemble rawhide chews. These alternatives contain no hides from beef, pork, and other animals. Instead, they’re made from pork, salmon, chicken, beef, even a cow hoof. It would feel like rawhide to your dog but it’s just one single-ingredient, instead of a long list of ingredients, many of which you can't pronounce.

Top Benefits of Chews for Dogs

It’s natural for dogs to chew on something. It’s not always a sign of bad behavior. It’s part of their instinct to gnaw, and it gives them plenty of benefits doing so. Here are some of the benefits of chews for dogs.  Chews are great for your dog’s dental health. They clean the dog’s gums and teeth because chewing can scrape away plaque and tartar build-up. Chewing also encourages the production of antibacterial saliva that can clean your dog’s mouth.  Your dog can handle stress and anxiety better if they have a chew to gnaw on. Chewing for dogs is relaxing and calming. If your dog is still getting used to you not being around the house, for example, give him a chew so he can be busy for hours until you return.  Avoid destructive chewing and your dog's boredom. Have you been having problems with your dog chewing on your shoes or furniture? Don’t get mad at your dog or punish them. It’s part of their nature to chew. Give them chews that are safe, tasty, and healthy so they can chew to their heart’s content.


Even with these top 7 rawhide alternative chews, it may still be a bit challenging to pick one for your dog. If you’re not so sure what your dog prefers, go for the softer ones first. You can then observe how fast your dog can finish it. Keep in mind to get the right size chews, too, so that your dog won’t accidentally swallow it. Giving the right chew to your buddy will keep him happy, busy, and well-behaved! Got questions about rawhide alternative chews? Contact us! We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

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