5 Best (and Safest) No-Hide Dog Chews
Rawhide provides hours of chewing entertainment and acts as a pacifier for many dogs. Unfortunately, Rawhide is not digestible and many dogs have problems passing it.
After various complaints about rawhide, including expensive surgeries for blockages and even dogs dying after eating rawhide, a market has emerged for alternatives to this potentially dangerous product.
I examined the 5 best and safest no-hide dog chews to see which is the best for entertaining my bored pups.
What’s wrong with rawhide?
Rawhide isn’t easily digested by dogs. If your dog only swallows very small pieces, indigestibility may not be an issue; it will simply act as a good source of fiber. If, on the other hand, your dog rips off larger pieces, the risk of blockage increases dramatically.
Many dogs have eaten or chewed rawhide all their lives with no issue. Many other dogs have needed costly surgery or even died after ingesting pieces of rawhide. Respected sources agree that rawhide is safe for dogs if they use it properly. Nonetheless, many people choose to avoid rawhide altogether in order to play it safe for their dog.
Rawhide is a byproduct of the leather-making industry. It contains chemicals and ingredients that may not be of the high caliber that you want your dog to eat. These ingredients may not make your dog sick immediately, but over time they may be less than ideal for your dog’s health. Unfortunately, sometimes rawhide is even contaminated and, in worse cases, could actually cause death.
Here is some more information about rawhide contamination and recalls.
What is no-hide?
Rawhide used to be the standard for entertaining dogs. Food-distributing toys are another great option, but many dogs aren’t as interested in chewing on rubber toys. Nothing replaces something that can be gnawed on and digested.
You and your dog can both be satisfied with these rawhide alternatives, and you won’t have to worry about trips to the vet because of obstruction. Each of these no-hide chews is highly digestible, but all may still serve as a choking hazard for dogs who rip off and try to swallow large pieces.
Such dogs should only be allowed the toughest chews, which break up very slowly and need to be carefully supervised. It may be best only to allow these dogs very heavy-duty food distributing toys.
Bully Sticks are perhaps the best alternatives to rawhide. These by-products of the meat industry are 100% beef. Each stick is a dried whole product, which means that it won’t break up into chunks as easily as composite products. Rather, your dog will only be able to rip short slivers off of it, which are easy to digest and swallow. Bully sticks take most dogs about as long to consume as rawhide. They are an awesome source of protein and most dogs of all sizes and breeds love them.
The esophagus is a wonderful whole ingredient treat for your dog. This crunchy chew is easier to break up than rawhide or bully sticks, so it is best for light chewers or for stuffing into a food distributing toy. The esophagus is a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin as well as protein for your dog.
The tendon is very high in glucosamine and chondroitin, so it’s great for your dog’s joints. It is a tough chew that most dogs find both enticing and challenging. A tendon from large animals tends to be a bit difficult for many dogs, but turkey tendon is an awesome choice for a single-ingredient, challenging chew for your dog.
Composite recipes attempt to mimic the physical attributes of rawhide. They are long-lasting and attractive to dogs while providing more vitamins and minerals than rawhide could.
These recipes usually have meat along with a flavoring agent like peanut butter as well as grains and gluten in order to create a challenging chew. If your dog has problems with allergies, composite recipes may not be as good as single-animal products. If you are looking for a balanced ingredient dog chew to add your dog’s routine, however, a high-quality composite may be perfect.
Ears are single animal treats which most dogs love. You can choose between pig, cow, deer, and sometimes other types of ear. As a rule, ears tend to be high in fat and greasy as a dried product and should be avoided. An occasional venison ear, however, can be a great treat for your dog. Most dogs make relatively quick work of ears, but they tend to shred in a way that is easy for your dog to digest.
Himalayan cheese chews are an amazing alternative to rawhide. These processed Yak cheese treats are very hard while not being at all bad for your dog’s teeth. They provide one of the longest-lasting chews that you are going to find in a rawhide alternative.
Even if your dog has issues with lactose, they should be fine with the yak chews, since lactose is removed in the process. Choose a very high-quality brand that doesn’t mix their cheese with additives or fillers, which can make it break up more quickly. A high-quality yak chew should last your dog some time and break up very slowly. When the piece becomes so small that it might be a choking hazard, you should remove it from your dog. This small piece can also be microwaved to make a yummy soft treat.
5 Best (and Safest) No-Hide Dog Chews
- HEALTHY, ALL-NATURAL AND SAFE. Only the best for your dogs means no preservatives, additives, or chemicals added to our products. Our Bully Sticks are carefully sourced from only Grass Fed, Free-Range...
- MORE THAN JUST ENTERTAINING YOUR DOG. Chewing on Bully Sticks provides stress relief and a sense of comfort for dogs. More than that, chewing on Bully Sticks becomes a fun and natural way to clean and...
- ODOR-FREE AND FRESH. Even if you don't notice the smell of bully sticks, your dog will. Our dog treats are loved by dog and human. Best For My Pets products are carefully prepared through a natural,...
These single-ingredient treats are a great option for your dog. Dogs love bully sticks, and it takes most dogs some time to chew them. They are resistant to breaking into pieces, and they are completely digestible. Dogs of all sizes love these sticks.
A common complaint about bully sticks, in general, is that they have a strong smell. These sticks advertise as odor-free; while some people certainly can sniff out an odor if they try, it’s unlikely to bother you as your dog chews near you.
- Single-ingredient beef treat free of preservatives or additives
- Provides a challenging chew for most dogs that rivals the time it would take to eat a rawhide
- Completely digestible and difficult for your dog to pull a chunk off of
- Great for your dog’s teeth, naturally removing tartar and plaque
- Completely odor-free and shouldn’t stain your dog’s fur or your furniture
- Extremely high-protein treat that will build your dog’s muscles
- Approved by USDA/FDA
- Some people complain about an odor, although most people don’t seem to be bothered by it
- Some are much thinner than others, so individual sticks in one package may be more or less appropriately sized for your dog
- PERFECT TO KEEP YOUR DOG BUSY AND ENJOYING - These chew sticks are healthy, delicious premium organic chews that keeps your dog busy enjoying the sticks. They are made out of totally natural material...
- NATURAL INGREDIENTS –The chew sticks' source is Nepal; they are made in and imported directly from Nepal. The chew sticks are made from 100% from Yak milk with no artificial ingredients and...
- EXCLUSIVE CHEWS FROM ANCIENT RECIPE - These are ‘A’ grade Yak chews sourced from the Himalayas that sink into dogs teeth. This is ancient tried and tested recipe from the mountains of Nepal. These...
EcoKind Pet Treats Himalayan Gold Yak Dog Chews
If you are sick of your dog making fast work of all of the natural chews that you buy for them, this Himalayan Yak chew may be the right choice for you. These chews are extremely long-lasting, even for the determined chewer. This is a great price for a pound of long-lasting chews.
There is a slight risk that your dog may break off a large piece, which can cause a blockage. The vast majority of dogs don’t get large pieces out, however. The makers suggest that you not leave the chew with your dog until it is all gone, but remove it as soon as it is a size that could be a choking hazard. The end piece can be microwaved to make a cheesy puff treat.
- All-natural ingredients
- Imported directly from Nepal and made from 100% yak milk with no artificial ingredients or additives
- Gentle on sensitive stomachs
- Milk is processed to remove lactose
- Affordable price for a pound of long-lasting chews
- Odorless and should not stain your furniture or your dog
- Some dogs can still break off pieces large enough to be an obstruction or choking hazard
- The final portion can be a choking hazard if you don’t take it away quickly enough
- Earth Animal Raw Hide No Hide Beef Chews 4" (5 Pack) The Safe Raw Hide Alternative. Fast Delivery
- The Safe Rawhide Alternative
- Hours of Safe Reliable Fun for you Dog!!
These highly digestible beef chews contain wholesome ingredients that will nourish your dog. They are free of negative additives and preservatives that may be used in rawhide. These wholesome chews are long-lasting for most dogs.
They are hand-rolled, cooked, and dried to make them digestible and nutritious. These chews do a good job of cleaning teeth and alleviating your dog’s anxiety. Average chewers take their time on these while powerful chewers may make quick work of them.
- Easily digestible chew containing beef, brown rice flour, beef gelatin, organic eggs, olive oil, banana, and pineapple.
- Humanely raised animals
- Crude protein of 65% and crude fat of only 3% for a high protein and low-fat
- Average chewers spend a long time, up to an hour on average, on this chew
- More expensive than some other options, especially if you’re used to rawhide prices
- Powerful chewers make quick work of it
- High-grain content in brown rice flour isn’t ideal for all dogs
- SUPERIOR QUALITY INGRIDIENT: All natural dog chew treat made from a single ingredient - 100% pure turkey tendon with NO additives, NO chemicals, NO preservatives, NO antibiotics, NO artificial flavors...
- HIGH PALATABILITY: Delicious single ingredient, high-protein, low-fat gourmet dog chews treats hand-made from American-sourced turkeys, slow roasted for maximum flavor and proven to please the most...
- LONG-LASTING CHEWS & EASY TO DIGEST: Multiple strands of turkey tendons hand-braided to form one chew, making the treat last longer. Give yourself a break by keeping your pet busy for a while. The...
Here is a single-ingredient chew that your dog will almost certainly love. The 100% pure turkey tendon is free of additives, preservatives, or anything that might be bad for your dog. This is a wonderful choice for dogs who may have allergies and need a single source of protein.
This chew contains 80% protein and only 3% fat so you can feel good feeding it to your dog even if they are on a weight loss diet. Tendon is a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin and is packed with collagen, all of which are healthy for your dog’s joints. Many dogs make relatively quick work of tendons compared to rawhide, but the flexible nature of this treat makes it a great option for stuffing into food toys.
- Single-ingredient chew uses only turkey
- Comes in a twisted rope, individual twists, a ring, or a pretzel shape
- Easy to digest
- Highly palatable and enticing to most dogs so that they will work to get them out of food toys as well as enjoying them as a chew toy
- Natural dental floss strengthens gums and cleans between teeth
- Turkey is a great choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs
- Tendon is a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin
- Free of additives, preservatives, chemicals, or any harmful ingredients
- Many dogs make relatively quick work of this chew
- More expensive than some other options, especially if you are accustomed to rawhide
- Some dogs may try to swallow individual strands, resulting in a choking hazard
- Made with Real American Farm-Raised Chicken
- Safe and Nutritious
These no-hide chicken chews are about as close to rawhide as you are going to find in an entirely digestible treat. They are made of chicken, chicken gelatin, flour, eggs, olive oil, bananas, and pineapple.
You know you’re giving your dog something high quality and high protein when you give them this treat. High crude protein is 70%. As such, this is a great source of muscle-building protein for your dog. Additionally, the chickens were humanely raised in the U.S. Most dogs take some time to get through these chews, similar to how long a rawhide would take.
- Made with real chicken as the first ingredient
- Completely digestible, even if your dog manages to swallow a bigger piece
- Durable chew lasts for a fair amount of time and removes plaque and tartar
- American farm-raised chickens with no added hormones, steroids, chemicals, or anything else.
- One of the options most like rawhide
- 70% protein and only 2% fat for a healthy muscle-building treat
- Some dogs have digestive upset from eating too much of it
- While chunks can be digested, they may still be a choking hazard
In Conclusion: Best No-Hide Dog Chew
If you are looking for the best alternative to rawhide, Bully Sticks Odor-Free – 6-Inch All-Natural Dog Treats Premium Beef Dog Chews are likely the best pick for you. These take some time to chew and are 100% single-ingredient beef, just like rawhide. Unlike rawhide, however, they are fully digestible and a great source of protein for your dog.
As a byproduct of the meat industry, bully sticks aren’t terribly expensive, but they’re not as cheap as rawhide either. Most people are satisfied that these sticks last a long time, are fully digestible, and tend not to break up easily. Their dogs really love them as well.