One of the most commonly asked questions about rawhide chews is whether or not chewing rawhide is healthy and safe for dogs and puppies and if there are any dangers. A few years ago, one of the major medical schools in the USA conducted a laboratory test to answer this question. The results showed that in groups of test dogs, even in those fed rawhide three times a day, there were no ill effects. On the other hand, the chewing of rawhide had the beneficial effect of removing plaque from the animals' teeth and keeping them cleaner. This is significant because periodontal disease is a real problem in many adult dogs.
When giving rawhide, you should always supervise your dog, especially if you are not comfortable with his chewing habits. If your dog likes to chew a hunch of rawhide and try to swallow it, trim off the large softened pieces so they don't get caught in your dog's throat.
Dogs will swallow pieces of rawhide and these will pass easily through the digestive tract. Although choking or intestinal obstruction with rawhide is very rare, it could potentially occur and common-sense prevention measures should be taken. A dog and a rawhide chew should not be left alone together unsupervised. If your dog is a "gulper" who generally swallows large chunks of food or other items, remove the rawhide treat when it becomes small enough to swallow.
If your dog has gastrointestinal disease or is eating a therapeutic diet, you should consult your veterinarian before feeding any chews.
Do not give puppies large amounts of rawhide, as their digestive systems cannot handle protein excesses well.
Thus chewing rawhide is safe, but you should buy quality rawhide chews that will not only satisfy your dog's natural urge to chew, they will also help keep him healthy, and always supervise your pet when he chews to minimize the extremely rare risks of choking and intestinal blockage.