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How Long Does Rawhide Take To Digest In Dog?

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It takes 1 to 3 hours for rawhide to digest in a dog, but it largely depends on the dog breed and what the rawhide is made of. If the dog is allergic to substances used in manufacturing the rawhide, it can cause diarrhea and indigestion.

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What is Rawhide?

Rawhide refers to an animal skin not yet exposed to tanning.

It originates from the skin of buffalo, cattle, or even deer.  You can get a rawhide treats from cow’s inner layer.

You can also get it in a horse hides. To make nice rawhide for the dogs, the manufacturer first cleans the hides before cutting and pressing them into small pieces.

To make them enticing to a dog, they make different shapes, flavors, and sizes.

You can treat your dog with a rawhide of beef or chicken flavor. Liver flavors are also available. If you are wondering how long the rawhide takes to digest, check below.

The digestion of the rawhide is different in dogs. In some cases, if your dog swallows a large piece of the rawhide, it may last for months in its stomach. It is risky since it might get gastrointestinal issues.

To protect your dog from related issues, get alternative rawhide made up of digestive ingredients. 

Rawhidebones can be very harmful to your dog. They also have some benefits. Rawhidediminishes the bad breath from the dog.

Theyalso massage the gum. They scrape away the plague. They ensure that the teethhave no build up tartar. They also entertain your dog

The rawhide can be a death trap for your dog. If possible, once it chews, you can manually remove it and put it away.

If your dog swallows a big piece of rawhide, it can cause a blockage. The obstruction can occur in different places.

Funny enough, some dogs attempt to also swallow hermit crabs — but it’s never easy for them. Either way, it could cause serious obstruction for your dog.

Can Dogs Digest Rawhide?

Image result for dogs digest rawhide

Image Source: Warren Photographic

Not necessarily. Except the rawhide has been well-chewed by your dog.

Undigested rawhide can find its place in certain areas of the dog’s body.

How Long Does Rawhide Take To Digest In Dog and Where do Rawhide Lodge in the Dog’s Body

1. The Trachea

The trachea is also known as the wide pipe. It is one area the rawhide can get stuck. Some of the signs showing that the rawhide is in trachea include; choking and drooling, distress, and a frantic attempt of removing it using the paws.

If you note these symptoms, don’t ignore. Seek help from your veterinary right away. It is an emergency case.

2. Esophagus

Apartfrom the trachea, the hide can also get stuck in the throat. These are the tubethat connects the mouth of a dog to the stomach. The signs will includedrooling and even regurgitation.

3. The Stomach and Intestine

The curvy intestine area is another possible place where the rawhide can get logged.

Some of the symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. A dog may lose appetite and strain to defecate. Your dog may also experience abdominal pain.

If you realize your dog has any sign of a blockage, you should seek help immediately. The blockage is life-threatening.

The swollen rawhide can develop a hole bringing a dangerous infection called peritonitis.

Prevention Measure

You can’t eliminate all the possible dangers. You can protect your dog only to a certain extent. When giving your dog rawhide, give it an appropriate size.

The size will depend on the size and the weight of your dog. After chewing for some time, the volume becomes smaller. 

You can remove it manually. It will save you from possible stress in case of obstruction. If possible, get time to supervise your dog, once you give it a rawhide.

What to Do if Dog Swallows Rawhide: 3 Methods That You Can Use To Help Your Dog to Pass an Obstruction

Method 1:

i). Decide Whether To Use Home Treatment

You need to check the seriousness of the obstruction. These are danger signs to check; vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive diarrhea, weakness, lack of appetite.

Also, check if it has bloating and dehydration. If you see those symptoms, take your dog to a veterinary immediately.

ii). Check If It’s Possible For the Obstruction to Pass Without Any Help

If the rawhide is small, it is likely to pass. But if your dog swallows a big rawhide, it might be impossible to go through the digestive system of your dog.

If that’s the case, seek the help of a dog specialist right away. Your dog might require urgent surgery.

iii). Think of Additional Risks

Apart from blockage, think of any other additional risk that can occur as a result. Remember that the swollen part can easily create a hole.

That is a high risk. It should also act a motivation to seek help right away.

Method 2

i). Home treatment

You can decide to let the obstruction pass naturally, but also be vigilant. If you see the vital signs, seek the help of a specialist immediately.

Keep on monitoring the heartbeat and the breathing rate of a dog. Also, check the bathroom schedules and if it has an appetite.

ii). Watch for Vomiting

Vomiting can be a sign of gastrointestinal blockage. In some cases, once the dog eats something big, it might vomit it.

But if you realize that is vomiting without removing the rawhide, avoid any further delay. You might lose your dog in the process.

iii). Look for Evidence

If your dog swallows the rawhide, it’s likely to expel it through the stool.

If you are not sure if the rawhide is still stuck, you need to keep on checking the feces of your dog. Some dog may expel it immediately while some may take some sometime.

Method 3

i). Getting Veterinary Treatment

If you suspect the rawhide is still not going through your dog’s digestive system, take him to the vet.

He can perform an X-ray or an endoscopy to determine the blockage. He can also do an ultrasound on the dog.

ii). Discuss treatment options

Once you take the dog to the vet, you can decide on the best method to use. He can use an endoscopy.

He can also use traditional surgery removal. You don’t have to worry about the system of your dog before surgery. The medication and fluids will help it stabilize.

3. Post-Treatment Care

Once your dog is out of operation, he needs proper care. He might require a different diet and a different routine. He also needs your love and attention to feel more secure.

In the future, avoid giving it any rawhide or any indigestible objects to minimize the risks. A healthy and easy-to-digest rawhide treat for your dog is Pet ‘n Shape Skewers. You can get it from Chewy or Amazon. : Pet 'n Shape 3 Pack Chik 'n Skewers (12 oz) : Pet ...

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Rawhide

How long does it take for something to pass through a dog’s digestive system?

Every dog requires 9-24 hours to digest any food through the digestive track. Hard foods like rawhide can take up to 2 weeks or even a month to digest. They often cause obstruction and should be reported to the Vet.

What should I do if my dog swallowed a rawhide?

First, stop the dog from chewing more rawhides, take it away and either replace with a soft dog treat. Ask the dog to sit down and massage the throat, then call a veterinarian.

How do you know if your dog has a blockage?

When a dog is vomiting profusely, feeling weakness, diarrhea, or other symptoms, then you know there’s a blockage in the dog’s intestines or stomach.

Will a dog still eat if they have an obstruction?

A dog will still manage to eat but it’ll be extremely difficult to swallow any food if they have bowel obstruction. You should consult your veterinarian immediately to get the obstruction sorted.


Feeding your dog rawhide has its advantages and disadvantages. It comes in a different size, shapes, and flavors. To protect your dog, supervise it as it eats the rawhide.

If the rawhide gets very small, remove it from the dog’s mouth. When deciding on the piece of the rawhide to give, check your dog’s weight and size.

If there are any obstructions, the dog will show some signs. If you notice the vital signs, don’t ignore, take the dog to the vet immediately.

Depending on the seriousness, he can decide to perform an endoscopy or an operation. Before leaving, seek to understand all the post-treatment care that you should give your dog.