It can be extremely alarming to learn that your dog has swallowed a rawhide strip. Once you realize that your dog has swallowed a rawhide strip, you will want to know what is likely to happen next, and what you can do to help the dog. This article has the answers.
If your dog swallowed rawhide strip, it is at risk of either choking or developing an internal obstruction. But if you are lucky, the rawhide strip may just go through the dog’s digestive system, and come out whole in poop.
The biggest problem that arises when a dog swallows a rawhide strip is in the fact that the dog is unable to digest it/break it down.
In fact, once the strip is inside the dog’s stomach, it starts absorbing moisture, and swelling up. This is what makes it an internal obstruction hazard.
Therefore if your dog swallowed rawhide strip, the best you can hope for is for the strip to go through the dog’s digestive system, and come out as poop.
Whether that is actually possible depends on factors like the size of the strip and the size of the dog.
For instance, if a small puppy swallowed rawhide bone or strip, chances of it going through its digestive system and coming out as poop are lower.
That is because the puppy’s digestive tract is narrow.
But if a big, mature French Bulldog swallowed rawhide strip, things are different. It may just go through the digestive system and come out as poop.
That is because a big mature French Bulldog’s digestive tract is likely to be wider…
Any case in which a dog ate rawhide and seems to be experiencing distressing symptoms warrants an urgent veterinary consultation.
What Are Rawhide Strips Made Out Of?
In order to understand what is likely to happen if your dog swallowed rawhide strip, it is important to first have basic insight on the rawhides manufacturing process.
As it turns out, rawhide strips literally come from raw hides. So the makers pick raw cow or horse hides and clean them. Then they process them into the ‘treats’ we refer to as rawhide strips.
Since they come from raw hides, dogs are unable to digest them.
In fact, some dogs are even unable to swallow them properly: they choke on them in the process.
If a dog swallows down a raw hide strip, it often ends up with an internal obstruction. This is because far from undergoing digestion, the rawhide strip actually starts drawing moisture from the dog’s belly, and swelling up.
The key thing is to understand that the rawhide strips come from actual raw hide.
Once you have insight into that fact, answering the why is rawhide bad for dogs question becomes easier.
Similarly, answering the can I make rawhide dog bones or treats out of bacon question becomes possible.
And now you are also better placed to answer a question like the one on is it okay to give my dog rawhide bones every once in a while?
You now generally see that because it comes from actual raw hide, the rawhide strip is a choking hazard for a dog. And even if a dog swallows without choking, there is still the internal blockage risk.
How Does A Dog End Up Swallowing A Rawhide Strip?
The ideal expectation is for the dogs to chew on rawhide strips slowly and patiently.
Unfortunately, the dog naturally being a scavenging carnivore is unable to chew slowly and patiently.
The dog prefers to chew whatever it gets minimally, before proceeding to swallow it.
It is within that context, then, that a dog ends up swallowing the rawhide strip it should ideally chew patiently.
So you find that a dog ate a piece of rawhide, then proceeded to swallow it almost whole.
Generally, the dog eats rawhide too fast, and this is what leads to problems.
This is how you end up with situations in which the dog swallowed big piece of rawhide, dog swallowed rawhide twist or the dog ate large piece of rawhide then swallowed it whole.
Cases in which you find that a dog swallowed rawhide stick or dog ate too much rawhide (leading to problems) are also within this context.
And if your dog swallowed rawhide strip, this is likely to have been the background to it.
So the problem is in that the dog is unable to chew the rawhide slowly and patiently, as expected.
The dog, viewing the raw hide strip as ‘food’, chews it minimally, before proceeding to swallow it. And that is what in turn leads to problems.
What Happens If A Dog Swallows Rawhide Strip?
There are three possible outcomes, if a dog swallowed rawhide strip.
Firstly, if a dog swallowed rawhide strip, it may choke on it.
Secondly, if a dog swallowed rawhide strip, it may manage to go down the throat, only to cause an internal blockage once inside. So you end up with rawhide stuck in dog’s stomach.
Thirdly and if you are lucky, if a dog swallowed rawhide strip, the strip may just go through the dog’s digestive system, and come out whole as poop.
These would still be the possible outcomes if the dog swallowed rawhide chew of any other variety.
Thus if, for instance, you had the what happens if my dog swallowed a rawhide stick question, the answer is along these lines.
What actually happens depends on factors like the size of the rawhide strip and the size of the dog.
If the rawhide strip was small, and the dog is big, then chances of it going through the digestive system and coming out as poop are higher.
But if the rawhide strip was big, and the dog is small, then things are different. Chances of it going through the digestive system and coming out as poop are lower.
All in all, any case in which the dog swallowed rawhide chew whole would be very worrisome.
Like a case in which a dog ate rawhide stick and swallowed it whole would be reason for great unease.
Similarly, if my puppy swallowed a rawhide bone (even a small one), I would be greatly worried. This is because the puppy’s digestive system may not be broad enough to allow the rawhide bone to pass through.
Does Rawhide Break Down In A Dogs Stomach?
If your dog swallowed rawhide strip, one of the major questions you will probably have is as to whether rawhide breaks down in a dog’s stomach.
In other words, does rawhide dissolve in the stomach of a dog? And if yes, how long does rawhide take to digest in dog stomach?
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that raw hide doesn’t break down in a dog’s stomach.
A dog’s stomach is unable to digest raw hide. Therefore the how long does it take for rawhide to digest in dogs question is redundant.
The best one can hope for, if their dog swallowed rawhide strip, is for it to go through the digestive system and come out whole as poop.
Even if you research on how to help dog digest rawhide, you will see that there is nothing much you can do.
The fact that dogs are unable to digest raw hide has huge implications.
There are apparently numerous reports of dogs dying as a result of eating raw hide strips. One even wonders how the authorities allow these strips to remain in the market.
You may never hear stories of Walmart rawhide bones killing dogs, obviously because of corporate profitability and reputation concerns.
But given the structure of these rawhide ‘treats’, it is hard to see how they can be good for dogs…
All in all, if your dog swallowed rawhide strip, you shouldn’t entertain hopes that the rawhide strips will be digested.
My Dog Swallowed Rawhide Strip – Should I Be Worried?
You have reason to worry, if your dog swallows rawhide strip.
In the immediate term, the dog may choke on the rawhide strip.
If, for instance, my puppy just swallowed a big piece of pressed rawhide, this would be my biggest concern.
For instance, if my puppy just swallowed a 3 inch rawhide whole, I would worry about the choking risk.
But sometimes, dogs manage to swallow the raw hide strips without choking. That isn’t the end of worries though.
Even if a dog doesn’t choke on raw hide, it may end up experiencing an internal blockage due to it.
Thus if your dog swallowed the strip, you may find yourself having to seek a rawhide blockage remedy.
Of course, if you are lucky, the raw hide strip may just pass down the dog’s digestive system. Then it may come out as poop…
We must not seem as if we are demonizing the raw hide strips unduly.
There are folks who have given their dogs raw hide for years, without incident.
You ask them, has your dog ever gotten ill from eating a rawhide bone and they tell you ‘no’.
So problems only arise if a dog swallows a raw hide chew. That is when risks like those of internal obstruction and choking come into picture.
And if your dog swallowed rawhide strip, you have a reason to worry about those.
What Should I Do If My Dog Swallowed A Rawhide Strip?
If your dog just swallowed a rawhide, and it seems to be choking on it, you can try to gently dislodge it.
In case of choking on a small rawhide strip, the Heimlich maneuver may be helpful.
If your dog swallowed a rawhide without choking, you may need to watch out for signs of internal obstruction.
How do I know if my dog has a rawhide blockage?
The dog may become very lethargic. There may be loss of appetite. And there may also be bloating, perhaps with vomiting. Sometimes, the dog may be unable to poop properly. So the poop gets stuck.
Diarrhea can sometimes also occur, as a sign of this sort of blockage.
If you notice any hint of blockage, you need to rush the dog to the vet.
The vet will then examine the dog, then establish what the best way to get the raw hide out is.
Final Verdict – Dog Swallowed Rawhide Strip
If your dog just swallowed a rawhide strip, there is a risk of the dog choking on the strip. These strips are choking hazards for dogs.
If your dog manages to take in the rawhide strip without choking, there is the risk of the strip causing an internal obstruction.
This is because the dog is unable to digest the rawhide strip. In fact, once the strip is inside the dog’s belly, it starts drawing in water and swelling.
In case a dog has internal obstruction due to swallowing a raw hide strip, there are symptoms.
Those symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, bloating, vomiting and diarrhea in some cases. The dog’s poop may also keep on getting stuck.
Then again, if you are lucky, the dog that swallowed the raw hide strip may manage to have it pass through the digestive system, and come out (whole) in poop.
In case your dog swallowed rawhide strip, and seems to be choking, you can try gently dislodging the strip. The Heimlich maneuver can be helpful here.
In case your dog swallowed the rawhide strip without choking, you need to be inspecting the dog’s poop. This is in order to see if the raw hide strip comes out in poop.
Should you see any signs of internal blockage in a dog that swallowed raw hide strip, you need to rush the dog to a vet for proper treatment.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG OR WEBSITE, "Learn About Pet", DOES NOT PROVIDE YOU WITH MEDICAL ADVICE AND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR PERSONAL VETERINARIAN AND USE INFORMATION HERE AS GENERAL ADVICE.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.