Safe, natural rawhide alternatives for dogs
Photo courtesy of Redbarn Pet Products.

Looking for the perfect chew for your dog? Here’s a few of the top rawhide alternatives.

A few years ago, rawhide chews were a staple in every pet parent’s home. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find a rawhide for your dog that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. To fill this void, many companies are now offering a variety of safe and natural rawhide alternatives. Redbarn, a company that offers natural pet products for dogs and cats, is leading the charge with various products your dog will enjoy just as much – if not more – than rawhide chews! Let’s take a look.

1. Bully sticks

Redbarn’s bully sticks are made from free-range, grass-fed beef and contain no chemicals or preservatives. They are long-lasting, fully digestible and high in protein. As a bonus, they help clean your dog’s teeth by scraping off plaque and tartar as he chews. Rawhides may claim to do this, but your dog’s saliva turns them to mush, rendering them useless when it comes to dental health. “Chewing is a lifelong behavior for dogs, not just puppies,” explains Rashell Cooper, the company’s Marketing Director. “Health wise, the mechanical action of chewing helps dogs scrape off plaque and tartar buildup.”

2. Fetchers

These natural chews are made from beef pizzle and esophagus – a natural source of chondroitin, which supports joint health. Like bully sticks, these tasty protein-packed treats work to support your pup’s dental health with every bite. “While rawhides are not inherently dangerous, not every dog or pet parent likes them,” says Rashell. “Redbarn’s bully sticks and Fetchers are fan favorites and classic examples of our rawhide alternatives.” Redbarn’s fetchers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to appeal to dogs of all ages and breeds. Each one is slow-baked without any artificial processing to ensure they’re highly palatable for even the pickiest pets.

3. Antlers

Antlers offer your dog a natural source of vitamins and minerals. When your dog chews, he scrapes the calcium off the surface of the antler, which combats plaque and tartar. Redbarn offers a line of antlers from wild, free-roam deer. They don’t stink or stain, and they’re one of the most durable products your money can buy. Worried about your furry friend chipping a tooth? Redbarn’s cut options offer a safe alternative for young puppies, seniors and aggressive chewers. The marrow is exposed for easier access, so you don’t have to worry about the safety of his pearly whites.

4. Esophagus Braided Sticks, Tripe Twists, and Puff Braids

Just like us, dogs like variety. Redbarn’s newest chews provide just that. Their Esophagus Braided Sticks, Tripe Twists, and Puff Braids are all-natural, single-ingredient rawhide alternatives that have been very popular amongst pet parents and their four-legged companions. “Mentally, chews are natural boredom-busters and stress-relievers,” says Rashell. “Using innovative and natural technology, Redbarn’s new Puff Braids “puff-up” beef esophagus and twist it into a braid, creating an engaging chew perfect for lighter chewers.” Alternatively, their tripe twists – made of beef tripe safely twisted together – are ideal for moderate chewers, and their Esophagus braided sticks are tightly wound to offer the ultimate chewing challenge.

No matter which of the above options you choose for your dog, always supervise him during chew time. All products, regardless of their quality, can break, split, chip and splinter, or crack his teeth if gnawed too aggressively. “The key is to find the right chew for your dog,” says Rashell. “Get to know your dog’s chewing habits and pay attention to how quick or slow a chew lasts. Redbarn chews range in sizes and durability to meet the needs of every dog and chewer.”

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Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.