Is Beef Hide the Same as Rawhide? [Chew Treat Dilemma]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Did you know that the global dog food industry is expected to reach a staggering $86 billion by 2026?

Amid this booming market, one small, often overlooked segment has pet owners scratching their heads in confusion and worry — the realm of dog chews. Specifically, the curious case of the beef hide and rawhide.

Is beef hide the same as rawhide? Many pet parents are astonished to discover that there’s more to these seemingly innocuous treats than meets the eye.

Contrary to popular belief, beef hide and rawhide are not identical twins in the world of chews. In fact, they possess unique properties that can have distinct impacts on your furry friend’s health.

In this post, I will be revealing what your pet’s favorite chew is really made of. Get ready to be surprised as we unravel a world that is as complex as it is chewy!

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What’s the Difference Between Rawhide Vs Beefhide?

What's the Difference Between Rawhide Vs Beefhide?

Choosing a chew treat for your pet can be a bit daunting when faced with the overwhelming selection in the pet aisle of your local store. We’ve all been there! 

Among the multitude of options, two contenders often catch pet owners’ attention: rawhide and beef hide. 

Let’s look at their differences.

Origin

Rawhide is derived from the inner layer of processed cow or horse hides. Beefhide, from the name, is specifically sourced from the inner layer of cowhides. 

You may be thinking, “Hide is hide,” right? But the difference between the two is not just limited to the animals they come from.

Digestibility

Beefhide tends to be more easily broken down by your pup’s digestive system. Rawhide can be a bit tougher to digest. 

The latter can require a lot more chewing to soften.

Texture

Rawhide typically has a drier and stiffer texture, providing a longer-lasting chew for those enthusiastic chewers. 

Beefhide is often softer and more pliable. This texture makes it a suitable option for dogs with sensitive teeth or those who prefer a gentler chew.

Uses

Both rawhide and beefhide serve as popular options for satiating your dog’s natural urge to chew. 

Rawhide’s durability makes it great for promoting dental health and keeping your pup entertained for longer periods. 

Beefhide, with its softer texture, can be a preferred choice for soothing teething puppies or as a more easily chewed option for senior dogs.

Safety

While both rawhide and beefhide can be enjoyed by most dogs, it’s essential to monitor your pet when you give them these chew treats. That way, you can be ready in case your poor pet accidentally chokes on the hide.

Some vets also warn about potential allergies or sensitivities. Some dogs may have specific negative reactions to either rawhide or beef hide. 

Standing by as they chew on the treat will give you a chance to observe your pet’s response and intervene if there are any adverse reactions.

What is Rawhide?

Rawhide is the unprocessed skin of an animal, specifically the inner layer. It is sourced from animals like cows, horses, and, in some cases, even buffalos. 

The inner layer is used to create chew treats for dogs, while the top layer is treated and transformed into leather for making various items such as shoes or handbags.

Pros of rawhide products

Dogs simply love rawhides! These chew treats are fantastic because they keep your furry pals happily occupied for a long time. 

The main benefit of giving your pet a rawhide chew toy is that it satisfies their natural need to chew. The products give them much-needed mental and physical stimulation. 

It can also help keep your pet calm and content. Say goodbye to chewed-up shoes and table legs.

Plus, let’s not forget the bonus of improved dental health! 

As dogs gnaw on the rawhide, it helps remove plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of dental problems and keeping those pearly whites in top shape.

Cons of rawhide products

While rawhide chews are great, there are still some drawbacks to watch out for.

One concern is that some dogs may have sensitive stomachs or be prone to digestive issues, and rawhides can be difficult to digest for them. 

There is also a small risk of choking or blockage if dogs swallow large pieces without proper chewing. And because they can be hard to digest, they can stay in your dog’s system for a long time.

You will also need to check the quality of the rawhide treats you give your furry pal. Stay away from products with added chemicals or preservatives. 

How often can dogs eat rawhide?

While it can be a delightful and engaging chew treat, it’s recommended to offer rawhide in moderation. 

If your dog enjoys gnawing on things, you can consider giving them rawhide chews once a day. Some good quality products can last up to an hour of chewing. 

However, you also need to think about your pet’s individual needs and preferences. If your furry friend is an aggressive chewer, you may even increase the frequency to twice a day. 

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What is Beefhide?

Beefhide is similar to rawhide in its composition and purpose. It is the untanned skin of cattle, specifically the inner layer, that is utilized to create chew treats for dogs. 

Just like rawhide, beefhide provides dogs with a satisfying chewing experience and various benefits.

Pros of beefhide products

Beefhide chews are awesome for your dog’s chewing needs! They satisfy your pet’s need to chew, which actually helps them feel better mentally and emotionally. 

When dogs chew on beefhide, it’s like giving them a stress ball to squeeze—it helps relieve their anxiety and keeps them calm. 

So instead of gnawing on your favorite shoes or tearing apart your couch, they can happily chew on their beefhide treat for hours, staying occupied and content. 

When it comes to keeping those pearly whites in tip-top shape, beefhide chews are your dog’s best buddy! 

The texture of beefhide acts like a toothbrush, giving their teeth a good scrubbing and helping to scrape off plaque and tartar. This means fresher breath and less risk of gum disease and tooth decay. 

Plus, beefhide is a natural treat that won’t weigh them down with extra calories. Just make sure to pick high-quality options without any sneaky additives.

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Cons of beefhide products

Some pets can get tummy troubles because they’re super sensitive or allergic to beefhide or the stuff used to make it. Diarrhea is commonly a symptom of sensitivity to the chew treat.

Also, like any processed treats, there’s a chance that some beefhide treats might contain additives and preservatives that can cause your furry pal to get sick.

And let’s not forget about the potential choking or blockage risk. Especially with beefhide bones, they could cause trouble in your dog’s belly or even lead to a scary choking situation if your pet manages to swallow a large chunk. 

How often can dogs eat beef hide?

Just like with rawhide, offering beef hide chews to your dog should be done in moderation. 

One treat a day should be enough for your pet. You can give your avid chewer an extra treat if they quickly go through that one beefhide bone.

Which One is Better? Rawhide or Beefhide?

rawhide or beef hide better

Beefhide and rawhide are essentially cut from the same cloth, or rather, animal hide.

Both are popular choices for dog chews, but they do have some differences worth considering. Let’s break it down!

Beef hide gives you the advantage of knowing exactly which animal it comes from. This can be reassuring if you have specific dietary concerns for your dog. 

Plus, beef hide tends to be softer and easier to digest. This makes it a good choice for dogs with sensitive tummies or teeth.

Rawhide, being thicker and more durable, is a better choice for those strong-jawed, aggressive chewers. 

It can provide hours of entertainment and a satisfying challenge for your furry friend. 

Keep in mind that if your dog has beef allergies, rawhide made from alternative sources like pork or buffalo can be worth exploring.

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Rawhide or Beef Hide?

Feeding your pet rawhide or beefhide shouldn’t be a problem if you follow these simple guidelines. 

  • When you offer these chews to your furry friend, choose the right size that matches their chewing ability. Avoid giving them pieces that are too large. Your pet may have a hard time chewing the treat if it’s too big. Plus, it could pose a choking hazard.
  • Keep an eye on your dog while they’re gnawing on the hide to ensure their safety. Quickly intervene if you see them choking.
  • Do not give your pet rawhide or beefhide that is worn down or has brittle pieces. These can cause injuries.
  • Introduce the chew treat gradually, especially if they’re new to them. Check for any adverse reactions. 

What Should I Do if My Dog Got Sick From Rawhide?

If your furry pal is sick, your first call should always be to your pet’s vet.

Report all the symptoms and behavior that you’ve observed.

Look for signs like excessive drooling, diarrhea, or lethargy.

Now, wait for your vet’s instructions. If the symptoms are mild, the vet may just tell you to keep an eye on the condition of your pet at home. 

You might also be instructed to go in for a check-up if your pet’s condition is concerning.

It’s a good idea to give your pet fresh water.

If it is indeed the rawhide that’s causing the sickness, staying hydrated will help flush out the bad thing from your dog’s system. 

In the future, try giving them alternative chew toys. You can get bully sticks or antlers if you want to stick to natural alternatives. 

How to Choose the Best Chew Treats for Your Dog?

Here are some considerations to factor in when buying the paw-fect chew treat for your canine companion.

First off, consider the size and texture of the treats. You want something that’s not too big or too small for your dog, and a texture that matches their chewing strength. 

You don’t want them to choke or hurt their teeth, right?

Next up, quality matters. Avoid chew treats that contain artificial stuff in them as much as possible. Some cheap products contain fillers and additives that can hurt your pet.

Take a close look at the labels and pick brands that put your dog’s well-being first. Stay away from products treated with chemicals.

Pay attention to your pet’s preferences and choose treats that will keep them entertained and satisfied. You know your furry friend best!

Don’t forget about safety. Stay away from treats that have been recalled or have had safety issues in the past. 

Be ready to try a few chew treats before finding the one that your pet likes best.

Best Alternatives to Rawhide and Beefhide

Is your pet allergic to rawhide or beefhide? Or, do they just not like it? Here are some alternatives that you can try giving them.

  1. First are natural bones. Yes! You read that right. You can give your furry pal raw, meaty bones like chicken or beef. Just make sure that you give them the right size and always be on hand in case they swallow it the wrong way or manage to splinter the bone while chewing.
  2. You can also try to give them bully sticks. These are dried steer pizzle or bull sticks. They are quite long-lasting and will give your pet’s teeth and jaws a good workout. Plus, bully sticks are easy to digest and come in various sizes.
  3. Does your pet like vegetables? A large carrot can also work as a chew treat. These can provide your furry pal with a satisfying chewing experience and they’re packed with nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is rawhide bad for dogs?

Rawhide can present potential risks for dogs. Some dogs may have difficulty digesting rawhide, leading to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or stomach upset. There is also a risk of choking or blockage if dogs swallow large pieces without proper chewing.

Is beef hide bad for dogs?

Beefhide, similar to rawhide, may be difficult for some dogs to digest, especially those with sensitive stomachs. However, beef hide is generally considered to be softer and easier to chew compared to rawhide. It can still pose a choking hazard so always be alert when your dog is chewing on one.

In Conclusion: Is Beef Hide the Same as Rawhide?

Understanding the difference between beef hide and rawhide can significantly impact your pet’s health.

No more confusion, just informed choices!

I personally prefer not to use either of these treats, but instead, I now give my dogs this super yummy and nutritious ones!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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