How Long Does Rawhide Take To Digest In Dog

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.

Rawhide doesn’t appear to break down completely in a dog’s digestive tract. But pieces may pass in less than 24 hours or — if problems arise in the digestive tract — it may take days. In some cases, it may not pass at all, which will represent a veterinary emergency.

How Long for Rawhide to Digest? – FAQs

There are mixed opinions when it comes to the safety of rawhide chews, some people find it harmless to use as they are taking necessary precautions, other individuals don’t find it safe to use. Generally speaking, rawhides are not edible and digestible so if you are deciding to give them, make sure to supervise and follow the above-mentioned instructions.

With that being said, chewing is an instinct of dogs and it is healthy for dogs to chew more. Rawhide chews help to keep your dog busy and often acts as a great substitute for your expensive shoes or furniture. It also helps them to keep their teeth free from plaque and tartar.

For puppies it a great option to keep them occupied and engaged but just make sure to provide them with a rawhide only after six months when their mouth is fully developed, before that it might prove to be more hard and dangerous for your puppy.

Rawhide Digestibility Dogs — One Perspective

This is what Dr. Pippa Elliot (BVMS, MRCVS) explains in her article on According to her, rawhide is about as easily digestible as shoe leather which, of course, isn’t very digestible. In fact, she says it swells in the stomach when digested and causes intestinal blockage being that it isn’t digestible especially when the dog tries to pass out the swollen rawhide piece through his rectum. However, this isn’t always the case and some dogs get off with a minor stomach upset.

Bowel blockage, on the other hand, is a big deal as it could become life-threatening. It’s not just that food can’t pass. If the offending chunk is large enough, it could even damage the walls of the bowel while your dog tries to pass poop, leading to the death of surrounding tissues as well as sepsis.

Symptoms of this would include continuous vomiting, lethargy and weakness, collapse, and sudden death.

In truth, if the condition is detected on time, your dog might have a fighting chance. However, even the diagnosis and surgical procedure required to restore your dog to health are costly and risky. Sometimes, dogs end up with peritonitis even after a “successful” procedure.

Check out this video where Dr. Campbell makes a list of safe and dangerous treats for dogs. He mentions rawhide as dangerous treat for dogs and explains why too.

How Long Does Rawhide Take To Digest In Dogs? — FAQs

Small amounts of rawhide will breakdown in a dog’s stomach eventually, especially if they chew it properly. However, it takes a really long time as 24 hours would have seen rawhide digest only 85% of the way.

That said, if rawhide is consumed in too large a quantity, your dog’s system would be too overwhelmed and that ingested rawhide would lead to a blockage. And we cannot begin to tell how devastating a blockage can get.


Does rawhide break down in a dog’s stomach?

Generally speaking, rawhides are not easily digested, which is why large chunks broken off and swallowed pose such high obstruction risks. Any pieces your pup breaks off will have to pass through his digestive system in chunks, since they will not be broken down as well as the rest of his food.

How do you know if your dog has a rawhide blockage?

Rawhide has a tendency to swell, so large sections of rawhide can induce choking and cause an obstruction to the digestive system.

Symptoms of Obstruction Due to Corn Cob, Rawhide, and Stuffed Toy in Dogs
  1. Abdominal bloating.
  2. Abdominal pain.
  3. Burping.
  4. Dark, tarry stools.
  5. Dehydration.
  6. Depression.
  7. Diarrhea.
  8. Excessive drooling.

What happens if a dog swallows rawhide?

Drooling and regurgitation shortly after eating; undigested food comes back up in large pieces, often in an oblong tubular shape. The rawhide may be lodged in the dog’s esophagus. See the vet. Vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain; the dog may assume a hunched-up position and strain to defecate.