I won't give them to my dogs. Once when the labs were young, I gave them a rawhide and Cassie chewed the entire thing apart and it was one long strip and she started choking on it. I was right there and ended up pulling out about 6 of rawhide strip from her throat. Never again.
I've also heard that they can swell up in their stomach and cause serious problems. Best to stick with non-rawhide chews (like Boodas) treats or nylabones.
Our dogs have always had rawhides and Blue loves his. We monitor them though and he never has them if we aren't home. I tried the Nylabones once, but he was able to actually get pieces off of the plastic Nylabones and that was terrifying. I guess these are all at the owners discretion.
Jersey has one huge rawhide. It's about 10-12 inches long. She's only allowed to chew on it when I'm with her to watch her. Once it softens and she can break peices of it off, I take it away. She only gets to chew on it every month or so. She knows where I keep it though and sometimes I'll find her sitting in front of the closet crying. Otherwise, she has her Nylabones (the durable ones) and her squeekies.
To me, the point of a rawhide is so i do *not* have to watch him. To be frank, I'm tired of watching him every moment he's awake. The rawhide provides blissful quiet with the benefit of not having to lock him in the bathroom or put him on the balcony. I've tried nylabones, but yesterday he shredded the thing into a thousand plastic peices...
Now, this may make me sound uncaring. I'm not. I *love* Luigi, but that shouldn't mean I have to spend every waking moment with him....No toy keeps him as busy as a rawhide. He'll play with a toy for maybe two minutes before coming to seek us out. The rawhide is the only thing that keeps him busy for any extended period of time.
Not even a stuffed kong with goodies? That's Chloe's favorite, and frankly, most other chewable treats (rawhides, nylabones) she buries first and takes out later (maybe days later).... so I don't give them to her. Nylabones yes, but not rawhides.
I understand your will not to watch him every second of every day... but he's still a puppy, and this stuff is dangerous for him.
A friend of ours dog choked to death on the remains of a rawhide bone. Since then rawhides are banned from our house. Chloe's mom is right, have you tried a stuffed Kong?
If a puppy of mine was too quiet I would be worried not pleased! But I know what you mean.
I think rawhides are high in calories too, are they not? And since so may of us are waging the beagle battle of the bulge at some point in our dogs' lives, that to me makes them a no-go separate and apart from the other concerns that have been raised here...