andIt is important for a dog not to be able to chew off and swallow large pieces as this may cause vomiting and/or diarrhea. It is also important that the rawhide be large enough that the pet cannot swallow it whole. If a large piece is eaten, it is usually digested with time and rarely causes a surgical problem; however, it can make your pet uncomfortable.
It's also prudent to purchase rawhide that originates and is prepared in the US. From Dangers of rawhide chewsPets with a history of vomiting, diarrhea, allergies and who are on a special diet should not have rawhide until you check with your veterinarian. The material in the rawhide probably is not a problem for most dogs, although some can be allergic to it. The real problem is that some dogs have a tendency to swallow too large a piece of the rawhide and it can get stuck in their esophagus, stomach or intestines, and require surgical removal.
Dr. John Wedeking, an Iowa veterinarian, remembers hearing about rawhide in the news.
“Reports of arsenic contamination popped up in papers once,” he says, but adds that it came from another country.
Since rawhide is not regulated in any way, it could happen again. These foreign hides may also contain other detrimental things such as antibiotics, lead, or insecticides that could adversely affect the health of your dog.