Surprising Methods For How to Soften Rawhide for Dogs

how to soften rawhide for dogs

To soften the rawhide for dogs, soak it in warm water for 30 minutes before giving it to your pet. Rawhide is a popular chew toy for dogs, but it can be quite hard and difficult to chew on.

Before giving it to your furry friend, it’s best to soften it to prevent any potential harm to their teeth or gums. Soaking it in warm water will make it more pliable and easier for your dog to chew and enjoy.

Why Softening Rawhide Is Important For Your Dog’s Health

Rawhide is a popular chew treat for dogs, but it’s important to ensure that it’s properly softened before giving it to your furry friend. Softening rawhide offers several benefits for your dog’s health and overall well-being. Let’s explore why softening rawhide is so important.

How It Promotes Healthy Teeth And Gums

Softened rawhide can contribute to maintaining your dog’s dental health. Here’s how it helps:

  • Reduces risk of dental damage: Properly softened rawhide is gentler on your dog’s teeth, minimizing the risk of dental fractures or chips.
  • Encourages chewing: The soft texture of the rawhide makes it more appealing to your dog, encouraging them to chew for longer periods. This increased chewing time helps remove plaque and tartar buildup, promoting healthier teeth and gums.
  • Promotes jaw strength: The act of chewing on softened rawhide helps exercise your dog’s jaw muscles, improving jaw strength and stability.

Importance Of Proper Chewing For Dogs

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and providing them with appropriate chew treats is vital. Here’s why proper chewing matters:

  • Mental stimulation: Chewing on softened rawhide helps keep your dog mentally stimulated, preventing boredom and potentially destructive behaviors.
  • Stress relief: Chewing is a way for dogs to alleviate stress or anxiety. Softened rawhide provides a soothing effect, promoting relaxation.
  • Prevents choking hazards: Hard rawhide can pose a choking risk, especially if your dog tries to swallow large chunks. By softening the rawhide, you minimize the likelihood of choking incidents.

Remember, always monitor your dog while they chew on rawhide and discard any small or broken pieces to prevent any choking hazards.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Softening Rawhide

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Softening Rawhide

Having a rawhide chew toy for your dog can be a great way to keep their teeth clean and their jaws strong. However, rawhide can be quite tough when it’s fresh out of the package. That’s why it’s important to soften the rawhide before giving it to your furry friend.

Softened rawhide is not only easier for your dog to chew and digest, but it is also safer and less likely to cause any dental issues. In this blog post, we will discuss some common mistakes to avoid when softening rawhide, so you can ensure that your dog gets the most out of their chew toy.

So let’s get started with the first point.

Using The Wrong Method Or Tools

  • Using boiling water: Boiling water can cause the rawhide to become too soft and lose its texture, making it less appealing and enjoyable for your dog to chew on.
  • Microwaving: Putting a rawhide in the microwave can cause the edges to become hard and brittle, which can be a choking hazard for your dog.
  • Soaking in warm water: Soaking rawhide in warm water for too long can cause it to become mushy, slimy, and unappetizing for your dog.

To properly soften rawhide, it’s essential to use the right method and tools. Now let’s move on to the next common mistake.

Not Properly Soaking Or Moisturizing The Rawhide

  • Not soaking long enough: If you don’t soak the rawhide for a sufficient amount of time, it may not soften enough for your dog to enjoy. It’s crucial to follow the instructions provided on the packaging or consult with your veterinarian for guidance.
  • Using the wrong type of moisturizer: Just like humans, dogs have specific needs when it comes to moisture. Using a moisturizer that is not suitable for rawhide can make it too soft or cause it to break apart easily.

Remember to soak the rawhide in water or a dog-safe liquid like chicken broth for the recommended amount of time. This will ensure that it becomes pliable enough for your dog to chew comfortably. Lastly, let’s discuss the last common mistake.

Over-Soaking Or Over-Moisturizing The Rawhide

  • Making it too mushy: Oversoaking or over-moisturizing the rawhide can make it too soft, resulting in a mushy texture that your dog may not find appealing or satisfying to chew.
  • Increasing the risk of bacterial growth: Rawhide that is overly moist can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can potentially lead to digestive issues for your dog.

To avoid over-soaking or over-moisturizing the rawhide, it’s important to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer or consult with your veterinarian for recommended soaking times and appropriate moisturizers.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that the rawhide chew toy is properly softened for your dog’s enjoyment and safety. Happy chewing!

Step-By-Step Guide To Softening Rawhide For Your Dog

Rawhide can be a great treat for your dog to chew on, but sometimes it can be too tough for them to enjoy right away. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to soften rawhide for your furry friend so they can savor every bite.

Whether you’re using rawhide for dental hygiene or simply as a tasty reward, these tips will help make it more palatable for your dog.

So let’s dive right in and get started:

Selecting The Right Type Of Rawhide For Your Dog

When it comes to choosing rawhide for your dog, there are a few things to consider. Opt for a rawhide that is specifically designed for dogs, as it is usually more suitable for their chewing needs. Look for the following qualities:

  • Size: Choose a rawhide that is appropriate for your dog’s size. Avoid pieces that are too small or too large, as they can pose a choking hazard.
  • Thickness: Thicker rawhide tends to be more durable and lasts longer. However, if your dog has sensitive teeth or is a senior, consider opting for thinner pieces.
  • Quality: Look for high-quality rawhide that is free from any chemical additives or preservatives. This ensures a safe and healthy chewing experience for your pup.

Soaking The Rawhide In Water Or Dog-Safe Broth

Soaking rawhide in water or dog-safe broth is a simple yet effective way to soften it. Follow these steps:

  • Fill a container with enough water or broth to completely submerge the rawhide.
  • Place the rawhide in the liquid and let it soak for several hours or overnight. This allows the moisture to penetrate the surface and make it more pliable.
  • Once soaked, remove the rawhide from the liquid and pat it dry with a towel. Excess liquid can make it slippery and difficult for your dog to hold.

Adding Natural Softening Agents To Speed Up The Process

If you’re looking to speed up the softening process, you can use natural softening agents. Here are a few options:

  • Peanut butter: Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on the rawhide and let it sit for a few hours. The oils in the peanut butter will help soften the rawhide.
  • Coconut oil: Similar to peanut butter, coconut oil can be applied to the rawhide to make it more pliable. Allow it to sit for a few hours before giving it to your dog.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl. Soak the rawhide in this mixture for a few hours before drying it.

Monitoring The Softening Progress And Adjusting As Needed

During the softening process, it’s important to monitor the rawhide to ensure it reaches the desired consistency for your dog. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Check the texture: After soaking or using softening agents, feel the rawhide to see if it has become softer and more pliable. It should have a slight give when pressed between your fingers.
  • Adjust the soaking time: If the rawhide is still too hard, you can continue soaking it for longer periods or overnight. Alternatively, if it becomes too soft, reduce the soaking time in the future.
  • Observe your dog’s chewing: Once the rawhide has reached the ideal softness, give it to your dog and observe its chewing. If it’s still too tough for them, you may need to try a different method or adjust the soaking time further.

Drying The Softened Rawhide For Your Dog To Enjoy

Once the rawhide has been softened, it’s important to dry it properly before giving it to your dog. This helps prevent any potential bacterial growth. Follow these steps:

  • Place the softened rawhide on a clean towel or rack, making sure it is spread out evenly.
  • Allow it to air dry in a well-ventilated area for at least 24 hours or until completely dry. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can cause it to become brittle.

By following these steps, you can transform tough rawhide into a chewy treat that your dog will love. Remember to always supervise your dog while they’re enjoying their rawhide and discard any small or broken pieces to ensure their safety.

Alternative Techniques For Softening Rawhide

Using A Food Dehydrator For Quicker Results:

  • A food dehydrator is a convenient tool that can effectively soften rawhide for your furry friend.
  • Place the rawhide in the food dehydrator and set it to the lowest temperature setting.
  • Leave the rawhide in the dehydrator for several hours or overnight, allowing the gentle heat to slowly soften the rawhide.
  • Monitor the process to ensure the rawhide does not become too brittle or dry.

Trying Commercial Softening Sprays Or Solutions:

  • Commercial softening sprays or solutions are specially formulated to soften rawhide, making it more palatable for your pup.
  • Simply spray or apply the solution to the rawhide, following the instructions on the product label.
  • Allow the rawhide to absorb the spray or solution for the recommended amount of time, ensuring thorough coverage.
  • Once softened, rinse the rawhide with water to remove any residual solution and let it dry before giving it to your dog.

Using Natural Products Like Coconut Oil Or Apple Cider Vinegar:

  • Natural products such as coconut oil or apple cider vinegar can also be used to soften rawhide.
  • Apply a small amount of coconut oil or apple cider vinegar to the rawhide, ensuring even distribution.
  • Massage the product into the rawhide, allowing it to penetrate and soften the material.
  • Leave the rawhide aside for a few hours or overnight to ensure the natural product has had sufficient time to soften it.
  • Rinse the rawhide thoroughly before offering it to your dog to remove any residual taste or scent.

By employing these alternative techniques, you can easily soften rawhide for your dog’s utmost enjoyment. Whether you choose to use a food dehydrator, commercial sprays, or natural products like coconut oil or apple cider vinegar, you can provide your furry companion with a tasty and chewable treat that is gentle on their teeth and gums.

Homemade Recipes For Softening Rawhide

Homemade Recipes For Softening Rawhide

Rawhide is a popular chew toy for dogs, but sometimes it can be tough for our furry friends to enjoy. If you’re looking for ways to soften rawhide for your dog, there are some homemade recipes you can try.

Not only will these recipes make the rawhide more enjoyable for your pup, but they also allow you to control what ingredients are being used. In this section, we will explore a few homemade recipes for softening rawhide that are both safe and delicious for your furry companion.

Creating A Natural Softening Solution With Edible Ingredients:

  • Soaking the rawhide in warm water: This is the simplest way to soften the rawhide. Just soak the rawhide in warm water for about 30 minutes before giving it to your dog. The warmth and moisture will help soften the chew, making it easier for your pup to enjoy.
  • Incorporating apple cider vinegar: Adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar to the warm water can help break down the tough fibers of the rawhide. Mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts warm water, and let the rawhide soak in this solution for at least 30 minutes before giving it to your dog.

Using Bone Broth For Added Flavor And Softening Effects:

  • Using homemade bone broth: Bone broth is not only tasty but also offers added health benefits for your dog. You can make homemade bone broth by gently heating it up and then soaking the rawhide in it for around 20-30 minutes. The bone broth will infuse the rawhide with a delicious flavor while helping to soften it at the same time.
  • Mixing bone broth with water: If you don’t have homemade bone broth on hand, you can mix a small amount of store-bought bone broth with warm water to soften the rawhide. The ratio should be one part bone broth to three parts warm water. Let the rawhide soak in this mixture for about 30 minutes before giving it to your pup.

Mixing Peanut Butter Or Baby Food To Entice Your Dog To Chew:

  • Adding a smear of peanut butter: Peanut butter is a classic favorite for dogs, and it can be a great way to entice your furry friend to chew on rawhide. Simply spread a thin layer of peanut butter on the rawhide to make it more appealing. Just be sure to choose a peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol, as it can be toxic to dogs.
  • Using baby food as a tasty topper: Adding a dollop of baby food to the rawhide can also make it more enticing for your dog. Choose a baby food flavor that your dog enjoys, such as chicken or beef, and apply it to the rawhide. This will not only soften the chew but also add an extra burst of flavor.

Remember, always supervise your dog while they are chewing on rawhide, and if any signs of discomfort or digestion issues arise, consult with your veterinarian. With these homemade recipes, you can ensure that your dog’s rawhide is soft, tasty, and enjoyable, providing them with hours of chewing pleasure.

Tips For Safe And Healthy Rawhide Chewing

Rawhide chews are a popular and enjoyable treat for dogs. Not only do they provide entertainment, but they also promote healthy chewing habits and can help maintain dental hygiene. However, it’s essential to ensure that your dog chews rawhide safely.

In this section, we will explore some tips for safe and healthy rawhide chewing to give you peace of mind while your furry friend enjoys their treat.

Supervising Your Dog During Rawhide Chewing Sessions

When it comes to rawhide chewing, supervision is key. Here are a few reasons why you should always watch over your dog during these sessions:

  • Rawhide can become a choking hazard, especially if it becomes soft and sticky.
  • Some dogs may try to swallow large pieces of rawhide, leading to gastrointestinal blockages.
  • Monitoring your dog allows you to intervene if they start chewing too aggressively or show signs of discomfort.

Choosing The Appropriate Size And Shape

Selecting the right size and shape of rawhide is crucial for your dog’s safety and enjoyment. Consider the following tips:

  • Opt for a size that is appropriate for your dog’s breed and chewing habits. Rawhide that is too small may pose a choking hazard, while overly large pieces can be challenging to chew.
  • Choose a shape that matches your dog’s preferences. Some dogs prefer flat rawhide chews, while others may enjoy rolled or twisted versions.
  • Avoid rawhide chews with added flavors or chemicals. Stick to natural options that are free from artificial additives.

Discarding Rawhide Once Too Small

As your dog chews on rawhide, it gradually breaks down into smaller pieces. Once the rawhide becomes small enough to swallow whole, it’s crucial to discard it immediately. This step is essential for several reasons:

  • Small rawhide pieces can pose a choking hazard if swallowed whole.
  • Swallowing large amounts of rawhide can lead to digestive issues and blockages.
  • Regularly replacing small rawhide pieces ensures your dog always has a safe and satisfying chewing experience.

By following these tips for safe and healthy rawhide chewing, you can ensure that your dog enjoys their treat without any risks. Remember to supervise your dog, choose the appropriate size and shape of rawhide, and discard small pieces promptly.

With these practices in place, both you and your furry friend can have peace of mind during rawhide chewing sessions.


How Long Does It Typically Take To Soften Rawhide?

When it comes to softening rawhide for dogs, the time it takes can vary depending on a few factors, such as the soaking method, boiling method, and using additional liquids.

Can I Use Other Liquids Besides Water For Soaking?

Yes, you can use other liquids besides water to soak rawhide. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Doesn’t Like Softened Rawhide?

If your dog doesn’t seem to enjoy softened rawhide, there are a few things you can try experiment with different textures, explore alternative chews, and seek veterinary advice.

How Do You Soften Rawhide For Dogs?

Soften the rawhide for dogs by soaking it in water or broth for a few hours.

Can I Use A Microwave To Soften Rawhide?

No, microwaving rawhide can make it brittle and cause it to splinter, which is dangerous for dogs.

Are There Any Natural Ways To Soften Rawhide?

Yes, you can use natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar or coconut oil to soften the rawhide.

How Long Does It Take To Soften Rawhide For Dogs?

It usually takes a few hours of soaking rawhide in water or broth to make it soft and chewable for dogs.


After following the steps outlined in this blog post, you now have the knowledge and tools to effectively soften rawhide for your beloved furry companion. By soaking the rawhide in water before giving it to your dog, you ensure that it becomes pliable and easier for them to chew on.

Taking the time to massage the rawhide and scrunch it up in your hands also helps to break it down and make it softer. Additionally, using a natural oil or dog-safe chew spray can further enhance the softness and taste of the rawhide.

Remember to always supervise your dog while they chew on rawhide and discard any small or crumbling pieces. By taking these measures, you are providing your cherished pet with a safer and more enjoyable chewing experience. So go ahead and pamper your furry friend with a softened rawhide treat!

Posted by
Jannie Howard

Through Our blog, I aim to provide useful tips, advice, and information on pet care, training, nutrition, and health. To keep my readers informed and engaged, I also post uplifting tales, fascinating statistics, and pet-related news.

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