Does It Hurt a Dog's Gums to Give Him Rawhide Rolls to Chew?

While rawhide rolls can cause blockages if your pup eats them too quickly or swallows large pieces, gum damage is fairly rare and usually results in only minor nicks and bleeding. Gum bleeding may signify dental disease, though.

Bleeding Gums

In most cases, rawhide rolls lead to healthier doggy gums -- because when your pup gnaws on the hardened chews, he cleans plaque from his gum line. If your pal chews on the rolls for long periods of time, he may irritate his gums and cause them to bleed. Jagged ends, typically from where chunks split off from the roll, can also stick him right in the gums and make him bleed. Allow him to chew on the rolls for only short periods at a time and always take away sharp pieces.

Gum Disease

You may notice your pup's gums routinely bleeding when he chews on rawhide rolls. Rather than a sign that the rawhide is damaging his gums, the bleeding is often a symptom of gingivitis or periodontal disease. The conditions, if left untreated, can result in major dental problems. Get the problem under control immediately by making a vet appointment. Bleeding gums may also point to other conditions.