Rawhide, or sometimes raw hide, is generally considered the unpreserved, or unaltered hide of an animal. The term is frequently used to refer to untanned bovine hide, although it can refer to other skins as well. Generally speaking, the green hide is stretched, defleshed, dehaired and dried. As long as the hide remains dried, it will not easily succumb to decomposition.
Historically, raw hide has been used for a many things, and notes the earliest stage of leather technology, eventually supplanted during the Egyptian period by oil cured and tawed skins. Modern rawhide may consist of only the dried green hide, while some sources of rawhide, such as chewtoys, may have other chemicals added to slow decomposition.