I used to allow my dogs to have rawhide-until a chunk got stuck in the throat, and after surgery I threw them all away. Then I started feeding just raw meaty bones (various sizes for the various size of the dog). I don't feed cooked bones either--they tend to splinter. I don't mean to scare you, it was probably a one in a million fluke that my dog's rawhide got stuck. You should check with your vet or vet tech and see what they say for your breed of dog, and there will be a lot of posts with great advice showing up also.
There are mixed opinions regarding raw hide bones. I buy the flat raw hide chewies that they sell at PetSmart. Every once in a while I get them a knotted raw hide bone. What I will not give my dogs are the knucle bones. They splinter and can cause a lot of damage especially to the intestines. I also give them marrow bones that you can buy in the grocery store. Those bones last forever.
I have heard from other people and books that they can cause a dog to choke because they get soft and can block a dog's airway. I thought my puppy was alright with them, but he ended up vomiting up a huge piece. I personally think they are excellent under good supervision. Additionally, you may want to try a bone or stick that is made of tightly pressed rawhide. If not, there are always nylabones or kongs.
i have occasionally given my dogs rawhides, thinking about the thing getting stuck. when one of my dogs kept getting diarrhea after eating one i stopped. i'm glad i did, now i don't worry about the choking. i stick to nylabones.
A pug my family had almost died choking on a rawhide bone. My mother saved her by hitting her between the shoulder blades like you do on a choking baby. I still allow my dogs to have rawhides but only when I am closely watching them, and if I see that the bone is getting too wet or stringy,I cut that piece off.