Rawhide in the Spotlight

Rawhide in the Spotlight

For decades, every dog owner gave rawhide chews to their dogs to entertain them as well as to maintain oral health. Then rawhide started to get bad reputation and people turned to healthier choices, albeit there are still millions of dog owners feeding their pooches rawhides without knowing the risks or why it could be so bad for them.

Let’s look at all that there is to know about rawhide chews (Source: Planet Paws)

What is Rawhide?

Rawhide is the skin of animals such as cattle or pork that is removed, dried and prepared for your dog to eat. Rawhides come in different shapes, sizes and sometimes has added flavour. It is in essence, the by-product of the leather industry and something that dogs in the wild would have never eaten!

How is it produced?

The risks of Rawhide dog chews

The processing involves the following simplified steps:

STEP 1: Preserve (initial)

Normally, cattle hides are shipped to tanneries for processing. The hides are treated with a chemical bath to help preserve the product and delay the rate of decaying whilst in transport.

At the tannery further chemicals are used (some pretty toxic ones too) to strip the hair and fat that maybe attached to the hides themselves. Then some more chemicals are needed to help these hides to puff up, making it easier to split into layers.

The outer layer of the hide is used for goods like car seats, clothing, shoes, purses, etc., whilst the inner layer is used to make the rawhide.

STEP 2: Cleanse

The rawhides are now ready for further chemical-induced baths (mainly bleach and some even stronger chemicals) to achieve the whiteness and remove any odours.

STEP 3: Prettify

Now it’s time to make these whitened sheets of leathery by-products look delicious! They are bathed in dyes, some of which can be coated with titanium oxide. Artificial flavours are also added as after all they want to make it tasty for the pooches. Some get smoked as well so that they smell good even to humans!

STEP 4: Preserve (final)

Further chemicals are used for the final processing stage, which make these chews last forever. When rawhide chews were tested, mercury, lead, arsenic and other pretty dangerous chemicals were detected! Now, would you like to consume something containing any of these? NO! Neither would your dog as most of these chemicals are carcinogenic.

The risks and dubious products used are even worse if these products were manufactured outside the EU. In some imported items, even dogskin was found!

What else is bad about rawhide chews?

Well, apart from the multitude of chemicals used in the process, there is one more negative about rawhides. That’s the fact that once a dog has turned the rawhide into a blub of dubious material and managed to swallow it, they can get stock in the oesophagus or any parts of the stomach causing blockages which can either lead to emergency surgery or even death.

What to use instead?

Opt for natural chews instead. We stock many of these and no matter what your dog’s habits or likes are, we offer something to cater for them.

Primal range treats (including the Chomper boxes) are the most natural ones as they are just animal parts cut up, air-dried and packed with love.

Antlers and are also great options and whilst they are a bit pricier they last a very long time!

Yak bars are another popular option and again last a while.

No-hide chews are absolutely loved by all dogs and they are made from only 7 natural, ingredients (brown rice flour, organic eggs, olive oil, banana, pineapple, agar-agar and 1 source of sustainable protein).

I hope you’ve found this write-up helpful, if you need any further advice, please drop us a line at bernadett@chompandchew.co.uk 

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