the dangers of rawhide

The dangers of Rawhide

So, I’m walking down the cute doggie aisle of a shopping centre and I feel ridiculously mushy and excitable about buying my beautiful dog a new treat. She’s the best dog ever and she deserves it. I’m thinking surprise and excitement. I’m thinking cuddles of gratitude. I’m thinking peace and quiet. I’m thinking fresher breath. Wahoo!

One of the most common dog treats available are ones containing rawhide. For example – You would have seen those bright white chewable hide treats shaped like bones. You can get big bones, little bones, rawhide tiny twists. You name it. They all look like delectable treats that you know your dog would LOVE.

However, these treats have started to raise a few eyebrows among top class pet professionals and today we are here to highlight some of the reasons why.

So what exactly is Rawhide?

Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of a cow or horse hide that has been stripped and cleaned of hair.

In order to remove the hair from this layer, the hide must be soaked in chemicals, primarily Sodium Sulphide and it is then whitened with Hydrogen Peroxide, pressed and put onto the shelves.

Aesthetically, it is the dehydrated skin of a cow or horse. As dogs chew on these tough treats their saliva softens and rehydrates the skin – turning it into a soft and gooey treat for your dog to eat.

What are the benefits of Rawhide treats?

Immediately what springs to mind are the psychological and dental benefits for your dog. Chewing keeps dogs’ jaws strong, teeth clean, and breath a bit fresher.

Dogs that chew regularly on rawhides and other bones or toys are said to have less plaque and tartar build-up on teeth.

Having something to chew can also help with anxiety as well as curbing the need for your shoes or the bottom of your couch to become your dogs’ next chewable conquest.

What are the dangers of Rawhide?

In terms of consumption, the most immediate hazard is choking. It is possible for a dog to swallow chunks of the hide too quickly and choke. It is also possible for large chunks that have been swallowed to cause a block in the intestines which could lead to a serious operation or the death of your dog if the blockage is found too late.

Toxins and carcinogens such as Arsenic and Formaldehyde have been detected in rawhide treats and this is why some professionals have classed Rawhide treats as a ‘slow dose poison’.

Rawhide is classified neither as a human food nor pet food, so there are no regulations over its production.

Do the benefits out weigh the dangers?

No they do not. As you look into the production of them – it is clear that the process in which they are made could very easily lead to a healthy dog’s decline or even worse. The process in which it is made means it is a by-product of the leather industry. It is a chew stick made up of leather, toxic chemicals, dyes and glues. That does not sound healthy.

A lot of dog owners are calling for Rawhide treats to be taken off the shelves due to the above and because the sale of them is unnecessary when there are plenty of alternatives and ‘No Hide’ treats available.

A ‘No Hide’ chew has no poisonous ingredients and provides all of the psychological satisfaction your dog could need.  They are super nutritious, highly digestible and completely healthy for your pet.

Of course if your pet has a rawhide treat rarely – make sure you are around when they have it but we sincerely believe that often is way too much with this dog chew and that a more natural alternative will be a lot better in the long run.

Xylitol poisoning in pet dogs

Xylitol is poisoning your beloved dogs

Hello to all of you Canine lovers!

Today our voice is with you to raise awareness of an issue that we believe could be potentially lethal to your beautiful pet.

That issue is the rise of the sugar substitute Xylitol. You may have heard of it and it may even be in you cupboards right now.

This seemingly harmless sweetener is found in a variety of foods and has no threatening adverse effects on humans. However- If ingested by your Dog, the effects could lead to a rapid decline in your pooch’s health and potential death by poisoning.

All of us here at Hounds of Hackney, would you believe, absolutely LOVE any and all Dogs. At our core – we want to stimulate their wellbeing by keeping them calm, happy and active. The very thought of any of the above just makes us shudder in horror which is why we are raising awareness today.

Although Xylitol has been used as a sugar substitute for decades, it’s popularity has increased dramatically in the last few years as a healthier alternative. Unfortunately, the spike in use has led to a massive increase in canine deaths – now hitting the thousands.

There are many reasons as to why its popularity has soared. It has a low glycaemic index which means it’s a better option for diabetics and has dental plaque fighting qualities. Due to this, it has been approved for use in lots of oral care products, pharmaceuticals and as a food additive.

Here is a list of some products that may contain the sweetener;

  • Sugar-free gum
  • Breath mints
  • Baked goods
  • Toothpaste/mouthwash
  • Cough syrup/children’s chewable vitamins
  • Puddings/sweets/sugar free deserts
  • Peanut butter/nut butters/yoghurt/takeaways
  • Allergy medication/digestive aids/over the counter nasal sprays

Even small amounts of Xylitol can cause Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), seizures and liver failure. When non-primates eat something containing Xylitol, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, resulting in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas. This rapid release causes a profound decrease in the level of blood sugar.

The most common cause of poisoning is sugar free chewing gum as it is easily ingested off the floor whilst on a walk – although it is best to remember that not all chewing contains it.
Some symptoms to look out for are; Weakness, lethargy, vomiting, tremors, disorientation, jaundice.

If you feel like your pet has come into contact with Xylitol, get in touch with your vet immediately. There are lots of out of hours services available and in cases where your pet has eaten something containing the poison but isn’t displacing any symptoms – it is imperative that you get them checked out due to its toxicity.

In terms of prevention in your home; try to familiarise yourself with any products that contain it and keep them locked away.

Be wary of how you get your pet to take any medication. For example; if you use peanut butter!

Also, be sure to only use pet toothpaste and not human toothpaste when cleaning your canine’s teeth.

Outside of your home, talk about it with non-pet owners and pet owners a like. Not everyone is aware of Xylitol or the effects of throwing chewing on the floor. Spreading the word will absolutely make a difference.

Change can and will happen over time.