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.