The Dangers of Rawhide for dogs

It is natural for all dogs and especially puppies to chew – that's one of the ways they explore and learn. Rawhide is one of the most common items given to dogs for chewing, but beware as it is also the most dangerous.

What is Rawhide?

  • Rawhide is the tough inner layer of bull, cow, water buffalo and horsehide – a by-product of the meat industry
  • The flesh side is scraped clean of all remaining meat, membrane, fat, etc.
  • The hair is removed in either an Ash-Lye solution or a Lime solution. The Lime solution is the quickest and most often utilized by manufacturers. This process is highly caustic but the most efficient for mass production
  • To remove all traces of the lime solution and to sanitize the rawhide product, commercial makers then rinse the hides in a bleach solution

Why Rawhide is Dangerous?

  • Rawhide can swell up to four times its original size in your dog’s stomach, risking the formation of life threatening blockages
  • Dogs can and will chew off and swallow large pieces of rawhide which can get stuck in their esophagus, stomach or intestines. This often requires surgical removal
  • Rawhide is not considered a food item and is therefore not covered by any labeling, processing or content laws
  • Rawhide contains chemical preservatives and has been treated with other chemicals in processing
  • Arsenic, ethoxyquin, formaldehyde and other chemicals such as BHA and BHT are commonly used as preservatives
  • Other dangerous additives can include antibiotics, lead and insecticides
  • Rawhide chews can cause acute pancreatitis, which can vary from mild gastrointestinal upset to collapse and death

So What Should I Give My Dog to Chew?

You can choose rawhide alternative sweet potato dog treats for dog chewing, because:

  • Sweet potato is a natural ingredient, digestible and good palatability.
  • They are fat free – many other chews are high in fat and a low fat diet for your pet will contribute to the wellness of your dog
  • They are much safer than rawhide – which can damage your dog’s gums or teeth and may be fatal to puppies or older dogs
  • They also have high nutritional value and are completely digestible if swallowed
  • They can help reduce plaque when chewing, and they are toys to accompany your dog
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