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4 Reasons Why Rawhide is Dangerous

4 Reasons Why Rawhide is Dangerous

If rawhide is dangerous, then why is it one of the most popular chews for dogs?

All dogs and especially puppies love to chew – in addition to keeping themselves entertained, it is how they explore and learn. But could you be unknowingly putting your beloved pet in danger by feeding rawhide?

Contrary to its name, nothing about rawhide is ‘raw’. It is heavily processed and is not part of a dog's species-appropriate diet.

So what is it? Rawhide comes from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. During manufacturing, the hides are cleaned and cut or ground and then they’re pressed into different shapes and sizes.

Sounds pretty harmless right? Not really.

Here are four reasons why rawhide is considered potenitally dangerous and a few suggestions for healthier chew alternatives.

  1. Choking and blockages – Dogs can and will chew off and swallow large pieces that can get stuck in their esophagus, stomach and intestines. Rawhide is indigestible and can swell up to four times its original size as it passes through the digestive system. Blockages can form that may require surgery or in the worst case, may lead to death.
  2. Contamination and chemicals – Rawhide can contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals, dyes and preservatives used from the manufacturing process. Arsenic, ethoxyquin, formaldehyde, sodium sulphide liming, hydrogen peroxide, and other chemicals such as BHA and BHT are commonly used as chemical preservatives to make sure it doesn’t spoil. Other potentially harmful contaminants include antibiotics, lead and insecticides.
  3. Digestive Problems – Some dogs are sensitive or allergic to rawhide or other substances used in the making of these chews. This can cause problems like diarrhea.
  4. Labeling - Rawhide is not considered a food item and is therefore not covered by any labeling, processing or content laws.

How is rawhide made?

Pet nutrition blogger Rodney Habib describes the manufacturing process in an informative and easy to understand way. Before you ‘gift’ rawhide to your pet, watch this video. Afterwards, throw your dog's Rawhide in the bin!

Video: Rodney Habib, Planet Paws.

Healthier alternatives

Our Furchild team carries a wide variety of natural and healthier options. We can help you find exactly the right size and appropriate chew, bone or treat for your dog.

Our Himalayan Chews from Nepal are fully digestible, 100% natural cheese chews that your dog will enjoy gnawing. They are made from simple ingredients: yak milk, cow milk, salt and lime. They contain neither preservatives nor chemicals. These chews come in three sizes: small, medium and large.

Raw Bones – Furchild has a selection of frozen raw bones from poultry necks (Chicken Necks, Duck Necks and Turkey Necks) to recreational bones (Lamb Femur and Beef Marrow Bones). Furchild uses only free range, non-medicated, hormone and steroid free sources for their products. Raw bones help to clean teeth, aid in digestion and naturally empty the anal sacs. They are part of your dog’s species-appropriate diet.

Other options in include chews like raw carrots, beef tails, tendons and various air-dried meats. However finding high quality and ethical suppliers of dog treats can be difficult in the UAE.

We love to hear feedback and suggestions from pet parents. If there's a healthy treat or chew you'd like us to offer, let us know.

Safety first

Whatever options you come across it’s important to do some research by reading the labels and asking the food manufacturer when in doubt.

Next time you see your neighbor’s, family’s or friend’s dog with a rawhide, suggest some healthier alternatives and feel free to share this article with them. The UAE has a large pet community. Together we can help educate and inform one another to make healthier and wiser decisions that safeguard our Furchildrens’ health.

Dec 2017

Have a question or comment? We would love to hear about it.

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