Are rawhides good for your dog?
As people in the pet business, we at Hillrose Pet Resort get asked often if rawhides are good for dogs. Well, instead of giving you a yes/no answer, we’d like to take this opportunity to give you some facts about rawhides and let you decide what’s best for your pet. Here’s what we’ll cover in this blog:
- What rawhides are
- How rawhides are made
- Benefits and risks to pets
WHAT ARE RAWHIDES?
Rawhides are made from the inner soft skin or hide of an animal. They can be made from cows, horses, pigs or any other cleft-hooved animals.
HOW ARE RAWHIDES MADE?
What they are made of may not be of much concern, but how they are made can be of great concern, especially if they are NOT made in the USA. In countries outside of the US, the first step in making a rawhide is typically a chemical bath that is supposed to preserve the product during transport. In the US, there are some manufacturers who do use chemicals, but this process is much more regulated here than in other countries where they are likely to contain more chemicals. Based on a recent article in Canine Journal, here is how the process works:
During processing, it is first soaked in an ash-lye solution to remove the hair and fat. Then it can be “cleaned” with water or bleach and/or hydrogen peroxide. In some countries arsenic, or even formaldehyde, is used in this process (banned in the U.S.). Finally, it is either left natural or smoked and other artificial flavors are added to entice your dog to chew for hours.
Keep in mind, that your dog may have a sensitivity to the products used in this process. If you do plan to give your dog a rawhide, we would advise ensuring that you only use rawhide products that are made in the USA.
BENEFITS AND RISKS TO YOUR DOG
Dogs like rawhides because they satisfy their urge to chew, especially for puppies. They also can be an effective tool for cleaning your dog’s teeth. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean is a very important part of their grooming and over-all health, and rawhides do serve this purpose. However, there are some risks that you should be aware of when giving your dog rawhides. Obviously, the chemicals used, particularly in those made outside of the USA, can be very harmful to your pet. These can cause digestive issues, vomiting and diarrhea in some dogs. Additionally, rawhides can also pose a choking hazard to your dog if your dog happens to swallow a large chunk instead of chewing it.
Are rawhides good for your dog? Well, you are the best one to decide this, however, now that you know more about rawhides, how they’re made and the potential risks for your dog, it may be advisable to ask your vet for some healthier and safer alternatives to clean their teeth and satisfy your dog’s need to chew.
OUR COMMITMENT TO OUR CUSTOMERS
At Hillrose Pet Resort, we have made the decision to only supply products made in the USA. Although we do not sell rawhides, you can find a great selection of other pet products in our store located in our lobby.