The dangers of rawhide chews

How Rawhide Chews are Made and the Dangers

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Bones and chews for dogs made out of rawhide, are very popular, and appear in all sorts of shapes and sizes, being quite economically priced. A rawhide chew can last a dog for days, perhaps even longer, yet it’s so dangerous, I am amazed that they still market it and sell it to animal lovers. If you’re a pet owner who uses rawhide products for your dog, read on to find out why you need to stop right now!

What is Rawhide?

The majority of pet owners wrongly assume that these chews are made out of some sort of dried up meat, yes nothing is further from the truth!

Taken from the inside layer of horse or cow hides that have been stripped of hair and cleaned. To carry out this hair removal process, the unprocessed hide is first soaked in chemicals such as sodium sulphide or an ash-lye solution which is really very toxic. The hide is then washed before being whitened with bleach or hydrogen peroxide, when its then dried and formed into the dog treats you find in the shops. Sometimes coatings or flavourings will be added, to make them more appetizing for the dogs. These additives may be highly toxic, containing not only preservatives like sodium benzoate, but also FD&Red40, a carcinogen.  Other toxins, such as formaldehyde and arsenic have also been detected in these rawhide treats, used as a glue to coat the chews to make them last longer. As rawhide is neither classified as a pet food, or for human consumption, there are no safety regulations applying to its manufacture.

Dangers of giving your dog rawhide chews

Choking – Possibly the greatest dangers of all is the risk of your dog choking. If you’ve ever seen a dog chewing on a piece of rawhide, you will know how soft, stringy and stretched it can become. Your dog will pull at it until he manages to pull off lengths of it, which mean he’s at great risk of choking, where it may become stuck in hits throat, damaging the lining of his oesophagus and blocking his airway. If you see your dog drooling at the mouth, pawing at his mouth, panicking or not being able to swallow, there is a huge chance he has got a piece of the rawhide lodged in his throat. You need to take emergency action and contact your vet immediately.

Contamination – As rawhide is manufactured from animal’s skins and products, the risk of salmonella is of huge concern to both you and your pet.

Intestinal blockage and digestive distress – If your pet does happen to swallow a section of rawhide chew, be prepared to take action. The rawhide will rapidly swell in his stomach or intestine, causing critical symptoms. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and possible pancreatitis. As rawhide isn’t digestible, your dog will have to pass it out of his system somehow, so be aware of any blockages.

Redirecting your pet’s natural inclination to chew by offering a tasty treat such as a raw carrot, a dog biscuit or a Kong chew, should save your shoes or your furniture. If you do feed them mass produced chews, make sure you are aware of how they are manufactured. Always keep an eye on your dog if he has any type of chew, and make sure he isn’t chewing on any small pieces that may cause a choking hazard.

Herre at Finchley Dog Walker we know Dogs get bored and would  recommend this article from a local dog trainer on helping to beat t boredom and improve mental heath

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