Let's Talk about Rawhide

I would like to ask your indulgence for a few minutes to hop on a soapbox of mine. I'm making this post to take a moment to talk about a serious topic that often comes up throughout the year but at the holidays especially. Did your pet receive a rawhide treat as a holiday gift? Do you give rawhides throughout the year? Did you know that there are many risks and concerns associated with rawhide treats?

Did you know that -most- rawhides sold in the USA:

🛑 are sourced from foreign, substandard factories (mostly China, but also other Asian and Central/South American countries)
🛑 are littered with toxins ☠️ - rawhide comes from the "bottom grain" of leather that is removed when animal hides are processed for leather. To remove the hair and fur, for example, a surprisingly poisonous cocktail of sodium sulfide is used in what’s called the liming process. In another stage, the hides are washed and whitened using either bleach or hydrogen peroxide, Arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, and mercury commonly show up in tests of rawhide ingredients. And that’s not all—countless artificial preservatives, flavorings, dyes, paints and glues are used by manufacturers to give rawhide bones their trademark shape and look
🛑 Are not always made from Cow leather - Horse leather is common as well and even DOG skin is a possibility. An ongoing investigation of the fur trade by Humane Society International, an arm of the HSUS resulted in this information, as listed on their website: “In a particularly grisly twist, the skins of brutally slaughtered dogs in Thailand are mixed with other bits of skin to produce rawhide chew toys for pet dogs. Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.”
🛑 are a choking hazard! Pets should always be supervised with ANY chew treat, but rawhides are especially troublesome. The knots at the ends of most rawhide toys are notorious for lodging in dog’s throats. Also, as the rawhide softens into that infamous and disgusting goo substance the toys become a serious choking risk for your pup. These slimy, pliable pieces can get stuck everywhere from the roof of your dog’s mouth to deep down in their esophagus.
🛑 can cause Gastrointestinal Damage - Rawhide products can be difficult for many dogs to properly and entirely digest. Once stuck in the stomach or intestine, rawhide chew toys can swell, requiring immediate medical attention. Even when treated in time, long term damage is not uncommon in these cases. There’s a laundry list of gastrointestinal symptoms associated with rawhide consumption—such as diarrhea, loose stool, stomach pain, loss of appetite, lethargy, and more.

You may or may not be aware but years ago, before I started making all natural healthy pet treats, I was a Veterinary Assistant and Veterinary Technician for a long time. I cannot tell you how many dogs I saw come into the Vet's office with rawhide complications. From digestive upset to full on blockages, I have seen with my own eyes how these "treats" can wreck a pet's system. Unfortunately not all pets that arrived with a blockage were able to be saved, and most that were saved resulted in expensive procedures and/or surgical removal of the blockages. It breaks my heart to see people still giving their pets rawhide when the risk is so great.

This post was not meant to preach at anyone or guilt anyone, I just want to help inform those who may be unaware of the risks of rawhide. If you decide to give rawhide anyway, please try to find rawhides made in the USA and please monitor your pet while chewing it. NEVER leave your pet alone with any chew treat.

If you would like more information here are some links you may find helpful.
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/are-rawhide-chews-dangerous-for-dog/
https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/rawhide-good-or-bad-for-your-dog#1