Rawhide Dog Treats: Is it Safe for Dogs?

When it comes to our pet dogs, we want them to eat their favorite yet healthy food. However, due to busyness on some schedules, sometimes we resort to easy-to-get and prepare treats for them. 

Rawhide dog treats are a frequently bought and lifesaver food,  especially for impatient or hyper dogs. But there comes the issue raised with its safety for our beloved pets. Are rawhide dog treats and bones harmful to dogs? Can I still give it to my dog from to time? 

Let’s address these concerns today!

What is Rawhide Dog Treat?

Rawhide dog treat is a snack primarily made of rawhide or animal skin that is not tanned, particularly pork, sheep, or cattle. The removed skin is dried and processed to become edible for dogs. It is usually manufactured in various sizes and shapes, with added flavor for diversity in the resulting product.

Typically, the manufacturing method of the rawhide involves cleaning the animal skin in water, followed by processing using bleach or hydrogen peroxide. This removes any hair and fat that remains on the skin. 

Likewise, it also delays the decay and removes the skin color, leaving it cream or white. Lastly, it will be dried as the last standard stage. In some cases, they smoke the animal skin to add flavor.

The finished product is well-loved by dogs. They are delicious and can be chewed for an extended period, keeping them busy. Rawhide for puppies is especially helpful for those who undergo teething since chewing rawhide dog treats can relieve their pain and discomfort.

It could also aid the dog in cleaning their teeth and improve oral health without actually brushing their teeth. 

Is Rawhide Dog Treats Safe for Dogs?

Like raw dog food (Brisbane and other places-based), significant issues have been raised regarding rawhide dog treats’ safety for dogs. Some believe it is dangerous and should not be given to dogs, yet some say it still depends. 

Objectively speaking, there are factors involved in contemplating whether it is safe for your dog or not. Additionally, it is a case-to-case basis depending on the size of your dog, how frequently you give them the dog treat, the brand you subscribe to, and their chewing habits.

Let’s discuss the factors that affect their safety.

Dog’s Style of Chewing

Every dog is different. The same goes for their chewing style. For instance, Rottweiler has the ability to chew harder compared to a Chihuahua. Moreover, puppies and senior dogs have softer mouths compared to their adult stage and so their food and treats for those ages should be softer. 

Also, remember that the chewing style changes over time. Aside from their age, other factors would be their health condition.

In observing their chewing style, take note as to whether they are strong chewers or not. Strong chewers tend to slice their treats with large chunks which is detrimental. It could be a choking hazard or an intestinal blockage, which are both unfortunate and life-threatening circumstances.

Hence, if your dog is a strong chewer, it would be best if you refrain from giving them rawhide dog bones or treats. On the other note, rawhide dog treats are safer for soft chewer dogs as they do not break them down into chunks.

Ingredients and Manufacturer of the Rawhide Dog Treat

You could have observed that many rawhide chew producers push their “natural, digestible chews.” It actually implies exactly that. The fact that dried animal skins are used to make rawhide chews appears quite normal. 

However, where these rawhides for dogs are created is a crucial factor to consider. Although American-made rawhides are hard to find and much more expensive than standard chews, the advantages clearly outweigh the drawbacks.

Furthermore, in some cases, the byproducts of the leather industry are used to make rawhide chews. The majority of hides are placed immediately into high-salt brines from the death floors of slaughterhouses, which helps halt their deterioration. 

Most rawhide chews are produced in China, and it may take weeks or months for these brined hides to reach the tanneries where they will be turned into the finished product. When the hide is sent to a tannery, it is first cleaned and treated with lime to assist extract the fat from the skin, and then the hair is removed using a combination of chemical and physical methods. 

Sadly, no matter how much time they delay decomposition, salt brines cannot stop it. So overall, before offering rawhide to your dog, thoroughly rinse it with water.

Digestibility of the Rawdige Dog Treat

The digestion of rawhide varies depending on the dog and the chew. In general, rawhides are challenging to digest, so swallowing large pieces that have been split off poses substantial blockage concerns. Your dog’s food will not be as thoroughly broken down if any bits are broken off. Therefore they will need to be passed down their digestive tract in chunks.

It is better to personally remove the chewed-up rawhide before ingesting it because it might clog the esophagus or cause digestive problems by remaining in the dog’s stomach for months.

Having said that, dogs who take their time munching on rawhides and avoid swallowing big pieces shouldn’t experience any stomach issues. 

Even though they don’t usually last as long, some producers even develop rawhide treats out of substances that are easier for dogs to digest, making them an excellent alternative for dogs with digestive problems. 

There are also substitute treats or chewy dog bones that resemble traditional rawhide in appearance and texture but have been specially prepared to be ingested. You may consider getting them, especially if your dog is a strong chewer.

Bottomline

Rawhide dog treats are not necessarily completely harmful to your dog, provided that you give them in moderation and with supervision. Likewise, as the fur parent, it is your responsibility to give it a balance in providing them with healthy dog food and treats to them. 

There are also various ways to ensure that the rawhide product is among the safest. Check out the brand and its manufacturer, buy the size that is appropriate for your dog, and observe their chewing. 

Additionally, think about your dog’s unique chewing habits and overall health, evaluate whether you can afford to pay more for premium, American-made chews, and talk to your vet. Be sure to read the label carefully, and remember that a thicker hide is preferable because it will take longer for them to chew on it.

Overall, it is up to you whether you offer your pet dog rawhide dog treats. As long as you have equipped with the essential information about rawhide dog treats, feel free to trust your instincts as the fur parent!