The lure of the hide.
Treating your dog is something we all do for varying reasons. From rewarding a good deed, wanting to share the love, sharing a moment of togetherness or in a lot of cases giving a long-term treat by way of keeping your dog amused by themselves for longer, especially if you are going out. This is where the humble rawhide treat is often given, as a “keep you busy for a bit longer” chew.
What is rawhide?
Simply put it is the inner layer of a cow hide. During manufacturing the hides are cut and cleaned (usually with hydrogen peroxide and/or bleach) then shaped into attractive dog treats or bones. Often artificial flavours are added to make them smell and taste more appealing to dogs. Most rawhide chews though are by-products of the leather industry, are you still sure you still want to give your dog a “leather chew” that’s been cleaned in bleach!
Rawhide chews no matter what size or shape are serious potential choking and blockage hazards. If your dog swallows all or part of a rawhide chew it can get stuck in the oesophagus or digestive track. Once chewed the hide becomes a messy and sticky piece of hide that is hard to move through the body and before even entering the body could cause your dog to choke. Even if your dog does manage to swallow his rawhide safely there are still other health risks associated including gastrointestinal problems and further blockages and difficulty passing the chew from the bottom. Also chews are not easily digestible and due to this can sit in a dog’s stomach for months.
The good news!
There are plenty of alternatives 🙂
With a bit of research you can find plenty of other options including fish skins which are also great for the Omega oils, marrow bones, cattle hooves, edible dental chews, deer antlers.
In a nutshell if you give your dog a rawhide chew, a trip to the vet is quite possible.