We love to pamper our dogs and give them goodies. Treats, especially long-lasting chew treats, are an excellent way to occupy your dog’s time but are you doing what’s best for your pooch? Rawhide chews are a popular, inexpensive treat many families bring home. I can remember, as a little kid in the grocery store, begging my mom to buy a rawhide bone for my dog because I knew my four-legged friend would be so happy.
However you choose to pamper your dog, you should avoid rawhides because they can be dangerous. First, rawhides are processed hides of cattle and horses that have been removed, chemically cleaned, ground down, and pressed into the material used to fashion bones, sticks, rolls, and braids. Some rawhides are further processed by adding flavorings, such as beef, chicken, or liver, to make them more appetizing to dogs. The high chemical processing means there’s a greater chance of contamination and some rawhides can have trace amounts of toxins left over.
(Do you know if bones are safe for dogs? Check out. Are bones safe for your dog?)
These treats also claim to be good for the teeth and to help with destructive chewing behaviors, but they can be physically dangerous to chew. Chewing is a natural instinct in dogs, and if they feel stress or anxiety, they may go to town on furniture. Floor boards, shoes, clothes, or anything they can get their teeth around. Rawhides, especially the sticks, are known to split or peel off in sharp edges. These pieces pose a serious choking hazard, can damage the esophagus when swallowed, or even block the digestive process.
Rawhides can also irritate your dog’s digestive system and may even cause life-threatening conditions, like stomach bloat. Bloat is a serious health concern where your dog’s stomach twists and become distended.
Here is a video explaining the dangers "rawhide" can pose to our pets.
We love and protect our four-legged companions so why give them a treat that could potentially hurt them? Like me, chances are, you didn’t know. Thankfully, there are a lot of good options for chew toys that can replace the rawhide. Look for high-quality rubber toys that are tested and safe for your dog. Many of these chew toys even include spaces to add treats so your dog can enjoy some mental stimulation and a tasty treat. Your dog and your furniture will thank you.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for some chicken meat treats.