Monday, July 31, 2017
Rawhide chews for dogs have been around forever so you may not think twice about giving them to your dog, but do you know how they are actually made? According to holistic veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, "...the name "rawhide" is technically incorrect. A more accurate term would be processed-hide, because there's nothing raw about these chews. Not only are rawhide chews often found on lists of pet poisons, they can be problematic in other ways as well."
One example of that is the recent recall of five brands of rawhide chews for dogs due to being contaminated with chemicals. Are you currently giving rawhide chews to your dog? Check this article for the brands and lot numbers involved in the recall and to learn more about it:
To learn more about rawhide manufacturing, check out this video created by Dr. Becker and Rodney Habib:
Another way in which rawhides are problematic is that they are a serious choking hazard. Never leave a dog unattended while chewing a rawhide. I've lost count the number of times over the last 15 years that we have saved a dog from choking to death on a rawhide by pulling them out of their throats. I wonder how many dogs are not so lucky because no one was there to help them.
Oddly enough, as I was writing this article I received an email about a dog who sadly just recently choked to death on a treat called "No Hide" that claimed to be an alternative to rawhide and that it was NOT rawhide, when in fact DNA testing showed them to be made with beef rawhide. Beef was not listed in the ingredients at all. These treats claimed to be chicken or salmon. It's unbelievable sometimes what these manufacturers are allowed to get away with. You can read the entire article here: http://truthaboutpetfood.com/is-no-hide-dog-treat-actually-hide/
If you do currently give your dog rawhides, I hope after reading these articles and watching this video that you think twice about it going forward. Your pets count on you to do what's best for them. There are safer and healthier treats available.
UPDATE: Just hours after posting this I received notice that the No-Hide treats mentioned above were not made under USDA inspection, though the company's claims allude to they are. How sneaky. Read more about it here.