Rawhide treats are commonly given to pets of all ages and sizes because they encourage your pet’s natural instincts to chew. These treats are both tough and chewable, providing your pet’s teeth and jaws with a challenge. Chewing is very good for your pet as it relieves anxiety and helps to remove plaque and tartar from your pet’s pearly whites. In this article, we will take a look at what exactly these are made of and whether these are indeed, good for your pets.
What are rawhide treats?
It is often believed that rawhide treats are a by-product of the beef industry, in fact, rawhide is a by-product of the leather industry. These are the inner layer of hides (horse or cow). The top grain of the hide is made into leather products and the inner layer is what becomes rawhide treats. During the manufacturing process, these hides are cleaned out and cut. They are then made into the different shaped treats to be given to dogs. To tempt our pets, some of them have beef, liver or chicken flavours.
Possible Dangers of Rawhide Treats
Chemicals: The process of turning these inner hides into chewable treats for dogs involves a number of chemicals. This means that the end product that you give your pet also contains chemicals that may affect the health of your pet. Chemicals are used to preserve the hide during its journey to the tannery, they then use an ash-lye solution or a sodium sulphide liming process to remove any hair or fat that may be sticking to the hide. Yet another chemical is used to help the hide puff up, and this is what helps split the hide into layers. Once the hide is split into two, the inner raw hide is bleached or made into the white rawhide treats that we see. The final process involves giving it a tint or some sort of paint to make them more aesthetically appealing.
Choking or causing blockages: If swallowed, these rawhide chews can get stuck anywhere in the oesophagus tract, making it a very serious choking hazard. If you do choose to give your pet one of these treats, make sure that they are chewing them under strict pet parent supervision. If they do get stuck somewhere along the digestive tract, surgery may be required to remove the block. If left untreated, these blockages could lead to death.
Digestive Distress: Thanks to the number of chemicals used in the entire process, several pets have adverse reactions to these treats. These reactions could range from allergies to diarrhoea.
Look for Alternatives
While chewing is excellent for your pet, you should look at alternatives to rawhide chews. With the diversity in the chewable toy market, there are plenty of options for your pet to sink his or her teeth into. From natural chews like the grain free yakies chew. Buying yakies chew online is just as simple as buying anything else and these are a natural dog chew. Made from yak’s and cow’s milk, these are gluten free yakies chew options. Non staining yakies chew will not leave your pet’s teeth discoloured as all the Yakies chew bone online are natural products made without any chemicals.
Whatever it is that you give your pet, remember to do your own research into what goes into it. Your pet is likely to play with it for hours at a time and you should make sure what you give him or her is safe to chew on and will not have any adverse effects on your pet.