Image courtesy of Rodney Habib

Image courtesy of Rodney Habib

Rawhide might be one of the most popular chew sticks for pets but it is also the most dangerous. Planet Paw had a great article about the dangers of RawHide.

Rawhide is actually animal hide. The top layer of animal skin is separated from the “raw” and used for leather. The “raw” that is left is used for making rawhide. 

The hide is treated with a chemical bath to help preserve it. Then treated in a toxic solution of either ash-lye or sodium sulphide liming. This strips the hair and fat that might still be attached from the hide. The hides are then bleached and whitened. To make them look nice they are painted and coated with artificial flavors. Glue is then added to help keep the rawhide together in its shape. 

Dangers of RawHide

  • Rawhide often causes blockages in the throat or other parts of the digestive tract, sometimes requiring abdominal surgery to remove. An unresolved blockage can lead to death.  
  • The chemicals used in RawHide are obviously not good for your dog’s overall health.
  • No dental benefit. People use to believe that RawHide would help clean your dogs teeth, but after they chew it the RawHide gets gooey and slimy, therefore contributing to plaque buildup.

If your dog has been chewing on rawhide and you believe may have an obstruction, call your vet immediately.  Instead of RawHide, give your dog a safe treat and/or chew toy. The Kong chew toy is great because it is rubber and you can hide a treat inside it.