Let's discuss Rawhide chews and why exactly your Veterinarian and Dog trainers are so adamant that we should not give them to our dogs.
Rawhide chews are made from the leather industry’s leftovers. A vast majority of these rawhides chews come from China, which is known for potential added chemicals or debris which are not part of the actual product. These chews are made from cattle or horse hides and their creation begins with those animal hides being soaked in a toxic sodium sulphide to remove the hair and fat. More chemicals are used in order to split the hide into layers, and to slow the rotting process which is then washed with hydrogen peroxide to give the white "pure" look and remove the rancid smell. If you purchase your rawhides in fun shapes or colors, glue is added to keep them in those shapes.
When tested, these chews have shown traces of arsenic, mercury, chromium and formaldehyde.
If that wasn't bad enough they regularly cause intestinal blockages, poisoning from chemical residue and choking. The chews get slippery when wet and are near impossible to get hold of to pull out of your dog's mouth when they are choking.
Many of these treats end up with the dog "enjoying" some time in emergency veterinary
surgery, instead of relaxing at home where they are happy and comfortable.
Save your dog and your wallet, leave rawhide in the store where they belong. If some well meaning person buys them for your dog, put them safely away for later then throw them in the trash!
So what should you give to your dog instead? I'm glad you asked!
Dehydrated sweet potatoes are simple treats which provide fiber and antioxidants. They can be an excellent alternative to rawhide because they have a good crunch your dog will enjoy.
Trachea are sold in tube shapes and can definitely take some time for your dog to chew on. The unique shape slows your dog down while the taste will make that tail wag! Tracheas are high in protein as well as glucosamine and chondroitin. Additionally, you can stuff the tracheas (like we do with Kong toys) for extra fun!
Deer antlers are more well known and popular in many pet stores. They are available split or whole. While deer antlers are too hard for young puppies or very aggressive chewers (they can chip teeth), they are long lasting and natural. Antlers come most often in deer or elk, with elk being slightly more durable than deer.
There are tons of natural chew options which provide genuine benefits to your dog and they don't have the risks of rawhide.