Dangers of Rawhide and Safe Alternatives

No, this isn’t cycling related. As a pet owner and a dog lover, I thought it would be good to share this article.

Dangers of Rawhide and Safe Alternatives (by: Sarah Sypniewski)

Rawhide chews and bones are very popular for dogs. They come in all sorts of sizes, and they are pretty economical to buy. Depending on the dog, a rawhide can last days or even weeks! However, rawhide is extremely dangerous. It is so dangerous, that I am stunned they can still sell it. In fact, the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA both discourage rawhide consumption and list it among the dangerous household products for pets (next to pesticides and cleaning chemicals). If you still use rawhide, read on to find out more about why you should stop – and what chewing alternatives are out there.

What Is Rawhide, Anyway?

It’s the inner layer of cow or horse hides that has been cleaned and stripped of hair. In order to remove the hair from this layer, the hide must be soaked in chemicals, primarily sodium sulfide. It’s as toxic as it sounds. It’s then washed and whitened with hydrogen peroxide, dried, and pressed into the treats you see in the stores (sometimes they add flavorings or coatings to make them appetizing for dogs). Other toxins, such as trace amounts of arsenic and formaldehyde have been detected in rawhide treats as well. Rawhide is classified neither as a human food nor pet food, so there are no regulations over its production.

Dangers of Rawhide

Choking – Probably the biggest danger of them all is the risk of choking. If you’ve ever watched a dog chew on a rawhide, you know how stringy, soft, and long it can become. At some point, a dog will have worked at it long enough that he’s chewed off pieces small enough to fit into his mouth and even into his esophagus, but that’s often where the buck stops. The rawhide can quickly and easily become lodged in his throat, blocking his airway…..

Continue reading the full article here: Dangers of Rawhide and Safe Alternatives

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