Why is rawhide so bad for your dog?

December 26, 2016 at 6:00 am

First you need to know what rawhide is.

Rawhide is the inner layer of cow or horse hides, it’s like a ‘cheap’ leather. Dogs can eat the skin of many smaller rodents but the big ones tend to have tough hides that don’t break down.

Rawhide is made from the off-cuts of hide, which are cleaned and cut or ground and pressed into chewable dog treats. It’s a very cheap and poorly nutritious product.

Major dog treat corporations who sell you compressed vegetable matter (because it’s cheap) forget to mention that meat dog treats are the ideal natural dog food.

The trouble with rawhide is essentially its cheap leather. Yes there may be trace amounts of toxic chemicals in the leather conditioning process, however the majority of fears are based on digestive system irritations or allergic reactions to the chemicals and most importantly, the ever present choking hazards.

These choking hazards are the main reason that I don’t recommend or use large slabs of rawhide.

The main use of rawhide is to preoccupy bored dogs. They also claim it can clean teeth and strengthen the jaws of dogs. Weighing its use against the danger or choking or an intestinal blockage pretty much negates the safe use of them with any dog.

The way they make leather more attractive to dogs to eat is adding artificial meat based flavours like beef and chicken. They rarely add actual meat, but often traces of artificial condensed flavouring.

Good dog treat alternatives to bad raw hide

As you may have read, I value natural meat based diets.  Since raw hide is actually bad leather dried and shaped into various treat shapes it has nothing to do with being raw or good for a dog.

Many people use pigs ears or pig skin rolls. The massive difference between rawhide and pig skin is that pig skin is much easier for dogs to digest. Yes it is often relatively high in fat, but it can often take a long time to chew, so a dog won’t get fat on something that it can’t actually rip apart and eat.

I prefer treats like beef tendons, kangaroo tendons, fish skins and many of the jerkies for dogs to chew on.  If your dog is insanely good at chewing, harder animal products like cow hooves or real bones can also be used.

Bones are good for big chewers as most of the product is low energy bone with only a small amount of high calorie marrow in the centre.

With any dog toy or dog treat you should always supervise chewing.

BIO:  Bruce Dwyer researches and sources healthy meat based dog treats in Australia for his own dog and others. From an original career in Electronic engineering his analysis and research skills had him well sort after in Corporate Australia until he chose to concentrate on the dog service industry. His company ‘Healthy Dog Treats’ has been in business since 2011 and was based on finding the best dog food natural supplement nutrition for his own dog (Archie the 8 year old spoodle). Archie not only approves of the selections but is featured on many videos on site trialling these ‘treats’.  Understanding that people also enjoy dog treat news and free dog treat coupons he has a weekly email newsletter that can be subscribed on his site.   Bruce is also a professional dog walker and besides his regular blog on his main website his daily dog walk adventure images and videos and dog treat news can be found on these places:

Website - dogwalkersmelbourne.com.au 
Facebook - HealthyDogTreatsShop
Twitter - DogTreatMan
Google + - HealthydogtreatsAu1