How Safe Are Rawhide Dog Chews?

Rawhide dog chews are one of the most common pastimes of treats for dogs. Dogs love the taste of rawhide and owners love to give them something that they will enjoy. Rawhide is a product which is made from the skin of bulls and cows. It used to be common place knowledge that rawhide was the perfect and most safe treat to give your dog. However, recent research has indicated that rawhide treats can prove detrimental to the health and safety of your dog.

Contents of Rawhide Dog Chews

The most dangerous aspect of rawhide is that there is no FDA, or Federal and Drug Administration, regulation over them. Rawhide chews are certainly not a human food, and they are not deemed a pet food, therefore there is no regulation surrounding them and their consumption.

The problem with this is that they can contain powerful animal by-products and chemicals that are extremely harmful to your dog. Mercury and lead are a few of several chemicals which have been found in rawhide chews. Mercury and lead are both known for causing massive destruction to internal structures. They are also known for causing reproductive issues and respiratory conditions. 

Furthermore, because rawhide is a product of animal skin, it is equally dangerous when you think of the pesticides, manure and environmental factors that the animal was subjected to before his skin was used to create rawhide.

What Happens During Digestion

Once your dog ingests the rawhide, not only has he ingested several harmful chemicals, but the rawhide also expands in his stomach. When this happens, it can block major passageways in the digestive tract; which can lead to a fatal situation. In addition, rawhide poses a major choking hazard because as your dog chews it, the pieces break down into shards which can become lodged in the throat.

If your dog is regularly given rawhide, you may notice some stomach upset and digestive complications. Diarrhea and vomiting are not uncommon in dogs that are exposed to rawhide. Be aware that the seriousness of your dog ingesting harmful chemicals is unlimited.

Try Some Safer Treats

Rawhide is absolutely one of the most dangerous treats that you can give to your dog. Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers and pet stores still do very well at selling the product. But because there are a lot of uninformed consumers, the sale of rawhide products will likely continue. However, because you are informed of the dangers of rawhide chews, it is best to never allow your pet to eat or chew them.

Alternative Treats for Dog Safety

With all of the alternatives on the market today, there is no reason why feeding rawhide chews should continue. Some alternatives are made of rubber, nylon or beef. Any alternative to rawhide will be a healthy step in the right direction for your dog. Some of the great alternative products you may want to consider include:

  • Nylabone
  • Beef bones
  • Healthy Edibles Natural Dog Chews
  • Dental Chews
  • Dogzilla
  • Booda Bones 
The bottom line is this: rawhide is not safe for your dog. There is no regulation over ingredients used in them, they contain many harmful chemicals and they present a serious choking hazard for your dog