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Rawhide: The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever!

Discussion in 'Doberman Health and News Articles' started by strykerdobe, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Why Rawhide Is Dangerous For Your Dog!



    By: Rodney Habib -

    Reading Time: 5 minutes

    How can one of the most popular chew sticks on the planet be so dangerous for your pets, you ask?

    I mean, most dogs chew on rawhide for hours on end, and not only does it keep them busy, but they seem to last forever.

    Well if you understood what it took to make this toxic “raw” leather stick, you would quickly understand what the problem is.

    Aside from the horror stories circulating all over social media these days, of pets needing emergency surgery after consuming rawhide, the majority of pet parents today, especially the newbies, believe that this chew is some sort of dried up meat stick.

    Let me debunk that myth right away!

    A rawhide stick is not the by-product of the beef industry nor is it made of dehydrated meat. Rather, rawhide is the by-product of the “Leather Industry”, so theoretically it is a leather chew.

    Sounds awesome, right?


    How It’s Made
    “Producing rawhide begins with the splitting of an animal hide, usually from cattle. The top grain is generally tanned and made into leather products, while the inner portion, in its “raw” state, goes to the dogs.” TheBark.com

    So, how does this leather, which is conveniently rolled up into pretty shapes, actually get made into those rawhide chews?

    Follow along my friends and I will enlighten you on how this hide travels through a leathery process where it transforms from hide to a not-so beautiful, colorful, chew stick. Here is a paraphrased tutorial that was explained by the whole dog journal several years back:

    STEP 1: To The Tannery
    Normally, cattle hides are shipped from slaughterhouses to tanneries for processing. These hides are then treated with a chemical bath to help “preserve” the product during transport to help prevent spoilage.

    (No one wants to purchase a black, spoiled rawhide stick!)

    Once at the tannery: the hides are soaked and treated with either an ash-lye solution or a highly toxic recipe of sodium sulphide liming. This process will help strip the hair and fat that maybe attached to the hides themselves.

    (No, no one wants to see a hairy hide…)

    Next on this glorious journey, these hides are then treated with chemicals that help “puff” the hide, making it easier to split into layers.

    The outer layer of the hide is used for goods like car seats, clothing, shoes, purses, etc. But, it’s the inner layer that is needed to make the rawhide. (Oh and other things like gelatin, cosmetics, and glue as well!)

    STEP 2: Cleansed In Chemicals
    Now that we have the inner layer of the hide, it’s time to go to the post-tannery stage! Hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and/or bleach; this will also help remove the smell of the rotten or putrid leather.


    (Research also shows that other chemicals maybe used here to help the whitening process if the bleach isn’t strong enough.)

    [RELATED] There are many other safe and healthy treats to choose from. Here are some of our faves.

    STEP 3: Make It Look Pretty
    Now it’s time to make these whitened sheets of this “leathery by-product” look delicious! So, here is where the artistic painting process comes in.

    “Basted, smoked, and decoratively tinted products might be any color (or odor) underneath the coating of (often artificial) dyes and flavors. They can even be painted with a coating of titanium oxide to make them appear white and pretty on the pet store shelves.” – whole-dog-journal.com

    “…the Material Safety Data Sheet reveals a toxic confection containing the carcinogen FD&C Red 40, along with preservatives like sodium benzoate. But tracking the effects of chemical exposure is nearly impossible when it’s a matter of slow, low-dose poisoning.”– thebark.com

    Ok, now that these hides have been painted, it’s time for the final process.

    Think this is bad? Check out what’s in your dog’s kibble… Click here!

    STEP 4: Getting It To Last Forever!
    When tested: Lead, Arsenic, Mercury, Chromium salts, Formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals have been detected in rawhides.

    So it’s safe to say that any sort of glues can be used as well!

    Finally, it’s time to package and attach all the glorious marketing labels to the product.

    Check out the fine print warning that’s attached with some of these rawhides:
    Choking or blockages. If your dog swallows large pieces of rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract. Sometimes, abdominal surgery is needed to remove them from the stomach or intestines. If it isn’t resolved, a blockage can lead to death.

    (Oh, how lovely…)

    And there it is! It’s now ready to be shipped to store shelves where it can be purchased for our loving animal companions.

    How do proactive veterinarians feel about these chews?

    Here is world-renowned veterinarian Doctor Karen Becker’s take on the matter:

    “The name ‘rawhide’ is technically incorrect. A more accurate name would be processed-hide, because the skin isn’t raw at all. But the term “rawhide” has stuck.

    Rawhide chews start out hard, but as your dog works the chew it becomes softer, and eventually he can unknot the knots on each end and the chew takes on the consistency of a slimy piece of taffy or bubble gum. And by that time your dog cannot stop working it — it becomes almost addictive.

    At this point, there’s no longer any dental benefit to the chew because it has turned soft and gooey, and, in fact, it has become a choking and intestinal obstruction hazard.”

    P.S. Ready for the jaw dropper?

    An investigation by Humane Society International stated in their report, “In a particularly grisly twist, the skins of brutally slaughtered dogs in Thailand are mixed with other bits of skin to produce rawhide chew toys for pet dogs. Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.” – dogingtonpost.com
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  2. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I have read this years ago and have never been a fan of these even before the hazards were reported.

    It makes me very angry that these are allowed, not to mention pushed on the JQP pet owners.

    If boarding dogs come in with these treats in their boarding bag, we throw them away and attach the above information to check out sheet when the dogs are picked up.
    The owners need to be aware of what they are giving their dogs.

    I also watched a program that showed how they made these. Made me sick and horrified.
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  3. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I never really had any experience with rawhide. As a kid my Mom wouldn't allow it in the house because it becomes this gooey mess.
    When Drake was a pup, I let the dogs out. I don't remember why because I don't let them out alone, but that day I did. After I finished whatever I was doing, I went outside to find Drake gagging and sort of flopping around. I ran to him to find he was choking. I saw something in his throat. Luckily hubby was still home and I screamed for him to come help. He had his tool (ALWAYS has a Gerber on him) and he was able to get it out. Turns out our neighbor took it upon herself to give the dogs a treat...a rawhide. Drake had never even seen one and had no idea what to do with it. Apparently he thought you were supposed to swallow it. Since that day rawhide has not been near my dogs and they are NEVER outside alone. BTW, my neighbor was just a sweet old lady that had only good intentions. She had gone to the pet store to get some cat toys that were on sale. She spotted the rawhides in a display that advertised what a good thing they were for dogs. She loved Drake and Greta and thought she would get them a treat.
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  4. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Rawhide. Yeah, it's been around for a long time. I can remember my mother's poodles chewing on a stick. I don't remember giving it to my dogs at all. Especially when I had my Pomeranians. I did have a pigs ear that I gave to my first Doberman. When he almost choked on it, that was the last time I gave that! Then I saw the video on how Rawhide is made. Yeah, that's the last time I would even think of giving ANY rawhide! And I try and inform others who don't know. Disgusting.
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  5. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    I had bought rawhides from Costco when Kaiser was becoming a monster teen and I ran it past someone who had lots of dogs before. She told me not to give it because it was bleached. I thought how is that even a sensible thing to do? Who would bleach food? I was reluctant so I googled it and it shocked me to see it was real! With the absorbed saliva it must like swallowing a towel - talk about a major choke hazard and intestinal obstruction nightmare!
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  6. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Omg, I thought the same thing! Almost didn't believe it. Til I read up on it like you! Just awful. :thumbdown:
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  7. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Rawhide is just utter rubbish :thumbdown:
    Pet shop suppliers like ‘Pets At Home’ have shelves filled with the stuff. Honestly, it looks gross. Christmas is worse time!!
    I think people buy it because it’s so cheap.....yet so dangerous if they actually looked into it better!
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