What are Rawhide Dog Bones?
Rawhide dog bones are an edible treat for dogs that will keep them busy for hours. They are made from the hide or skin of animals like cattle or horses and are a byproduct of the leather industry. The inner raw layer is used to make rawhide dog bones.
Why are Rawhide Dog Bones Popular?
Dogs like to chew things and dog owners like to give their dogs treats. Chewing on things helps keep your dog’s teeth clean and also gives your dog something to do.
While many dog owners consider giving their dogs people food, it is not recommended by vets. Feeding dogs people food can cause obesity and stomach related problems for your dog. To give their dogs something to chew on, pet owners usually give them rawhide dog bones. Rawhides are cheap and available just about anywhere. Because they’re cheap, rawhide dog bones are a popular chew toy with pet owners.
Giving rawhide bones to your dogs also helps keep your belongings safe. Dogs will generally stay away from chewing furniture, shoes and children’s toys because they will have something else to chew.
How are Rawhide Dog Bones Manufactured?
Rawhide dog bones are made from hides from the slaughterhouse. The rawhide is then pressed into different shapes and sizes to produce rawhide dog bones. During the manufacturing process chemicals are used as preservatives and to remove hair from the hides. It is possible that these Rawhide Dog Bones may contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals.
After the rawhide bones are made some manufacturers also add flavors like beef, chicken and liver to make the rawhide appealing for dogs. Some dogs will chew anything, but adding more flavoring makes them a lot more appealing.
Risks Associated with Rawhide Dog Bones
As mentioned above, rawhide chews may contain chemicals residue that can make them toxic.
Because rawhide bones are made from the animal skins, it is possible they could also be contaminated with salmonella. Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause fever, pain, diarrhea and stomach-related problems in animals. It’s very important to know that Salmonella bacteria can be transmitted to humans. It’s impossible to know if the rawhide bone you buy your dog is infected with salmonella or not when you buy it. The FDA has initiated regular recalls of rawhide bones because of salmonella contamination.
Some dogs are allergic to rawhide chews made from animal skins that are used like cows or horses. Ingredients like added flavors or chemicals used in the manufacturing process can also cause allergic reactions. The allergic reactions can lead to digestive issues like diarrhea.
The most serious risk associated with rawhide dog bone is choking. Rawhides are edible and become smaller as they are chewed over time. The bone can break into small pieces. If the rawhide dog bone becomes small enough, your dog may try to swallow it whole and choke on the rawhide. Once it becomes small enough that your dog could attempt to swallow it, we recommend replacing it with a new one.
Are Rawhide Dog Bones Safe for Dogs?
The safety of rawhide bones depends on the manufacturing process that is used to make them. Many manufacturers add chemicals to preserve the hide that can make the rawhide harmful for your dog. Some manufacturers follow high-quality processes to make rawhide dog bones but not all manufactures do.
If you plan to buy rawhide dog bones, you will want to avoid ones with specific chemical ingredients. Hydrogen peroxide or bleach solutions are used to wash and whiten the rawhide. Lead, arsenic, mercury and chromium are other chemicals that can be found in rawhide bones. If you insist on buying these for your dog we recommend that you only buy rawhide made in the US or EU. Other countries may not have the quality control found here and may “forget” to label any harmful ingredients.
No matter the manufacturing process, vets generally recommend against giving rawhide bones to your dogs. There are many safer alternatives that you can use as treats for your dog and also give them something to chew.
Alternatives to Rawhides Dog Bones
Pegetables are dental chew toys that are created using vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots and peas. The best part about pegetables is that they are gluten, corn and grain-free. Pegetables are available at online pet stores and are much better for dogs to chew.
Bully sticks are chew toys made from high-protein beef muscle (bull penis). They are made from a single-ingredient, making them completely safe to chew and digest. Chewing bully sticks can also help keep your dog’s teeth clean.
The only issue with bully sticks is that it can upset a puppies stomach. We recommend only giving them to dogs over 1 year.
Salmon Skin Bones
These are chew toys that are made from salmon skin. They are safe for dogs and are not known to cause allergies or digestive issues. Salmon skin bones are also a rich source of protein and can be a great option for dogs who don’t like vegetable treats. The only concern is that if large pieces are swallowed they can cause blockages in the digestive tract.