Rawhide treats are very popular for dogs. They can give your dog something they are allowed to chew on. They can also keep your dog entertained for a long period of time. Rawhide treats may seem like the perfect solution for puppies that like to chew, and rambunctious dogs with lots of energy. However, there are dangers of giving your dog rawhide that you may not be aware of.
Most people aren't aware of the dangerous contaminants that can be hidden in rawhide chews. The problem is that many of these chews are manufactured outside of the U.S., where there are fewer regulations about contamination. Rawhide chews have been found to contain antibiotics, insecticides, and even arsenic. These can all be very harmful to your dog. They can cause symptoms like dehydration, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Bacteria can also grow on the chew. When your dog chews on it, they can ingest this harmful bacteria and become sick.
You may use rawhide chews to keep your dog out of trouble when you aren't home. However, most chews actually warn you not to give them to your dog unsupervised. As the dog chews the rawhide and bites pieces off, it can become a choking hazard. The pieces can become lodged in the throat and block their airway. It can also become lodged in their digestive tract. This can lead to expensive surgeries or even death.
Rawhide treats are made from the inner layer of hide from horses or cows. The hide is cut or ground up, and then pressed into different shapes. Sometimes flavoring is added to make them more appealing. This material is extremely hard to digest. If the ingest too much rawhide, it can cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea.
There are a few healthy alternatives to rawhide. Bully sticks are a bit more expensive than rawhide, but they are much better for your dog. You may be put off by the fact that they are made from the part of a bull that makes it a bull, but your dog won't mind.
Bones are another alternative. There is some controversy about giving your dogs bones as they have been known to splinter from the baking process making them brittle. Raw bones, however, are something that dogs naturally eat in the wild. At SitStay we work very hard to find bones that are as close to the natural raw bones as we can find for the safety of your (and our) dogs.
Rawhide may be convenient, but it isn't worth risking your dog's health and safety.