The Potentially Deadly Treat You’re Probably Giving Your Dog

The Potentially Deadly Treat You’re Probably Giving Your Dog

Vet examining bulldog August 28, 1998

When it comes to chewing, I wonder why a dog’s mouth never hurts and how they can’t get rid of chewing. It looks that they can chew forever. It is hard for us to gnaw a chewing gum for more than 15 minutes but these pups are really good at this chewing business. If  you have forgot to put back your favorite pair shoes on the shoe rack then you must probably buy a new pair because I am sure you will not find them in the same condition. Any of your precious things can fall a prey of untimely destruction. Thanks to the furry friend for being such an aggressive chewer. Yes…dogs are chompers by nature! Many people rawhide treat to mitigate their chewing tendency, but giving them rawhide can certainly save their valuables but it puts the dog in danger. Lets us learn some facts about rawhide before offering it to the dog.

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Where do these rawhides come from?

Cow’s or horse’s inner layer of the skin is used to make the rawhide, which is then cleaned, cut and pressed down to give different shapes and sizes to allure dogs. They are mostly white and brown in color and apparently clean when you see them in a store. Obviously, you can’t guess the chemicals by just looking at it. But for your information, manufacturers use chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, bleach, for cleaning, sodium benzoate as preservatives and other harmful chemicals to give artificial coloring to the product. To tempt dogs, rawhides may come in different flavors like of beef, chicken and liver. Deadly poisons like arsenic and formaldehyde are also used. Some might contain even skins of dogs.

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How can rawhides affect dog’s health?

6Depending upon dog’s chewing needs; rawhide’s risk can range from lower to higher. However, no matter how less your dog consumes, risk can be serious.

Rawhide may have the following affects:

Allergies:

Some dogs may be simply allergic to these rawhides or to the ingredients used in their making.

Digestive Disorders:

1Rawhide contains some toxic chemicals, may be in a little amount but enough to cause Salmonella or E.coli contamination and diarrhea.

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Choking Hazard:

Even a tiny or a broken piece of the rawhide can get lodged in the dog’s throat which puts it to serious danger. A vet can remove it from the throat.

Digestive Blockage:

Sometimes dog can swallow the piece of raw hide which can create havoc in the digestive tract. Depending upon the size, it has to be removed as soon as possible. In severe cases abdominal surgery is required to remove the pieces from the intestine. It may even lead to death.

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Gastrointestinal Problems:

Rawhide, if ingested in large amount, it can cause gastrointestinal complications.

Symptoms that must not be overlooked:

If you notice any of the following symptoms, after or during the dog’s rawhide treat, then immediately contact your veterinarian.

Signs such as:

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  • Regurgitation
  • Choking or gagging
  • Repeated swallowing
  • Throwing up
  • Continuous stools with/without blood
  • Feverish
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Refusal to eat
  • Weight loss

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Does it have some goods too?…

Against the odds, rawhides too have a brighter side. Only if carefully selected, rawhides can keep engage dog for hours. Let’s look at the other side of the coin:

Can prevent your precious items from being chewed:

15Chewing is dog’s natural instinct. They can chew anything irrespective of the fact that how pricey that item is which is going to be chomped in some time. Rawhide can keep your pooch captivated for long hours and save your valuables from getting chewed.

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Good for gums and teeth:

Chewing can keep your dog’s gum strong. Dogs that chew rawhides have less dental problems as when the rawhide chews get moistened, it wraps around their teeth clearing of any plaque and tartar that builds up on the teeth. Not to mention, that chewing rawhides cannot alone safeguard your dog’s teeth, dental brushing is to be done regularly.

Relieves anxiety:

It is also found that chewing can stimulate dog and help it to get over anxiety.

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Reduces dental pain in puppies:

5In some puppies, tooth coming is painful. At that time if they gnaw on rawhide, they feel less pain at the time of upcoming new tooth and can strengthen their jaws.

Dogs enjoy rawhide treat:

Since rawhide comes in variety of shapes, sizes and flavors, dogs enjoy it whenever they get new and fresh rawhide to chew.

How to give the dog a safe raw hide treat?

Rawhide treats are not bad at all times, if carefully selected and you are assured of all the ingredients. There are certain things you must do to offer a safe rawhide treat to your pooch:

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  • Go for the rawhides those label say that they are ‘preservative free’ or no chemical preservative is used during its manufacturing and thereafter.
  • Ideal, if you can obtain a rawhide from a family which slaughter their own cows and dry them naturally under the sun.
  • Monitor the intake of rawhide and limit the chewing to an hour a day or even less.
  • Consult your vet to decide on the amount to be given to the dog which usually depends upon the size of the dog.
  • Always give rawhide when your dog is relaxed and not around any other pet as it will reduce the chances of gulping larger pieces.
  • Do not leave your dog unsupervised and take away the small-enough-to swallow rawhide chews to prevent digestive blockage.

Are there any safer options too?

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1If there are evils then there are goods too. Rawhides can be very well substituted with other healthier and safer alternatives.

Carrots:

You may think that your dog would not be interested in carrots; then try giving him some full size carrots and you will know that they love this healthy and affordable snack.

Raw bones:

Uncooked bones from Turkey necks, beef knee caps and beef knuckle caps are also good options. Cooked bones can wreck havoc in dog’s digestive tract as it has rich marrow which is slow to digest. Raw bones are wonderful treats for chewing but remember to take away the bones those who have worn down in size, to prevent choking hazards.

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Bully Sticks

: Some people argue that bully sticks are no better than rawhide. For those who are in favor, bully sticks may be awful in odor and are also expensive, but they tend to get soft and when they are soft they are fine.

The Honest Kitchen Beams Chew

These are made up of Icelandic Catfish skins and contain absolutely no preservative. They are rich source of omega fatty acids and have a mild abrasive effect which helps reducing tartar just like a toothbrush.
Bottom Line: It is not possible to kill your dog’s natural tendency to chew and also you cannot let it chew anything that comes in its way, so you need to let him chew on some rawhides or chew toys but you need to be extremely careful during its chewing sessions and offer it healthier and safer options in place of chemical coated rawhides. You cannot afford to overlook any moment otherwise you might have to pay a heavy price for your carelessness.