Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Why Rawhide is Bad for Your Dog

Rawhide has become a very popular chew toy for dogs, because it is inexpensive and easy to find. But there are also several things wrong with rawhide that can cause great harm or even death to your dog. These are many other options such as bully sticks and durable dog toys that are better options.

What is rawhide?

Rawhide is the outside of the cow- the hide. It is then take and made into different shapes and styles to become dog chews. But since rawhide is unregulated, many can contain antibiotics, lead, and insecticides. Also with rawhide made in other countries, an arsenic based preservative is sometimes used.

Why is rawhide bad?

There are many reasons why feeding your dog rawhide is a bad idea. Rawhide is very hard to digest, thus it can easily get stuck in your dog’s esophagus or intestinal tract and cause a blockage and intestinal obstruction. It can also splinter, into sharp pieces, risking perforated your dog’s intestines and other internal injuries.

Rawhides digest very slowly and if consumed in large amounts quickly can actually cause vomiting or diarrhea. These large pieces of rawhide can also get lodged in your dog’s throat and cause choking. Large chunks can also scrap and irritate the esophagus as it goes does, which will cause coughing, irritation, and then possible infection. The worst types of rawhides are the ones that are thin chips or have knots on them. Dogs can quickly and easily break these off into pieces that they cannot chew and digest.

Lastly, rawhides are wasted calories. They contain nothing. If given in large amounts, they could make your dog gain unwanted weight.

Alternatives to Rawhide:

· Beef Tendons
· Frozen Raw Bones
· Kneecaps
· Deer Antlers
· Bully Sticks
· Sweet Potato Chews
· Yams

Many of these alternatives are all meat and thus 100% digestible.

Non Food Alternatives to Rawhide:

· Kongs
· Hide a Squirrel Toys
· Canine Genius Toys
· Interactive Dog Toys

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