Rawhide is one of the most popular pet products sold. It has been for decades. Pet’s (particularly dogs) seem to love it! It can keep them occupied and happy for hours due to its toughness and flavor. However, recently social media has alerted pet owners to a pattern that perhaps in the past had been undetected… rawhide is sending pets to the vet!
Part of the problem is in the name itself (rawhide). The name makes most of us think of some type of dehydrated meat products but it’s a by-product of the leather industry. Top vet Dr. Karen Becker says, “the name ‘rawhide’ is technically incorrect. A more accurate name would be processed-hide, because the skin isn’t raw at all”.
Processed is a good word as it better describes how “rawhide bones” are made for animals. Unfortunately, the process is very alarming and doesn’t make the pet owners feel safe. Here is how rawhide bones are made:
1. After cattle are slaughtered, the hides are stripped and sent to tanneries to become leather. For the trip they must be preserved with a chemical bath.
2. Once at the tannery, hair and fat are removed from the hides via a different chemical solution consisting of either an ash/lye solution or a very toxic process of sodium sulphide liming.
3. More chemicals are now added in order to “split” the hide into layers. The outer layer is what we see in leather products. The inner layers are used to make such things as gelatin, cosmetics, glue and yes rawhide bones.
4. The parts used for rawhide bones are now subjected to bleach which both whitens and the hide and takes away any odors of decaying flesh.
5. However, the bleach still does not make them look white, or appetizing enough for retail sales. Here artificial dyes and flavorings make the product more commercially suitable. Unfortunately for our pets these dyes and flavorings contain known carcinogens like FD&C Red 40 and preservatives such as sodium benzoate.
6. Lastly, after being painted and dyed, the rawhide is strengthened and made more durable with glue. The glues they use have been tested to contain lead, arsenic, mercury, formaldehyde and other toxic ingredients.
Lastly let’s remember why we give these to our pets… it’s good for their teeth right? Well yes and no. Initially, the rawhide is hard… this is beneficial. But as the animal chews on it, it becomes soft and almost slimy. At this point the rawhide has no benefit. Your pet is simply chewing on the chemicals used to manufacture the rawhide. Small pieces can also choke or block the intestines and/or digestive tract.
Protect Your Pet!
Fortunately, by simply adding turmeric with some coconut oil to your dog’s food, you can improve your dog’s health significantly. Turmeric has been shown to contain Anti-Inflammatory Properties,. It’s been used to relieve joint pain, promote cardiovascular health, help with digestive issues and bowel health, and can even prevent and stop cancerous cells.
Small dogs should start with about 1/4 teaspoon per day
Medium dogs can start with 1/2 teaspoon per day
Large dogs can start with 3/4 teaspoon per day
Giant dogs can start with 1 teaspoon per day