My 9 month old puppy was listless all day, at mid night, he was rushed to the vet. Jack Russell’s are the feistiest of feisty dogs, and when my 9 month old tornado was dull, listless, and bleeding, it was time to panic. If you’ve ever owned or experienced the energy of a Jack Russell, you know if they have no energy… it’s serious. This is an incident from 20 years ago, but the memory is as fresh as if it were yesterday.
The veterinarian questioned us on his diet, activity and toys. Raw hide chews were the culprit. We thought we were doing right by him, buying the slim, easy to chew raw hide bones. After all, if raw hide is unsafe surely pet shops wouldn’t sell them? Why would they be labelled as great dental chews?
Needless to say, my dog never saw ‘hide nor hair’ of another raw hide bone for the next 17 years of his life!!
The pet industry has known for approximately 20+ years of the harmful and often fatal effects of raw hide bones. And what perplexes is pet shops continue to market, sell and promote these products. It is vital that you as a pet parent recognise the dangers of what seems like an innocent treat!
If you visit a pet shop or facility that sells or uses raw hide bones or toys, ask them if their pets use the product. Ask them if they know how this hide is cured? Also ask them why they are not selling a safer alternative? Why is a safer alternative not available to the dogs in their care? Profitability and principles may not always go hand in hand. Abandon the latter and there’s is little point in achieving the former.
When you board/ kennel your dog, and the facility uses raw hide chews, change the facility, or insist on your alternative. There are numerous natural, safe alternatives- if a facility cannot invest to keep your dog safe, rethink your choices.
Wild dogs and wolves, sharpen their teeth by gnawing on bones from a kill. Those are natural bones, not soaked in chemicals. It is also important to remember that, wild dogs can crack their teeth and fracture their jaws on bones. Pet dogs no longer have the same needs as their wild cousins. They’re no longer hunters. It is good to let them practice some left over wild instincts. Be sure that in the pursuit of “replicating the wild” you do not settle for cheap imitations!
“Rawhide is inedible — it’s only meant to be chewed, and not swallowed. As detailed by Embrace Pet Insurance, when dogs swallow pieces of rawhide, they sometimes swell up somewhere along your dog’s GI tract, and can cause digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, or pancreatitis. If your dog poops the rawhide pieces out, he/she should be OK, but if the pieces never come out, there could be a digestive blockage, which may require surgery.”Green Matters. com
This advice on raw hide bones is fantastic, but how realistic is it? Can you really sit by your dogs side and ensure he/she ingests no part of the bone? Particles of the bone or chews are inevitably going to end up in your dogs digestive tract. Never give them a toy or treat unless you trust the quality.
What is Raw Hide?
Raw hide is made from the inner layer of skin of an animal slaughtered for leather or meat. The skin of the animal is cleaned, bleached, and processed. To remove any remaining hair and fat on the skin, it is treated with sodium sulphide liming.
What is Liming?https://leatherpanel.org ›why sites › files
Liming is a process employed in tanneries to remove the hair from raw hides and skins using drums or paddles. It is usually carried out using hydrated lime – Ca(OH)2 and sodium sulphide – Na2S.
Liming, is not a process which should produce indigestible substances. Least of all dogs treats! A leading pet food website, tells readers, if they know the supplier and the company uses “safe methods” raw hide is a safe toy. You’re probably thinking, with all those chemicals raw hide probably tastes yucky! Raw hide, like all highly processed pet food, is flavoured masking the taste and smell of those pesky chemicals.