Why You Shouldn’t Give Your Dog Rawhide

It’s all the rush today to find the most natural possibilities for your dog: food, training methods, medical treatments. So, why not his treats too? It’s natural for a dog to want something to chew on and we’d prefer it not be our clothes or books. Rawhide chews seem to be a natural choice.

Probably the most popular chew for “powerful” chewers are rawhides. They are difficult to chew and last until eaten. However, there is nothing “natural” or “organic” about rawhides. These chews are a wholly unnatural and dangerous chew.

There are a few reasons why. Let’s go through them in order of the manufacturing process.


Slaughterhouse to Tannery

First, before the hides ship to the tannery, they are preserved with chemical preservatives.

Once at the tannery, the hides are given a chemical bath in a highly toxic solution of sodium sulphide liming. The solution helps to separate the hair from the skin.

“Next on this glorious journey, these hides are then treated with chemicals that help “puff” the hide, making it easier to split into layers.” A

Then they wash the hide with a combination of hydrogen, bleach, and/or formaldehyde to remove the smell of rotten hide. A Formaldehyde is a suspected and confirmed carcinogen in its different forms. D



The hide is soaked, rolled and glued into place. Unfortunately, the FDA has no regulatory authority for rawhides because rawhide is not “food.” Thus, the manufacturer may use any glue.

“When tested: Lead, arsenic, mercury, chromium salts, formaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals have been detected in rawhides. So it’s safe to say that any sort of glues can be used as well!”B


The Results?

By this time the hide is no longer raw. It may not even be a clean white color. So, the manufacturers add coloring like FD&C Red #40, a known carcinogen.
Manufacturers must make sure the dogs will love their by-products, so they add synthetic flavoring. Some veterinary dental chews have added dental chemicals.

The “rawhide” is then packaged and shipped off to pet stores to look appealingly natural and indestructible on the shelf.

How can a chemical-loaded, bleached, bathed, glued and painted leather by-product be natural? Or how about safe?

Do you intentionally choose the most highly processed, chemically preserved and colored snacks for yourself? Of course not. You know that would not be a healthy choice for yourself. The same applies to your dog. Highly processed treats soaked in chemicals don’t make healthy snacks.


Choking Hazard

What is more, on the back of the package of rawhide chews in tiny writing it often says something like: “Always supervise your dog while he enjoys his rawhide. Discard chunks and fragments. Wash hands thoroughly after handling treats.”

Besides the risk of chemical additives during manufacturing, rawhides are notorious for their choking hazard. Chunks of rawhide can become stuck in the throat or intestines. Rawhides are nearly indigestible. Once swallowed they don’t simply disintegrate. Rather, they swell up when in contact with a liquid. The longer a chunk of rawhide is inside your dog’s body the more it expands. Blockage of the windpipe or intestines can cause death quickly.

A recent story of a dog who died from her rawhide chew made it to the news. It appears she ingested her rawhide and it blocked her airway. The rawhide was removed and later compared to the original size it had swollen considerably. E

(If you are interested to see the rest of this dog’s story check out this article: http://truthaboutpetfood.com/is-no-hide-dog-treat-actually-hide/)

Estimations say that over 25% of dogs given rawhides, die from them. B This percentage doesn’t include the uncounted number of dogs affected by chemicals in the rawhide. In addition, these chemicals would build up and eventually cause negative symptoms including the possibility of cancer.

Rawhide chews are a wholly unnatural and dangerous chew. The risks are too high for any of our loved pets to get sick, hurt, require emergency medical care, or even die by consuming rawhide.

Let’s choose something better.



– Cassy Kay


dogs, dog food, dog treats, yorkie's death blamed on dog treats





AHabib, Rodney. “The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever: Rawhide!” Planet Paws. Web. Aug. 8, 2017. Video: https://www.planetpaws.ca/2016/12/30/dangerous-pet-chew-ever-created-rawhide/

BHabib, Rodney. “The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever: Rawhide!” Planet Paws. Web. Aug. 8, 2017.  https://www.planetpaws.ca/2015/07/31/raw-hide-danger/

CPell, Sheila. “The Dangers of Rawhide Dog Chew Toys.” The Bark. Web. Aug. 8, 2017.  http://thebark.com/content/dangers-rawhide-dog-chew-toys

DStatLab Medical Products, Inc. “Material Safety Data Sheet (Formaldehyde).” UDSA.GOV. Oct. 20, 2005. Web. PDF. Aug. 8, 2017. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/lab_info_services/downloads/MSDS_Formalin.pdf

EThixton, Susan. “Is No-Hide Dog Treat Actually Hide?” Truth About Pet Food.com. July 27, 2017. Web. Aug. 8, 2017.  http://truthaboutpetfood.com/is-no-hide-dog-treat-actually-hide/








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