Check Out This Weeks Featured Post! :

Flashy Friday Week 2!

Flashy Friday! Week 2 -  "Spin" Whew! A whole week between posts, sorry guys! Like I've mentioned before we're pr...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Rawhide Is Not Worth The Risk

You see it everywhere, and almost always on sale at your local pet store.


Not only is it Not Natural, but it's also Not Safe.

My veterinarian explained it to me once by saying, the way it goes in is how it comes out. Eeeeewww! Rawhide doesn't digest well and poses a serious risk of internal blockage and chocking. According to a study done by the Journal of Animal Science -
"Gastric digestibility of rawhide chews was low at six hours (7.6%) and slowly increased over time, reaching a maximum of 41.6% at 18 hours." 
SOURCE:  De Godoy, Maria R. C. et al. “In Vitro Disappearance Characteristics of Selected Categories of Commercially Available Dog Treats.” Journal of Nutritional Science 3 (2014): e47. PMC. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.

18 hours and still not even halfway digested! Which is surprising when you think about it because it's a by-product of the beef meat industry right? Actually that's only a partial truth. It's more closely related to the leather industry than it is beef and A LOT of it comes from China.

To put the whole digestion issue into perspective for you:

- The canine digestive tract is much shorter than a humans. Average passing time for a dog is between 24 to 48 hours, whereas a human can take up to three days.

- As for digesting food? It all depends on what is eaten; kibble, bone, grass, etc... A dogs stomach will work on the food for about 8 to 10 hours before passing it into the small intestine. From here the broken down food may remain in the small intestine for up to two days (again depends on what was eaten) before moving on to the large intestine and then the colon. The whole process can take anywhere from about 10 hours to a couple days to complete.

What it's not:  Raw hide is not a meat chew, it is not a baked skin chew, it is not a dried meat stick... it's a chemically processed hide often dyed to be eye catching to humans, and then glued together into fun shapes. Sound tasty?

Here is a funny yet highly informative video about the making of rawhide.

A quick summary:

Step 1 - Acquire Cattle Hide from the Slaughterhouse

Step 2 - Add Preservation Chemicals to Prevent Spoilage On The Way To The Tannery

Step 3 - Chemically Bath the Hide to Remove Hair and Fat.

Step 4 - Split the Hide (Top Grain is used for Leather, Bottom Grain aka "leftovers" is used for rawhide.

Step 5 - Clean the Hides in you guessed it More Chemicals
"Removing the hair from hides often involves a highly toxic recipe: sodium sulphide liming...In the post tannery stage, hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide. And that's just one step. Other poisonous residues that may show up in rawhide include arsenic and formaldehyde." Source: The Bark

Step 6 - Roll, Shape, Color and/or Flavor! With...**drumroll please.*** more... you guessed it, CHEMICALS!

Sadly, their is nothing "Natural" about rawhide except it's origination. On a good note their are much safer alternatives!

One of which being a fun new review we have coming up!

According to the Journal of Nutritional Science, while it may take rawhide 18 hours to only be 41.6% digestible, after 6 hours pork skins are 54.7% digested.

Stay tuned for our Friday review!

More Sources & Research:


  1. Great post! I dread to think that, before we knew better, we used to give our beagle Kobi these chews all the time! We never heard then that they were bad, and the only reason we stopped giving them to him was because he was too aggressive when he had one. Thank goodness he was!
    I think many, many people are still ignorant of the fact that these our bad. A friend of mine recently saw some for sale in a vet's office!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. That's both sad and scary to see something like this in the vets office! I hope the vet has since then removed them and no longer supports carrying them in the office.

  2. No Rawhide in this house. We get moose antlers from Acadia antlers

    1. Moose antlers?! That sounds great!! Dante and Ziva love deer antlers but we've never tried moose, we may have to add that to our list. :-)

  3. I refuse to give anything raw hide. I wish pork didn't make Nola violently sick!

    1. Bummer on the pork! It's one of our favorite proteins. :-)

  4. Like Janet, I too had a Beagle who tended to be a little too aggressive when it came to a Rawhide bone so I stopped them. I realized that there are so many other and more healthy treats available that are made right here in the USA or at least in safer and more reputable areas - something I have learned to check out BEFORE I feed to any dog in my house. The Beagle I have now - Lady Shasta - has never tasted a rawhide.
    Mom Kim

    1. Yay! It's amazing how much we learn when we start doing a bit of research. I didn't use to care where the treats came from so long as they were "healthy" but not i'm pretty solid about making sure that all of our treats are either US or Canadian in origin, or at least just not from China. :-)

  5. Rawhide = no for us too. I have always been against it and Doug likes to just break off pieces of whatever he chewing and swallow. AHHHHHHHH!


Barks & Howls are always welcome!!

Share Me