Dogs and Rawhides

A rawhide is exactly what the word states: A raw, dried out animal hide.

In addition to rawhide bones and chews, this includes pig snouts, pig ears, cow ears, bull tails, lamb ears, choo-hooves, and others.

The vast majority of these rawhide treats for pets are made outside of the United States. However, even those made in the United States are a potential hazard.

Rawhide purchased as a treat for your pet is a hide which is usually bull, cow, or horse obtained from slaughter houses, scraped clean of all vestiges of fat, meat, and hair. However, it can be made from almost any animal. The flesh side may be scraped clean by hand, by use of a drawknife and/or scraper. Some places have machinery to do this. Another method is to soak the fleshed hide in Lime or Ash-Lye solution. Ash-Lye involves covering or soaking the hide.

Historically, rawhide has been used by Native Americans and Early Europeans for many things, including building material, boat construction, binding, repairing broken gunstocks and horse gear, etc. Rawhide doesn't easily break down as it is a very strong, durable item.

Please give this serious thought and be careful if you do let your dog have rawhides. There is always the fear of a dog swallowing a piece that may get lodged in the throat and cause choking.