ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Toxins in Imported Rawhide Dog Chews

Updated on August 16, 2008

Read the Label to Protect Your Pet

Rawhide dog chew toys are bought by millions of pet owners every year as a seemingly harmless way to provide their pooches with a fun and a non-destructive outlet for the chewing urge, but are you really giving your dog a wholesome treat or a poisonous and toxic hazard? Careful label reading about the country of origin might provide the answer.

Dog food falls under regulatory control of a variety of federal and state agencies including the FDA and the USDA. Rawhide chews, however, are not marketed as food and are usually exempt; in reality most dogs eventually manage to chew them up and ingest them. Unfortunately, imported rawhide chews may contain toxins remaining from the production process including arsenic, lead, titanium oxide, formaldehyde, chromium salts, mercury, cadmium and bromine. Harmful antibiotics and bacteria can also be present.

The tougher outer layer of a hide is suitable for shoes, upholstery and other purposes, but the inner layer is softer; this is made into rawhide. Cow, pig, sheep, or horse hides are commonly used. In Asia, where water buffalo are utilized as farm animals, their hides are also processed into rawhide. Some Thai rawhide chews were found to contain dog skin.

Due to lack of efficient transportation methods in less developed countries, various preservatives are used to keep the hides from rotting or molding while in transit from rural areas to processing plants. In America and Canada, refrigerated trucks provide safer transport without the need for chemicals. Even with the use of toxic preservatives, Salmonella has been detected in some imported products.

After most meat and fat is scraped from the hide layer, it is soaked in a lime or lye solution to remove remaining tissue, and then bleach is used to remove this caustic bath. This is a cheap and quick method. In the U.S., processors use hydrogen peroxide and a water rinse.

White rawhide chews have market appeal to consumers because they seem cleaner, but obviously, dogs don't care about the color. Titanium oxide is used to make the rawhide white in some countries, so avoid this. Many chews are basted with a flavor coating, and while dogs love it, the color can come off on your carpeting or stain the dog's fur.

Look for rawhide chews that are labeled as U.S. Beef products for safest and best quality. Chews made from Canadian and South American cattle are usually considered good quality, also.

No matter what country of origin, antibiotics, pesticides and growth chemicals frequently taint rawhide, unless you are willing to spend the money to get the best, organically produced products. North American manufacturers are aware of the problems and are making efforts to upgrade.

Even the better rawhide chews are controversial among veterinarians and other experts. Dogs can bite off and swallow large chunks of rawhide, leading to choking or intestinal obstruction. Since it is tough, the rawhide isn't always digested easily. Deaths have even occurred. More commonly, rawhide chews may cause milder digestive upsets such as vomiting and diarrhea. Vets advise dog owners to observe their pets while playing with rawhide chews. If ragged pieces are hanging loose, trim them off. Portions that chip off, instead of slowly becoming soft and mushy are dangerous.

Newer production methods grind the hide and compress it, along with flavor additives, into various shapes. The compressed chews aren't as likely to cause problems, but overall, rawhide dog chews may be more trouble than treat.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      NO1985-5 

      7 years ago

      I can agree with you on most points. Except for the fact that origin does not give you any security. Bad and good producers are everywhere.

      The main problem is that trading companies do not always feel that it is there responsibility to check the product they are importing. As you explain, raw hides are categorized as food. The rules are less strict.

      What you can do yourself is:

      - check the label (is there a production date, the maximum shelf life is 12 months)

      - is there some sort of safety guarentee given by the supplier

      - check the colour, it must be level (be carefull with white dog chews, altough they look cleaner it does not mean they are. In this case the bad spots can be "washed off")

      - feel the product, it must be a little bit flexible. Very hard dog chews can splinter.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      10 years ago from America

      Good hub. Don't like rawhide chews never give them to our dogs. They get the hard cleaned bones. I suppose if I check could find something wrong with them also. I don't know where they come from.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)