The Lowdown on Rawhide and Natural Chew Toys
Most pet owners (and even non-pet owners who have ever been into a pet store) have seen just how many rawhide chew toys are available for dogs to sink their teeth into.
It’s common knowledge that dogs love to chew, and without delegated chew toys, your shoes or furniture might fall victim to your pup’s eager jaws. Aside from this, dogs need to chew to maintain healthy teeth and gums and to keep themselves occupied and stave off boredom and destructive boredom-related behaviours.
However, although very readily available, rawhide chew toys are actually unsuitable for your dog, and sometimes even dangerous.
- Rawhide is a byproduct of leather, not meat, which means that in its natural state, it is quite an unsightly colour. To make rawhide chew toys more attractive and thus more sellable, they are usually bleached and then dyed with harsh, toxic chemicals. Hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals are also used to remove the putrid leather smell. These chemicals can very negatively affect your pet’s health, particularly in the long run.
- Many tests have found lead, arsenic, mercury, chromium salts, formaldehyde and various other highly toxic chemicals in rawhide. Sometimes certain chemicals are used to entice the dogs into seeming to enjoy the rawhide chew toys, enticing people to buy them for their pets repeatedly.
- Rawhide is indigestible to dogs, which can lead to long-term intestinal issues.
- Carrots. Although one wouldn’t expect their dog to enjoy chewing a vegetable, carrots are actually loved by dogs the world over, and are hardy enough to sustain a good few hours of chewing. They are also a healthy, affordable alternative to expensive chew toys. Soak them in a bit of chicken broth first if you want your dog to warm up to the idea of their new orange ‘bone.
- Bully sticks. Although sometimes pricey, bully sticks are made from all-natural animal parts. They are free of preservatives and chemicals, making them a healthy, enticing snack for your pup.
- Beef trachea. It sounds gross, right? But dogs love it, of course. The animal smell and meaty bits make for delicious gnawing fun for your pet! Visit your nearest butcher and ask for some uncooked, raw beef trachea. The bonus is that beef trachea is rich in glucosamine and chondroitin which is excellent for joint health. Furthermore, trachea acts as a natural toothbrush for those canines.