We’re rawhide chew converts. I’ve written about our switch from rawhide chews to carrots in the past, but was just at the pet store watching a woman weigh her rawhide chew options. I wanted to say something, but my insecurity piped up with “it’s none of your business.” That’s when the Universe stepped in and the woman turned to me to ask which ones I purchase.
“We don’t give our dogs rawhide chews anymore. I write a blog about dogs and have to do a lot of research and found horror stories of the damage they can do to dogs. We were lucky and I didn’t want to press our luck so we give our dogs carrots. The carrots are healthy and our dogs love them.”
She purchased her rawhide chews, but I’m excited that I at least shared that information. Maybe this will be the last purchase that she makes.
Why I fed our dogs rawhide chews…
- For 30 minutes of peace.
- Rawhide cleans their teeth.
- Rawhide satisfies their urge to chew.
- They liked them.
Why I stopped feeding our dogs rawhide chews…
- Research for Keep the Tail Wagging
- Fear that we would be one of the horror stories you hear about
- Desire to avoid high veterinarian bills should we become that horror story
- When I looked at a lot of the packages, I found that most weren’t made in the US
- When I took a close look at the rawhide chews, I found that they were put together with glue; what other chemicals are used?
What we feed them now…
Carrots (which we pick up for less than $3 at Costco) and, occasionally, Moozles by Merrick.
What about bully sticks?
Johan put the kybosh on bully sticks, because of the smell and they never lasted long enough, so multiple bully sticks were devoured (adding to Sydney’s waistline), and we’re excited that carrots are so popular with the dogs. We tried raw bones, but by the time we reached the third bag, Rodrigo and Sydney gave them back to us on the hardwoods. Thanks, guys. And the third alternative to rawhide chews was too hard for our dogs teeth and we were worried about dental issues. Arrggghhhhh!!!!!
The bonus of not feeding our dogs rawhide chews…
Since rawhide chews, bully sticks and raw bones are off the menu, I had to return to longer walks with the dogs. The nap after their walks gave me the peace that I needed to work on Keep the Tail Wagging, the dogs lost weight, and BONUS, I lost some weight too.
For those of you who still buy rawhide chews…
Although we’ve made the choice not to feed our dogs rawhide chews, I spoke with a pet professional who shared that they’re safer, in his opinion, than bones (and he’s not alone in this opinion)…
“In general the vast majority of dogs will have no problems. They are good for teeth cleaning and dogs love them.
However, if a dog (or owner) has a compromised immune system any meat products that are raw could be a problem. As an example Certified Therapy dogs are not allowed in hospitals and can lose their certification if they eat raw food due to a potential threat (although there is no evidence that I know of to date that has proven this.)
The bones are the safest when raw on the first day and with fresh marrow. Bone marrow is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and should be removed after an hour or two. I normally would give my dogs frozen bones so that I would allow them the work at the marrow for a longer time.
The fresh raw bone itself is normally safe and should not splinter. It should be somewhat digestible in small amounts in the dog’s stomach. Older dry bones or cooked bones will splinter and are not digestible and should be avoided.” ~ Bob Molloy, co-founder and co-owner of Bark Place in Boston, a one-stop shop for premiere-quality products & services for pets, including 100% holistic nutritional food items.
So it looks like for some, the jury is still out.
How do you feel about rawhide chews? If you’ve found an alternative that your dogs enjoy, please SHARE!