Chew with Caution: Unveiling the Truth About Rawhide Treats

Apr 22, 2024

Alright, pet parents, let's talk chewables! We know it's important for our dogs to chew- it's good for their dental and mental health (all that chewing releases endorphin, the happy hormone!).

Navigating the treat aisle can feel like strolling through a maze of options. One treat that has us all scratching our heads is rawhide.

So, grab a seat, maybe a snack (for you, not the dog – yet), and let's dig into the truth behind those chewy delights and why you might want to think twice before tossing one to your pup.

The Rawhide Production Process

Rawhide treats, at first glance, seem innocuous – a simple chew for your dog's enjoyment. However, the manufacturing process behind them is far from elementary. These treats are often crafted from the inner layer of cow or horse hides, which undergo a series of chemical treatments to transform them into the familiar chewy form.

The process commences with the cleaning of hides, followed by cutting them into smaller pieces. To remove hair and bacteria, the hides are then treated and dipped in various baths that contain chemicals like bleach or hydrogen peroxide. This chemical exposure raises immediate concerns about the safety of the end product for our pets.

Finally, the treated hides are pressed into shapes, often artificially flavoured and coloured to entice pets and their owners.

While the result may appear harmless, the journey from rawhide to treat is laden with potential risks.

Industry Insights: Who's Behind Rawhide Production?

Understanding the origins of rawhide treats requires a closer look at the leather industry.

These treats are essentially a byproduct of the leather-making process, serving as a means to utilise leftover hides that would otherwise go to waste.

While sustainability is commendable, it's crucial to recognize that the primary objective of the leather industry is the production of leather goods, not pet treats.

This raises valid concerns about the quality, safety, and nutritional value of rawhide treats as a consumable product for our four-legged companions.

Dangers of Rawhide Treats

1. Choking Hazard:

One of the primary risks associated with rawhide treats is their potential to become a choking hazard, especially for dogs that are prone to gulping down their food. Large pieces can become lodged in the throat or gastrointestinal tract, leading to serious health issues.

The difficulty of digesting rawhide can result in blockages and gastrointestinal obstructions. This may lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, necessitating urgent veterinary attention.

2. Chemical Exposure:

The chemicals used in the production of rawhide treats, including bleach, dyes and other potentially toxic substances, can be harmful when ingested by your dog.

Prolonged exposure may contribute to long-term health issues, emphasising the importance of always looking at all the ingredients in your pet's treats.

Natural Alternatives for Healthy Chewing:

Fear not! There are safer alternatives that promote your dog's overall health.

Natural chews, such as bully sticks, kangaroo tendons, meaty raw bones, antlers, or specially designed dental chews, can provide a satisfying chewing experience without the associated risks.

These alternatives not only cater to your dog's natural instincts but also contribute to their dental health and overall well-being.


When it comes to treating your pup, knowledge is power. By opting for natural alternatives, you're avoiding potential pitfalls; you're also giving your dog a chew experience that's not just tail-wagging but worry-free.

So, next time you're cruising down the treat aisle, choose wisely, and let your dog indulge in a treat time that's nothing short of paw-some!


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The Doggy Grub blog is dedicated to helping dogs and their owners achieve happier, healthier lives, changing the way we feed our dogs one bowl at a time! If you would like to know more about our fresh food head to Doggy Grub

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