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Rawhide: Top 5 FAQs


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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About Rawhide Treats About Rawhide Treats
Dog treats come and go, but rawhide treats have withstood the test of time - for all the right reasons.

Introduced in the late 1950s, these natural chew treats can benefit your dog's dental health

and satisfy his need to gnaw. However, the advantages are greater than clean teeth and unchewed furniture. Poor dental health fosters the growth of dangerous bacteria. If unchecked, infections, gingivitis, tooth loss, and kidney or heart disease can result. As tough rawhide is chewed and moistened by your dog's saliva, it softens and wraps around teeth to help scrape away food debris from teeth. Therefore, rawhide is a great way to help your dog safely chew his way to better overall health.

What is rawhide?
Rawhide is the inner-hide layer from cleft-hoofed bovine livestock. The quality varies depending on the animal source and country of origin. Drs. Foster and Smith have gone to great lengths to ensure our brand rawhide treats are the absolute best for your dog. Produced under the strictest quality standards, ours is made from premium beefhide of corn-fed American cattle.

How is rawhide made?
Animal hide is comprised of two layers. The tough outer layer is used to make leather shoes, garments, and upholstery. The soft inner layer is cut into different shapes for dog chews. With some manufacturers, chemicals are used to preserve the hides. Our beefhide, however, is cleaned, washed, and refrigerated during transportation to the processor without the need for chemical preservatives and is therefore safer for your pet.

Why is rawhide so tough?
Animal hide is made tough, yet flexible, by collagen. This protein is also found in cartilage, muscles, bone, and teeth. When the collagen in animal hide is dried it becomes stiff. American rawhide is oven-dried to an exact consistency that softens slowly as dogs chew.

How often should I feed rawhide?
Though referred to as a treat, rawhide is not a food source. Instead, it is a chewable toy low in fat with few calories. When your dog has chewed on a piece of rawhide to the point where it has become soft, take that rawhide chew away and substitute another. Allow the softened rawhide to harden, and then it can be given back to the dog. When the rawhide becomes small enough to be swallowed, take it away from your pet. As with all treats and toys, however, supervise your pet's use of it at all times.

Are there any dogs that shouldn't have rawhide?
Your veterinarian should approve all the foods, treats, and toys you offer your pet. This is especially important for rawhide chews if your dog has a gastrointestinal disease, is restricted to a special veterinarian-recommended diet, or is allergic to beef. Caution should also be used with dogs that tend to swallow foods and treats whole. Rawhide chews are not a substitute for regular veterinarian dental exams and cleanings. But, for most pets, rawhide is a safe and beneficial chew toy.

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