Charles loves a good chew. Every night I gather up all the dog toys and put them in the toy basket and every day he takes them out one by one. He is very partial to anything that Louise prefers. I think it is important for all dogs to have time each day for a good toy chew. Charles’ daily gathering of soft toys to chew on isn’t a problem but marrow bones, antlers, nylon bones, high-value treats, and of course, dinner, needs to be carefully orchestrated or things get snappy and dangerous very fast. Keeping the peace when you have multiple animals and multiple resources guarders* is a challenge.
*”Resource guarding refers to a dog displaying behavior (growling, snapping, etc.) intended to convince other dogs or humans to stay away from a particular treasure or “resource.” The resource can be food, treats, toys, a place (a bed or favorite chair), or occasionally a person. Basically, a resource is anything that is considered by the dog to be of high value.” –YourDogsFriend
Separation is the key with 7 animals. The cats and dogs have always been separated at the zoo when it comes to where they eat but now it is more important than ever. Sofie charges cats near her toys or food, but it never got dangerous until Charles came. The cats usually just laughed at Sofie and jumped up on the counter where they eat. Since Charles and Sofie get into scary dogs fights over resources the cat charging has escalated. This is a concern and something I am dealing with.
Louise has no problem around food or other resources (she’s so easygoing in the house). And, in almost 7 years together, Louise and Sofie never fought over food, toys, or bones (though Sofie has been known to stare/whine at Louise until she gives up just to shut Sofie up). I can pick up the food bowl while they are eating or take any toy or bone from them without any trouble. I trained them this way since they were puppies. But Charles is new here (and almost 9 years old) and he came with some bad habits so now dog separation is a must.
Both Sofie and Charles have resource guarding issues. Sofie has attacked him several times around dinner or treat time, even before I started preparing anything. I think she starts it, but he won’t back down either and fur flies.
My answer – keep as much distance between them when food or treats are involved.
Charles only gets his meals and his snacks in his exercise pen. He is not allowed out until the other animals finish eating or having their treats. Charles has charged the cats from the other side of the room, especially if a human is eating and he is in proximity. I now have strict rules about feeding him outside of his pen because he is just too unpredictable.
As I said, separation is the key around here. As long as there is space, gates, and doors, everyone can have a good chew.
What kind of mischief did you get into today?
Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤
Tags: Animal, animals, blog hop, chew toys, Chihuahua, dog, DogBlog, DogDaz, Dogs, lorian lipton, Mischief Monday, Pet, pets, pomchi, pomeranian, postaday, resource guarding
How can one of the most popular chew sticks on the planet be so dangerous for your pets, you ask? I mean, most dogs chew on rawhide for hours on end, and not only does it keep them busy, but they seem to last forever.
Well if you understood what it took to make this toxic “raw” leather stick, you would quickly understand what the problem is.
Aside from the horror stories circulating all over social media these days, of pets needing emergency surgery after consuming rawhide, the majority of pet parents today, especially the newbies, believe that this chew is some sort of dried up meat stick. Let me debunk that myth right away!
A rawhide stick is not the by-product of the beef industry nor is it made of dehydrated meat. Rather, rawhide is the by-product of the “Leather Industry”, so theoretically it is a leather chew. Sounds awesome, right?
“Producing rawhide begins with the splitting of an animal hide, usually from cattle. The top grain is generally tanned and made into leather products, while the inner portion, in its “raw” state, goes to the dogs.” TheBark.com
So, how does this leather, which is conveniently rolled up into pretty shapes, actually get made into those rawhide chews?
Follow along my friends and I will enlighten you on how this hide travels through a leathery process where it transforms from hide to a not-so beautiful, colorful, chew stick. Here is a paraphrased tutorial that was explained by the whole dog journal several years back:
STEP 1: Normally, cattle hides are shipped from slaughterhouses to tanneries for processing. These hides are then treated with a chemical bath to help “preserve” the product during transport to help prevent spoilage.
(No one wants to purchase a black, spoiled rawhide stick!)
Once at the tannery: the hides are soaked and treated with either an ash-lye solution or a highly toxic recipe of sodium sulphide liming. This process will help strip the hair and fat that maybe attached to the hides themselves.
(No, no one wants to see a hairy hide…)
Next on this glorious journey, these hides are then treated with chemicals that help “puff” the hide, making it easier to split into layers.
The outer layer of the hide is used for goods like car seats, clothing, shoes, purses, etc. But, it’s the inner layer that is needed to make the rawhide. (Oh and other things like gelatin, cosmetics, and glue as well!)
STEP 2: Now that we have the inner layer of the hide, it’s time to go to the post-tannery stage! Hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and/or bleach; this will also help remove the smell of the rotten or putrid leather. Bonus!
(Research also shows that other chemicals maybe used here to help the whitening process if the bleach isn’t strong enough.)
STEP 3: Now it’s time to make these whitened sheets of this “leathery by-product” look delicious! So, here is where the artistic painting process comes in.
“Basted, smoked, and decoratively tinted products might be any color (or odor) underneath the coating of (often artificial) dyes and flavors. They can even be painted with a coating of titanium oxide to make them appear white and pretty on the pet store shelves.” – whole-dog-journal.com
“…the Material Safety Data Sheet reveals a toxic confection containing the carcinogen FD&C Red 40, along with preservatives like sodium benzoate. But tracking the effects of chemical exposure is nearly impossible when it’s a matter of slow, low-dose poisoning.”– thebark.com
Ok, now that these hides have been painted, it’s time for the final process.
STEP 4: Getting it to last forever!
Because the FDA does not consider these chews to be food, really it’s a free for all when it comes to the manufacturers of these leather strips, and the products they may want to add to these chews, to get them to last forever. Any sort of glue can be added here to get these bad boys to never come apart.
When tested: Lead, arsenic, mercury, chromium salts, formaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals have been detected in raw hides. So it’s safe to say that any sort of glues can be used as well!
Finally, it’s time to package and attach all the glorious marketing labels to the product.
Check out the fine print warning that’s attached with some of these rawhides:
“Choking or blockages. If your dog swallows large pieces of rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract. Sometimes, abdominal surgery is needed to remove them from the stomach or intestines. If it isn’t resolved, a blockage can lead to death.“
(Oh, how lovely…)
And there it is! It’s now ready to be shipped to store shelves where it can be purchased for our loving animal companions.
How do proactive veterinarians feel about these chews?
Here is world-renowned veterinarian Doctor Karen Becker‘s take on the matter:
“The name ‘rawhide’ is technically incorrect. A more accurate name would be processed-hide, because the skin isn’t raw at all. But the term “rawhide” has stuck.
Rawhide chews start out hard, but as your dog works the chew it becomes softer, and eventually he can unknot the knots on each end and the chew takes on the consistency of a slimy piece of taffy or bubble gum. And by that time your dog cannot stop working it — it becomes almost addictive.
At this point, there’s no longer any dental benefit to the chew because it has turned soft and gooey, and, in fact, it has become a choking and intestinal obstruction hazard.“
P.S. Ready for the jaw dropper?
An investigation by Humane Society International stated in their report, “In a particularly grisly twist, the skins of brutally slaughtered dogs in Thailand are mixed with other bits of skin to produce rawhide chew toys for pet dogs. Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.” –dogingtonpost.com
“An educated, informed and well-researched community of pet owners can only put more pressure on the pet food industry to be better! When pet owners know better, they will only do better!”
Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤
Tags: Animal, animal awareness, animals, chew toys, Dog People, dog toys, DogBlog, DogDaz, lorian lipton, nature, pet blog, postaday, Rawhide