the test is a nice idea , but not a good test . You have rehydrated the rawhide , but WATER is not the environment of the gut . What happens when you have digestive enzymes working away , partial breakdown , and strong hydrochloric acid , trying to breakdown, and the motion of the stomach churning and moving material into the intestine. How much of the digestive juices are absorbed by this rawhide chew . Digestion involves more than one organ. The pancreas kicks in working over time, the liver works overtime trying to detox . All this while the chunk of rawhide is being worked over by high acids , creating a goopy chyme , which if things were all right would be squirted into a tiny opening into the intestine for absorption . But it can't do so because it just sits there . The dog may start drinking more water . Now you have even more problems. The dog can go into a toxic state, can't pass stool, but the bowel can leak into the bloodstream . That is if you don't have a crisis with gastric torsion.
I have seen the damage well meaning rawhide treats can inflict .
Everytime I am in a "pet shop" and see those treats , and now to add to it , rawhide in Christmas colours , with carcinogenic red dye , not to mention the long list of possible preservatives . There is nothing natural about rawhide. The last time it was natural was when it was on the animal . If you want to give hide , go to an ethnic butcher - get a pig hide or cow hide which is used to make gelatin .
"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. Removing the hair from hides often involves a highly toxic recipe: sodium sulphide liming. A standard practice is to procure rawhide in the “split lime state” as by-products from tanneries, facilities that top the list of U.S. Superfund sites. In the post-tannery stage, hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide. And that’s just one step.
Other poisonous residues that may show up in rawhide include arsenic and formaldehyde. Even dog skin is a possibility. An ongoing investigation of the fur trade by Humane Society International, an arm of the HSUS, resulted in this information
, as listed on their website: “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.”
Back to the Factory (Farm)
There’s no knowing where it’s been, and where it begins is also unsettling. Rawhide is a by-product of the CAFO—or concentrated animal feeding operation, the bucolic term for today’s industrial farm.
“Nasty, brutish and short” is how Ken Midkiff, author of The Meat You Eat
, describes the life of the animals who give up their hides. He’s no expert on rawhide, but Midkiff says he knows far more than he cares to about CAFOs, where thousands of “sentient beings,” crammed together inside huge metal buildings, “never see the light of day until the truck comes to pick them up for slaughter.”
“There’s also a major problem with various drugs,” he adds, citing a CAFO cocktail of antibiotics, arsenicals and hormones used to boost production.“While the claim is made that these don’t remain in the meat of hogs or beef, that claim has not been tested by any federal agency.”
Pattie Boden, owner of The Animal Connection in Charlottesville, Va., where organic toy enthusiasts shop, doesn’t carry rawhide. Instead, she stocks free-range chews, bully sticks, and organic raw bones, from shins to lamb necks. Her purchasing-protocol (and philosophy) is one owners might apply in their own search for healthful treats.
“I’m not going to be the most financially successful pet store,” Boden says, “but I feel confident in the products I select, and I can sleep at night.”
Excerpt taken from Bark magazine.