Stuffing Your Pets Stocking

Published on December 21st, 2018

When you walk into almost every pet store around this time of year, the first thing you are going to see are some colorful Christmas rawhides that are made in a candy cane shape and a bunch of other colored rawhide treats. Beware! These look yummy, but can be very harmful.

How they are made?

Rawhides are made of animal skin that is leftover when making leather. The “raw” meat is whitened and cleaned with bleach, hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals as a means of giving it the pretty white appearance. They can even be painted with a coating of titanium oxide to make them appear prettier on the shelves. Along with all these chemicals to whiten the rawhide, various glues have been found along with other chemicals such as lead, arsenic, etc. that help the rawhide maintain its shape.

Why not?

Along with all those harmful chemicals that you do not necessarily want fido ingesting this Christmas season, the main reason for not giving rawhides to our pets comes from the choking hazard and intestinal issues they present. Rawhides are not easily digested by animals. When our pet rips off a big chunk, if it is too big it can cause a blockage in their digestive system. When this happens, emergency surgery may be needed to remove it. Avoiding the emergency clinic on Christmas day can be as easy as keeping bones and rawhides away from our dogs.

What to give?

Any toy that your dog is sure to love is fair game. A general rule of thumb when looking for treats to give our pets (for anytime of the year, not just Christmas and the holidays) is products made in the United States and Canada. These are not only good for our economy, but the rules and regulations regarding health and safety in treat   factories are more regulated in these two countries compared to those overseas.


No matter what you put under the tree this year, our canine companions are sure to love them. If you decide that you are okay giving rawhides to your pup, be sure to monitor them when chewing and discard the bone when it is able to fit it all in its mouth. This way you can enjoy your Christmas time without the worry of spending time at the vet.  

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