Rawhide dog chews come in different hardness, sizes and shapes for all types of dogs. Some are flavored or basted while others are not. I was curious at how they are made and what are they.
A beef hide has two layers; a hard outer layer and a softer inner layer. The outer layer is used for leather products we use every day such as leather for shoes, coats, etc. The softer inner layer is cut into dog chews for dogs.
The hide reaches the processor and is split, washed and cleaned. It is washed with detergents and sterilized with hydrogen peroxide at a specific time, at a specific temperature. The extra water is removed from the hide and it is placed on cutting tables where electric knives cut rectangular pieces out. These pieces then go to the tying department where they are rolled and shaped into the products we buy. The shapes are taken to temperature controlled drying rooms, dried and either packaged or flavored, colored and dried again before packaging.
When moisture is taken out of collagen then skin dries and becomes stiff. A dog chewing rawhide adds the moisture from their saliva softens the rawhide. Rawhide chews help keep plaque from building up on teeth. Dogs are natural chewers and rawhide chews satisfy that natural tendency.
Pressed rawhide is the same rawhide cut up into small pieces, mixed with moisture and pressed into shapes under high pressure. Collagen fibers keep the pieces together. As the dog chews the saliva or moisture can on saturate layers instead of the whole chew so it lasts longer.
Purchase rawhide dog chews based on the chewing habits of your hound. Power chewers should get the compressed rawhide as it will last longer. Medium chewers can get by with any chews but do well with the knotted bones. Light chewers should get a softer chew. Always give rawhide chews under supervision, taking away any chews that get too small. Choking on pieces of rawhide is possible.
A rawhide chew can keep your dog busy for quite some time. It can help with dental health and satisfy instinctual chewing. Get the right size and hardness for your dog, supervise when chewing and take it away before it gets too small.