Hide chews are a fabulous product for dogs, enabling their natural chewing needs to be met. When dogs chew it releases feel-good hormones (endorphins) giving them a natural emotional boost and relaxing their system. Hide chews are also great for mental enrichment and stimulation, keeping them busy and encouraging the use of their problem-solving abilities in breaking down and gnawing at the hide.
But are they safe?
There are many myths and rumours about the safety and cleanliness of hide chews on the market for dogs. While we cannot dispel the rumours surrounding raw hide for all manufacturers we can certainly put your mind at ease regarding the Great & Small Hide Chews.
All of our Great & Small hide chews come from highly respectable suppliers. We personally visit the factory regularly and we have been working with these manufacturers for several years. They have the highest standards with both safety and quality control in mind. Every single one of our chews are checked for quality and safety before being sent to us. When making raw hide chews, the skin (in the case of our hide chews, buffalo skin) must be treated to remove naturals oils, fats and hair. If this process did not occur, sadly the chews would not be safe to feed as they would be moist and laden with harmful bacteria’s such as salmonella and E.coli that would harm not only pets but also people.
Every single one of our chews is tested before coming to our stores to ensure that ALL traces of the treatment process has been washed and removed. This is a process where issues can arise as the washing process is expensive. There may be some suppliers who only wash the hide for a few hours, whereas we ensure they are washed in specialised washing machines for up to 24hrs with a constant clean water infill, so the treatment is fully washed away. We then use an independent laboratory company to complete the testing for us after the washing process so that we are confident that our trusted manufacturers are making the chews exactly to our specifications and to ensure they have no harmful bacteria’s remaining on them that could harm pets or people.
We as a company would never sell products that could be dangerous and are very proud of the steps and procedures we have in place to ensure this with our hide chews. Our chews are so safe they are left loose on the shelves in stores.
To ensure they are safe, the manufacturing method of raw hide will continue to be made in this way. However, advances are always being made and we can assure you that Great & Small will be at the forefront of those changes when they happen.
What about swelling in the dog’s stomach?
Another concern that dog owners may have is the swelling of hide chews, which is true of all pressed hide products. However, it is the chewing effect that the dog has on the treat that makes it either safe or unsafe. Raw hide chews are designed to be gnawed on and are perfectly safe if chewed correctly. When a dog gnaws and rasps at a good quality hide chew it will soften with both the mechanical action of the teeth and the saliva.
This in turn, turns the hide soft, chewy and gooey allowing dogs to tear small pieces off and eat without concern. When chewed in this way, hide chews make not only a great chew to satisfy the dogs need to chew, they’re also a great dental product as the stickiness helps loosen and remove plaque and tartar build up. If the dog is a ‘strong chewer’ they run the risk of tearing and eating large unsoftened pieces of hide which can in worst case scenarios cause digestive upset due to swelling in the stomach.
Our Great & Small Hide chews are made using compressed layers of buffalo skin, which is much tougher than the standard cow hide many manufacturers use. Due to the strength of the hide itself, it encourages the correct chewing behaviour and reduces the risk of large pieces being removed.
You should always choose the most appropriate chew for your dog and their chewing habits.We would never recommend that they are left unsupervised with a chew of any sort.
We hope that we have given you all the information you need to safely treat your dog, should you have any further concerns please get in touch with us or pop into a store to talk to a member of staff.