The Risks of Meat-Based Dog Chews
Calling all chewers! With recent recalls and health scares related to pig ear contamination, we're taking a look at how some of these animal-based options stack up against our breathbone chews.
These "traditional" chew treats are made from animal skins that are dried and sometimes flavored to encourage chewing. Rawhide chews are a byproduct of the leather industry. According to the AKC, "Most hides are taken directly from the kill floors at slaughterhouses and placed into high-salt brines, which helps slow their decay. Most rawhide chews are manufactured in China, and it can take weeks to months before these brined hides actually make it to the tanneries for their final manufacture." These salt brines do not halt decay, so many consumers are concerned with the safety of rawhide for their pets.
Similarly, pig ears are at major risk for contamination. Recent recalls have resulted from 143 cases of human Salmonella infection (including 33 hospitalizations). According to Pet Food Industry, three US firms are associated with the contaminated pig ear treats, indicating that this is a widespread issue.
Although popular, Greenies chews might not be the safest choice for sensitive and allergy-prone pups. Wheat is the first ingredient in Greenies dental chews, which is a fairly common allergen for dogs. These treats also contain animal byproducts like gelatin and "natural poultry flavor."
V-dog breathbones: a healthy, yummy alternative
Feeling ready to pass on the animal byproducts? Breathbones are a great alternative for your chewer, and are made in the US with 100% plant-based ingredients like sweet potato, broccoli, and chia seeds. Flavored with cinnamon for fresh breath, these green chews are perfect for cleaning teeth and steering clear of questionable additives.
"This is our fourteen year old Pebbles who absolutely loves v-dog! She has always been a big chewer, but for the past 3 years, we have not be able to find her a treat that interest her. In comes v-dog and life is so good! Thanks for giving our Pebs a new pep in her step!!!"