RAWHIDE BONES SAFETY WARNING

A dramatic illustration like this shows why pet parents must heed this rawhide bones safety warning
These basic manufacturing steps illustrate why a rawhide bones safety warning is necessary. Courtesy of Rodney Habib

Dogs love them yet a rawhide bones safety warning is absolutely necessary. Why? Because nearly all the brands you see online and on the shelves of your favorite pet supply store are constructed with hide from dubious sources and full of toxic chemicals that are used in their manufacturing process. In fact, they have to be among the worst “entertainment” items ever created for dogs.

Rawhide Isn’t Really Raw

This kind of rawhide is more like leather because it goes through many of the same processing steps that are used to make shoes, handbags and a host of other items. 

How Rawhide Dog Bones And Chews Are Manufactured

Here is what happens.

* The hides are soaked in a highly concentrated salt solution to kill any protein-destroying organisms.

* Then they are treated with either an ash-lyme solution or sodium sulphide liming to strip off any hair or fat.

* Next, more chemicals are applied to separate the different layers, since only the inner most ones are used for the chews.

* The hide is then bleached white.

* A chemical preservative is applied so the hide doesn’t spoil.

* A coloring agent is applied.

* The leather is then cut, rolled and glued into the desired shape, packaged and shipped out.

What The Experts Tell Us

“Rawhide is the most dangerous pet chew ever. More dogs have died from rawhide treats than almost any other form of dog treats or food.” 

Rodney Habib, Canadian activist and founder of Planet Paws. 

“As the rawhide is chewed and turns soft and gooey, and the knots at each end get undone, it has become a choking and intestinal obstruction hazard.”

Dr. Karen Becker, holistic veterinarian.

To help prevent choking, intestinal obstruction and death, we need more rawhide bones safety warning posters like this.
A rawhide bones safety warning like this helps prevent choking, intestinal obstruction and death.
Courtesy of Mornington Peninsula Dog Lovers

Some Scary And Very Sad Stories

Like so many others, the people mentioned here hadn’t received a rawhide bones safety warning.

Teddy almost choked on one, it had completely unraveled and was down his throat.Thank God we were home and in the same room.” Tracey Schofield

Years ago, my Jack Russell was choking on a rawhide, but luckily I was able to put my finger down his throat and got it out. I don’t know why the stores keep selling rawhides.” Celine Ostendorf

After swallowing some pieces of rawhide, mine died in surgery, so sad.” Sylvie Haustete

“One of my ‘students’ had an obstruction. When I asked when the pup would be in for its 2nd level of training, I was told that, sadly, the little one had died due to blockage in the intestines.” Wendy Roberson (dog trainer)

I had a pedigree German Shepherd that ate some rawhide and died in my jeep before I could reach the vet! There was nothing I could do. His stomach was all swollen and twisted by the obstruction.” Mercedes López-Roberson

To Sum Up

These testimonials speak for themselves. Besides, there are other ways, much safer ways, to provide enrichment for your beloved pets.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

DOG EXERCISE CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Whatever the exercise, consistency is key to keeping your dog active, healthy and happy
You will rarely meet a dog that doesn’t love the physical challenge of a good ball game
A daily exercise routine for your dog is necessary to safeguard his physical and emotional health
Another form of exercise, this dog proudly carries his big stick

Today’s blog is about physical activity with a focus on why dog exercise consistency is key. 

An appropriate range of physical activities, sometimes with the use of tools, provide the benefits required for your pets to be healthy and stay healthy. We tell humans this all the time, and the exact same principles apply to the dogs in our lives.

This may be stating the obvious but the whole point here is to give some of you a little nudge to actually do so. And, to be sensible about it. To factor in physical condition, the breed’s DNA, your surroundings, and climatic conditions.

Consistency Is A Major Factor

On average, 20 minutes of aerobic activity daily is considered necessary for your dog’s health. It is the recommended time a pet parent should put aside for this purpose. Not only is it vital for his overall physical well-being, it also helps alleviate boredom and destructive behaviors.

Here’s the next point to bear in mind. Regardless of what type of exercise it actually is, at least some activity must be done each and every day. Also, even though your intentions are good, it’s not wise to over-indulge. By that I mean, little or no physical activity during the typical work week, then “binge” at the weekend.

On top of that, more injuries occur when physical exertion is not increased gradually. As an example, what do amateur and professional athletes do? They warm up and cool down, by stretching and prepping. Consequently, precautionary measures like these will minimize the likelihood your pet will suffer strains and sprains.

Here are some ideas.

Activities: 
  • Walking briskly is basic good exercise that most pet parents can do.
  • Jogging is an ideal activity for more athletically inclined humans and canines.
  • Fetching a ball or catching a frisbee is easily done in the confines of a fenced-in back yard.
  • When dogs really enjoy the outdoors they often love to be their family’s hiking companion.
  • Swimming is a fabulous activity for a broad range of dogs that can choose how playfully or strenuously they want to participate.
  • Another outdoor option is having your dog trot alongside while you are bicycling. However, this does require thorough training and a high degree of caution for it to be safe for everyone involved.
  • Treadmill workouts are gaining popularity especially in areas that are prone to harsh weather conditions that can occur at any time of year. They also require training and extreme caution. And, if you didn’t already know, there are several treadmills designed specifically for canines. So go check them out.
Tools: 
  • Ball, frisbee, stick (inexpensive, exercise-promoting toys)
  • Hide and seek objects (be creative)
  • Set up an agility course (even a small, simple one for beginners and less energetic breeds can work wonders)
Benefits:
  • These include cardiovascular health, agility, reflex acuity, and muscle tone.
  • Exercise provides mental stimulation and is highly beneficial in the effort to control destructive behavior.

Find out what motivates your dog. Have fun. Enjoy your quality time together. Be creative but, above all, be sensible. And, please make an effort to be consistent. A health, active dog is a happy dog.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

ARE RETRACTIBLE LEASHES SAFE?

Two types of retractible leashes

This is definitely one of my major pet peeves.
Why?
Because they are misused, they can break, they may cause injury
and, 99% of the time, handlers are clueless of the risks involved when they are used to go walkies.

Misuse
Any leash that has a reach of around 30 feet is not meant to be used for regular dog walking and certainly not where there is traffic, however light. Nevertheless, a retractable leash can be a good tool for obedience training in a wide open space.

Breakage
The spring mechanism can malfunction; either not extend or not retract. If the thin cord or the flat nylon strip snaps, you have a dog on the loose and the leash can boomerang back to hit the person holding the plastic handle.

Injury
If any part of the leash gets wrapped around the human’s leg, it can cause burns or cuts. Also, the dog, as well as other dogs, may be at risk of injury if they become entangled.

Another harmful scenario is when the human suddenly stops the leash from extending, or when it is allowed to spool out totally and the moving canine is suddenly stopped in its tracks. Neck wounds and throat injuries as well as damage to the spine are frequently the result.

The 99 percent
In my experience, 99% of retractable leash dog walkers are clueless risk takers. Here are some examples to ponder.

  • A dog that has not be trained to walk correctly will pull because it knows it will always be given more leeway.
  • The plastic case is bulky, you bend over to pick up his business, you fumble, you drop the leash… it’s dragged along the ground and makes a noise which scares the dog as it runs faster to get away from the noise, traumatized.
  • You are distracted, you forget to click the spool tight, your dog sees a squirrel, your dog takes off…
  • You are still distracted, you are still talking on your phone, but this time your dog is walking 12 feet behind you, you have no idea what he’s up to.
  • Your dog is 6 feet ahead of you, turns the corner and comes face-to-face with an unfriendly canine, an altercation begins, you are unable to control your dog…

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!