We’re all aware of the lead scare from a few years ago, and I must admit, that I've made a HUGE effort in purchasing items Made in America (for me and my dogs-see shopping with a cause). In my efforts to keep my carbon footprint low, as well as my four legged furry babies, I found some information that was helpful...
Tennis balls designed for dogs have been tested and found that there are trace amounts of lead in them; however tennis balls for humans don't have any traces of lead. From that scare, the parts per million (ppm) measurement used in the testing was reduced to 300ppm in tests for children toys. To date there are still no regulations regarding the use of lead in dog toys. So, what does a responsible pet parent do? (I feel better about Choxie’s love of human tennis balls after doing this blog post.)
We start to check the label. Maybe go with rawhides (which gross me out, but I did) or you go with pig ears. Well, it seems even with checking the label that this isn’t the best for our four legged furry babies. The chemicals that go into making a rawhide chew bone are dangerous to say the least (capable of burning, or corroding), and at one time rawhide was used as “sheet metal”, nails and other building materials for Native Americans and early Europeans.
The Chemicals and how it’s made: (Cliff Notes Version)
Lye made from wood ash is potassium hydroxide, not sodium hydroxide -- there's 10 times as much potassium as sodium in wood ash.
hydrated lime is a caustic substance produced by heating limestone
Once the flesh has been cleaned the hide is soaked 1-3 days to soften the hair and then scraped off, usually repeating the process. When this is completed, to get rid of the chemicals from the previous step, manufactures will sanitize the hides by soaking them in a bleach solution before shaping it into an enticing shape. (I’m never buying these again!)
There has been a link between pig ears and Salmonella according to the FDA. In 2011 there were 3 companies that had to recall pig ears due to Salmonella contamination.
We, as consumers, have to advocate for our families. We have to ask for better products from the manufactures and for harsher laws when there is an outbreak. This is not just about dogs, but about those we love that are around us. Below are some great sources for more on how to change your purchase choices.