Answers to common questions about beefhide chews for dogs

Our trained staff at Pet Factory have received and answered numerous questions from concerned pet owners and pet product distributors. Listed below are some of the most frequent inquiries we have received.

If you do not see the answer to your question, feel free to call 1-800-468-3315 toll free, or send us an e-mail.

The animal’s skin is split into inner and outer layers. The tough outer layer is used for leather shoes, garments, and upholstery. The soft inner layer is cut and formed into different shapes for dog chews.

Beefhide does not contain Hormones, Added Dyes, Added Salt, Added Sugar, Preservatives, Fillers, GMO’s, Glues, Corn, Wheat, Gluten, Grain, Soy, Fillers or Additives and beefhide is Grain Free.

Our beefhide chews are the “Original Natural” – it does not contain Hormones, Added Dyes, Added Salt, Added Sugar, Preservatives, Fillers, GMO’s, Glues, Corn, Wheat, Gluten, Grain, Soy, Fillers or Additives and beefhide is Grain Free.

Absolutely, beefhide is proven to be 99.2% digestible. We have had independent labs confirm that beefhide is 99.2% digestible.

Yes – Each batch of finished product is tested for Salmonella & Enterobacteriaceae. Product is released for packaging only after test results are approved.

Yes – Pet Factory’s state of the art food quality facility is GFSI SQF 2000 certified to give customers the peace of mind that their products are produced under optimum safety and quality conditions.

GFSI was founded in 2000, the mission of the Global Food Safety Initiative is to provide continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide. Their 4 primary objectives are based upon safety, quality, and managing efficiencies in the global food supply chain. Pet Factory shares the vision of GFSI to provide safe food for consumers everywhere.

The quality of beefhide is often related to its country of origin:

American Beef-hide: Corn-fed beef raised in the U.S. supply a thick, palatable and high-quality chew. American beef-hide is considered “The Source” of choice for premium chews
Oriental Water-Buffalo: Raised to work in the fields of countries like China, Korea and Thailand, they are a common source of imported beefhide.

South American Range Cows: These animals are fed on grass and typically have little fat and a rough, fibrous consistency. They are warm-weather animals with thinner skin.

The hide is transported to our processing plant in Chicago in a refrigerated truck where it is heavily rinsed several times over many hours to remove unwanted properties and restore the hide to a natural state. The hides are then cut, formed and is oven-dried to an exact consistency into many varieties of beefhide you see in the stores. The Pet Factory 100% Made in USA chews are always transported to us in refrigerated trucks to prevent degradation and spoilage.

When collagen in the skin dries out, it becomes stiff. As your dog chews, the saliva moistens and softens the beefhide. U.S. beef-hide is oven-dried to prevent over-drying.

The natural tendencies of wild canines and their predecessors was to sink their teeth into their prey and pull away on the hides stripping the skin and meat. Inherent in this feeding process was the beneficial action of the tugging and pressure on the teeth and gums which served to toughen the gums and clean the teeth for a continued healthy mouth. Chews offer two valuable benefits to your dog.

Dental Benefits

Chewing rawhide helps prevent plaque and tarter. Bacteria in the dog’s mouth breaks down food particles and converts them to plaque and excess acid. The plaque can become mineralized to form a hard deposit on the tooth surface called “calculus.” The excess acid damages the gums resulting in gingivitis. Unchecked gingivitis results in periodontitis, the leading cause of tooth loss. As rawhide is chewed and moistened, it wraps around the teeth and rubs off plaque and calculi.

Behavior Benefits

All dogs have an inherent desire to chew, especially puppies. Aberrant chewing can be a sign of lack of exercise or a vitamin deficiency, but it is most often a normal desire to chew. This drive can exhibit itself on furniture and clothing items. Beef-hide offers a dog a safe chewing outlet.

Country of Origin is required packaging information. Look closely for indications of imitations of U.S. Beef-hide such as “Made from U.S. Beef-hide in China or Mexico” or “Product of South America.” This is a further indication that even the importers recognize the value of U.S. Beef-hide.

Basting ingredients are procured from companies that cater to the food industry. USDA and other governmental requirements ensure the quality for these flavored basting.

Some basted rawhide claims to be non-staining. Generally, the food colors used are water soluble and once wet can run and will most likely stain. Our Clear Basted American Beef-hide line has the flavor your dog wants and is safe for your carpets and upholstery leaving only faint indications of any staining if any at all.

Beefhide is not a food, but a safe chewable toy that can be, and most often is, consumed. It is 80-85% protein, 10-12% fiber and moisture, and 1-2% fat. High in protein, low in fat, especially compared to pig ears and other pork skin products, and fewer calories per ounce than a typical dog biscuit. One or two hours of daily chewing is sufficient.

Fortunately, chews come in every size and shape imaginable. It is important that the chew be large enough and thick enough that your dog cannot easily chew off and swallow a large piece or the whole chew. Rawhide that requires more than 7 days to chew should be replaced due to dirt and bacteria buildup.

If your dog has gastrointestinal disease or is eating a therapeutic diet, you should seek a veterinarian’s approval before feeding any chews. Dogs with beef allergies or that consistently swallow bones whole should probably not receive chews unattended.

The simplest way to explain the manufacture of dog chews is to picture a hide about the size and weight of a living room area rug measuring 8 feet square.

We rinse the hides in large vats to clean up the fats, oils, salts and grime.

The wet hides are wrung to remove excess water and we place the moist hides on to special cutting tables. With the help of electric knives, rectangular pieces of varying sizes and special shapes are cut from certain portions of the hide. These shapes are forwarded to the tying department where the shapes are rolled and folded to create the various forms (Bones, Rolls, etc.).

The final shapes are placed on trays and are carried on carts to drying rooms that are temperature controlled to assure drying but not melting. Oh yes, rawhide will melt to a gel if the temperatures are high enough.

Basted items are made starting with dried bones that are dipped with a flavored coating and again dried in dry rooms. Our Clear Basted Bones contain coatings that have no color added so they are color safe for your rugs and couches.

Keep your chews in a dry place or away from immediate moisture contact and your chews will be nice and tasty when you are ready to reward your pet.

After your pet has enjoyed the chew for a while, you could remove the chew and let it stand to become dry again, so that it is firm for the next time your pet is ready to enjoy the chew.

When the chew has been enjoyed down to a small portion, you may want to remove the remains if your pet tends to try to swallow or eat pieces that are just a little too big for the pet.

Beefhide munchy items are pulverized beefhide mixed with a binder and extruded to form various shapes. Your pet will chew and eat most of the munchy, which is normal. Again, simply keep the munchy items in a dry place. Sometimes, over time, a slight haze might form on the munchy which in many cases is the “flowering” of the pulverized materials. If the haze becomes moldy, then the product has taken on moisture and should not be used.

Beefhide bones have low moisture content and therefore should not attract bugs while in storage. Basted products, however, can and many times do, attract bugs as the flavoring is a food product. We recommend that your extra basted chews be stored in an airtight bag or jar in order to prevent attracting bugs.

The hard clear substance sometimes found inside dog chews are melted collagen formed when a dog chew is exposed to overly high heat. The hide literally melts and then re-hardens in the cooling process. This substance is safe for your dog to ingest, and will not cause any harmful after effects.