Are rawhide treats from i-pets.com safe for my pet?
How do I know that rawhide treats are free of poisons?
In light of the horrific news reports, more and more each day, of pets sickening and dying from tainted additives in pet foods and pet biscuits, the management of i-pets.com would like to take this opportunity to explain the processing of rawhide treats and any imported items we may sell to our customers.
Pets in the US are becoming sick and dying because of melamine, a chemical found in fertilizers in Asia and which should not be in pet food in any amounts. Melamine was used as an additive in wheat gluten and rice gluten used in pet foods. Why? Food and Drug Administration investigators say the Chinese companies may have spiked products with the chemical melamine so that they would appear, in tests, to have more value as protein products.
How do you know melamine additives aren't in rawhide treats? Because rawhide is almost pure protein - there is no need to add protein value. Products sold by i-pets.com, which state "USA" are made entirely in the United States from cattle hides raised and processed in the United States. No chemicals are used to process these rawhides - the process involves repeated washes with purified water to remove fats which can lead to unpleasant odor and spoilage. In the last water bath, hydrogen peroxide, the same product used for first aid, is added to the water to retard spoilage.
Rawhide treats made in foreign countries are identifiable because these are the ultra white ones. Some disreputable companies will use chemicals to whiten the hides, because it makes them more attractive to customers. Dogs could care less!
i-pets.com sells imported rawhide treats in addition to those manufactured in the USA. Why? Because consumers like looking for bargains and it's impossible to manufacture in the USA as cheaply as overseas. US manufacturing is regulated by countless federal, state and local agencies, and also required to meet minimum wage and insurance requirements. Foreign companies are not bound by these same rules and can produce at much lower cost.
How does a consumer know if an imported pet product is safe? It's easy to say "Buy from a reputable manufacturer," but most consumers are not familiar with foreign companies. So take it a step further - buy from a reputable retailer. At i-pets.com, we have seen the gamut of good and bad manufacturing practices. We have visited factories in Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, China and South America. We would not buy a product to sell to the public that we wouldn't wish to give to our own companion animals.
At i-pets.com, we pride ourselves on our ultra-low prices, but we will not sacrifice the safety of our customers' companion animals solely to sell a cheaper product. i-pets.com will only sell imported products from manufacturers we have personally visited and been satisfied with. If we can't find an acceptable product at a lower price than our competitors, we will not carry that product.