Monday, October 3, 2022
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Are Beef Cheek Rolls Rawhide, Rebranded? [Podcast Episode 014]


Holly’s {qualifications} embody:

In This Episode Study:

  • Why are pup mother and father involved about beef cheek rolls?
  • What’s the completely different between animal cover and pores and skin?
  • What makes a rawhide a rawhide?
  • How is a beef cheek roll completely different than a rawhide?
  • The distinction between a number of manufacturers of beef cheek rolls.
  • How Open Vary processes their beef cheek rolls.
  • About one other cool chew deal with your pup needs to strive.


Pup mother and father in every single place are speaking in regards to the newest TikTok craze – Beef Cheek Rolls!

Though they’ve been round for awhile, many individuals are simply discovering these lengthy lasting, inexpensive and palatable chew treats!

Now, together with the recognition of those treats come the skeptics, which is a GOOD factor! I’m all the time in favour of pet mother and father asking questions and reality discovering earlier than feeding something to their beloved cats and canine.

I all the time say that as a pet meals retailer a part of my job is policing the pet trade, so I’m all for a very good grilling.

So, Why the Concern About Beef Cheeks?

The most important concern I’ve discovered about beef cheek rolls is that they might be “rawhide in disguise”. The truth is, the white look of those treats so carefully resembles rawhide chews that we’ve needed to put a “not rawhide” signal on them in our shops.

There may be little or no info on the market in regards to the processing of beef cheeks, and since there’s a well-deserved, inherent mistrust of the pet trade as an entire, I’m right here to try to make clear the variations between beef cheeks and rawhides for you.

There may be additionally an opportunity I might make issues muddier for you. (sorry) It’s VERY arduous to search out reliable info on this subject, or most matters for that matter, however I’ll do my greatest!

What’s the Distinction Between Conceal and Pores and skin?

This was the primary query I had whereas penning this weblog. I imply, canine eat pores and skin on a regular basis, so can we, so what’s the large deal?

Effectively, there actually is not any distinction aside from the time period “cover” is used when describing the pores and skin of a bigger animal like a cow or a buffalo, and the time period “pores and skin” is used to explain the pores and skin of a smaller animal like a goat, sheep, pig or deer.

“Beef Conceal” is the pores and skin of a cow, whereas “rawhide” might be the pores and skin of a cow, buffalo, or horse for instance.

Presumably, cover could be thicker than pores and skin, and tougher to chew and digest.

What Makes a Rawhide, a Rawhide?

The important thing to understanding what makes a rawhide a rawhide is within the processing. Whilst you might imagine that rawhide is a by-product of the meat trade, you’d be fallacious. Rawhides are literally a by-product of the leather-based and tanning industries. The highest layer of the cover is used for leather-based, and the inside layer of the cover is salvaged for rawhide treats.

Sadly, when hides are destined for the leather-based trade, they bear a plethora of nasty processes.

As a way to forestall spoilage throughout transport over very lengthy distances, they’re initially subjected to a chemical tub. Then, they’re handled with both an answer of ash-lye or sodium sulphide liming. These options ought to NOT be ingested by YOU OR YOUR DOG.

To provide rawhides that “puffy” look, the hides are then handled additional with much more chemical compounds. Earlier than they change into a “canine deal with” they’ve probably been uncovered to glues, formaldehyde and even bleach or titanium oxide to provide them that white, clear look and to take away micro organism and hair. Moreover, synthetic colors and flavours can also be added.

Rawhides are additionally not categorized as “meals” so there may be little or no, if any, oversight of their manufacturing by any regulatory physique. It’s a little bit of a free-for-all.

This quick synopsis is merely a scratching of the floor in the case of downfalls of rawhide. Merely put: DO NOT feed rawhides of ANY type to your canine. Ever.

How is a Beef Cheek Roll Totally different from a Rawhide?

In response to their identify, beef cheeks are SUPPOSED TO BE produced from the cheek meat of a cow. Cheek meat could be very powerful and incorporates loads of collagen. Because of this to ensure that folks to get pleasure from cheek meat, it could have to be cooked “lengthy and sluggish” to tenderize it.

Happily for a canine chew – good and hard is the way in which we prefer it!

So whereas rawhides are produced from the cover scraps of the leather-based trade, beef cheeky rolls are produced from the cheek meat of a cow. Presumably, the cheek meat is rarely destined for the leather-based processing plant and bypasses the entire ensuing chemical remedies.

For my part, a very powerful distinction isn’t essentially whether or not or not it incorporates cover, however that the cover isn’t a by-product of the leather-based trade. The considered a canine ingesting all of these chemical compounds makes me in poor health.

If the cheek roll doesn’t include cover, they’re extra digestible than rawhides. Alongside that vein, in the event that they don’t include cover they received’t probably final as lengthy both though that’s purely hypothesis.

Let’s Take a look at a Few Totally different Manufacturers of Beef Cheeks

I wasn’t planning on doing this, however while doing my analysis I stumbled upon one thing fascinating and seemingly apparent. I discovered that whereas many of the cheek rolls I discovered had only one ingredient, the ingredient wasn’t all the time the identical.

Right here’s some examples:

Crimson Barn Cheek Roll Canine Chew

Elements: Beef Conceal

In addition they have choices which have a flavoured “glaze” on them. Additionally, on the FAQ web page when requested if the meat cheeks are rawhide:

“Redbarn’s Beef Cheek Rolls are an all-natural chew produced from the cow’s total cheek. Though it’s extra simply digestible in comparison with conventional rawhide, it could nonetheless be thought of a rawhide product.”

HDP Beef Cheek Rolls

Elements: Beef Rawhide

I’d presume that these could be much like the Crimson Barn rolls, nevertheless, based mostly on the definitions I’ve discovered about rawhide, I’m undecided how they’ll say it’s each “beef” and “rawhide” being that “rawhide” can imply any cover.

Bones & Chews Water Buffalo Cheek

Elements: Water Buffalo Cheek

This sounds higher than the primary two, however they don’t specify if it contains the cover so can it? I’m undecided.

Open Vary Beef Cheeky Roll

Elements: Beef Cheek Meat

Open Vary Beef Cheeky Rolls are an authorised product for our franchise and are offered in our shops. They don’t have any glaze or flavour added to them, and they don’t include any cover.

UPDATE JULY 2022: Open Vary Beef Cheek Rolls are NO LONGER an authorised product in our shops like they had been on the time of this writing. At some stage, they began irradiating their chews and for that reason we’re dropping the Open Vary line of chews and treats.

Now, labeling might be difficult and there are lots of methods manufacturers get round sounding “unhealthy” by tweaking labels. There are additionally guidelines that have to be adopted so once they’d prefer to record the ingredient as one factor, they’re compelled to make use of one other. For instance, I do know one collagen chew that wasn’t allowed to place “collagen” on the label, they needed to put “beef gelatin”.

I’d assume that if listed as “Beef Cheek Meat” that will imply no cover, however who is aware of.

HOT TIP: Not ALL cheek rolls are produced from solely cheek meat. Some might embody the pores and skin or cover. You’ll have to inquire with the corporate you’re buying from for clarification if it’s not clear on the label.

How are Beef Cheeks Processed?

Within the case of the Open Vary Beef Cheeky Rolls, the cheek meat is tumbled in a wash of water and shells which act as a pure abrasive to take away any hair. It additionally removes the dermis layer of the pores and skin. All with out chemical compounds.

As a result of the dermis layer is eliminated, the cheek meat is then in a position to soak up water earlier than the dehydration stage which inflates the cheek giving it that signature puffy look.

The white color that resembles the looks of rawhide comes from this cleansing course of, NOT from the applying of bleach or different chemical compounds.

Open Vary Beef Cheeks are 100% Beef from free vary cows with out added development hormones, antibiotics or steroids.

However bear in mind, that is how THIS ONE firm processes their cheeks. There’s no assure it’s the identical for others. I’d encourage you to ask.


Picture: Open Vary

A Fast Phrase About Bull Tails

Bull Tails aren’t trending on TikTok, (but), however they’re value a point out as a result of once they’re bought from a very good firm they’re a cheap, lengthy lasting pure chew.

Open Vary processes their Bull Tails, Cow Ears and plenty of of their different merchandise in the identical method they course of their Beef Cheeky Rolls. Because of this their cow ears are white and puffy, vs different ears that could be darker and thinner.

Bull Tails are steamed after which hollowed out to take away the cartilage. I used to be “immediately years outdated” once I realized that Open Vary stuffs the huge finish of their Bull Tails with cheek meat!

How cool is that?

HOT TIP: ALWAYS supervise your canine once they’re chewing any deal with! All treats have the potential to change into a choking hazard or to create a blockage when not chewed to an acceptable dimension earlier than swallowing. Just some days in the past Pebbles bought a chew deal with caught on the roof of her mouth that I needed to take away for her and she or he’s a grown-ass grownup!

In Conclusion

With the dearth of information, and complicated definitions and labeling, how is a pup mum or dad to know if a beef cheek is definitely only a rawhide, rebranded?

The reply isn’t straightforward, sadly. We’d have to dive deep into every model, and even additional to every of their merchandise to get the solutions we want.

My greatest recommendation to extend your odds of buying the next high quality product is to keep away from something that truly admits it’s “cover” or “rawhide” on the label, after which ask the businesses with elements like “water buffalo cheek” to search out out if the “cover” or “rawhide” are included within the chew. Technically a cheek might embody cover I suppose if it’s not deliberately eliminated.

Additionally keep away from something made in China. Most hides are shipped to China and the rawhides are produced there.

Guarantee your favorite merchandise haven’t been irradiated, and keep away from any and all synthetic colors, flavours and preservatives.

This could offer you a head begin.

Personally, I feed beef cheeks to my canine, however ONLY those my head workplace has authorised. They converse on to the businesses and ask the powerful questions to make sure we’re solely promoting the perfect merchandise obtainable. For that cause, the one two manufacturers I can advocate (as they’re offered on the time of this writing) are Open Vary and Pet Love.

UPDATE JULY 2022: Open Vary Beef Cheek Rolls are NO LONGER an authorised product in our shops like they had been on the time of this writing. At some stage, they began irradiating their chews and for that reason we’re dropping the Open Vary line of chews and treats. 

I hope this weblog has given you some instruments that can assist you select the next high quality beef cheek to your pup. When produced responsibly, they are surely an important chew!

Assets from this Episode:

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