Are Beef Cheek Rolls Rawhide, Rebranded? [Podcast Episode 014]



Holly’s {qualifications} embody:

In This Episode Study:

  • Why are pup dad and mom involved about beef cheek rolls?
  • What’s the totally different between animal conceal and pores and skin?
  • What makes a rawhide a rawhide?
  • How is a beef cheek roll totally 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 desires to attempt.


Pup dad and mom in every single place are speaking concerning 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 at all times in favour of pet dad and mom asking questions and reality discovering earlier than feeding something to their beloved cats and canine.

I at all times say that as a pet meals retailer a part of my job is policing the pet business, so I’m all for a superb grilling.

So, Why the Concern About Beef Cheeks?

The largest concern I’ve discovered about beef cheek rolls is that they might be “rawhide in disguise”. In reality, 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’s little or no info on the market concerning the processing of beef cheeks, and since there’s a well-deserved, inherent mistrust of the pet business as an entire, I’m right here to attempt to make clear the variations between beef cheeks and rawhides for you.

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

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

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

Properly, there actually is not any distinction apart from the time period “conceal” 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 Disguise” is the pores and skin of a cow, whereas “rawhide” could be the pores and skin of a cow, buffalo, or horse for instance.

Presumably, conceal can be thicker than pores and skin, and more durable 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. When you might imagine that rawhide is a by-product of the meat business, you’d be mistaken. Rawhides are literally a by-product of the leather-based and tanning industries. The highest layer of the conceal is used for leather-based, and the interior layer of the conceal is salvaged for rawhide treats.

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

With the intention to stop spoilage throughout transport over very lengthy distances, they’re initially subjected to a chemical bathtub. 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 present rawhides that “puffy” look, the hides are then handled additional with much more chemical substances. Earlier than they turn out to be a “canine deal with” they’ve probably been uncovered to glues, formaldehyde and even bleach or titanium oxide to present 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 on the subject 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 accordance with their title, beef cheeks are SUPPOSED TO BE created from the cheek meat of a cow. Cheek meat could be very powerful and comprises lots of collagen. Because of this to ensure that folks to take pleasure in cheek meat, it might have to be cooked “lengthy and sluggish” to tenderize it.

Luckily for a canine chew – good and hard is the best way we prefer it!

So whereas rawhides are created from the conceal scraps of the leather-based business, beef cheeky rolls are created from the cheek meat of a cow. Presumably, the cheek meat isn’t destined for the leather-based processing plant and bypasses all the ensuing chemical therapies.

In my view, crucial distinction isn’t essentially whether or not or not it comprises conceal, however that the conceal isn’t a by-product of the leather-based business. The considered a canine ingesting all of these chemical substances makes me in poor health.

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

Let’s Have 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 at all times the identical.

Right here’s some examples:

Pink Barn Cheek Roll Canine Chew

Substances: Beef Disguise

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 created from the cow’s whole cheek. Though it’s extra simply digestible in comparison with conventional rawhide, it might nonetheless be thought-about a rawhide product.”

HDP Beef Cheek Rolls

Substances: Beef Rawhide

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

Bones & Chews Water Buffalo Cheek

Substances: Water Buffalo Cheek

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

Open Vary Beef Cheeky Roll

Substances: Beef Cheek Meat

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

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

Now, labeling could be tough and there are various methods manufacturers get round sounding “dangerous” by tweaking labels. There are additionally guidelines that should be adopted so after they’d wish to record the ingredient as one factor, they’re pressured 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 might imply no conceal, however who is aware of.

HOT TIP: Not ALL cheek rolls are created from solely cheek meat. Some might embody the pores and skin or conceal. 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 substances.

As a result of the dermis layer is eliminated, the cheek meat is then capable of 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 appliance of bleach or different chemical substances.

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

However keep 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.


Photograph: Open Vary

A Fast Phrase About Bull Tails

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

Open Vary processes their Bull Tails, Cow Ears and lots 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 “right now years previous” once I discovered that Open Vary stuffs the extensive finish of their Bull Tails with cheek meat!

How cool is that?

HOT TIP: ALWAYS supervise your canine after they’re chewing any deal with! All treats have the potential to turn out to be a choking hazard or to create a blockage when not chewed to an applicable measurement earlier than swallowing. Only a few days in the past Pebbles acquired a chew deal with caught on the roof of her mouth that I needed to take away for her and he or she’s a grown-ass grownup!

In Conclusion

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

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

My greatest recommendation to extend your odds of buying the next high quality product is to keep away from something that really admits it’s “conceal” or “rawhide” on the label, after which ask the businesses with substances like “water buffalo cheek” to search out out if the “conceal” or “rawhide” are included within the chew. Technically a cheek might embody conceal 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 provide you with a head begin.

Personally, I feed beef cheeks to my canine, however ONLY those my head workplace has accepted. They converse on to the businesses and ask the powerful questions to make sure we’re solely promoting the most effective merchandise out there. For that purpose, the one two manufacturers I can suggest (as they’re bought on the time of this writing) are Open Vary and Pet Love.

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

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

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