School Closings & Delays

Much like actual bones, ‘bone treats’ can pose a health risk to your dog, according to the FDA

Many dog owners are aware that throwing their furry friend a turkey or chicken bone is a bad idea; the brittle bones can pose a danger.

But many “bone treats” sold in stores can also pose a problem for your pooch, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

According to a post on its website, the FDA has received 68 reports of pet illnesses related to “bone treats,” which differ from uncooked butcher-type bones because they are processed and packaged for sale as treats. A variety of “bone treats” — including those described as “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones” — were listed in the reports, the FDA says.

The products may be dried through a smoking process, and may contain other ingredients like preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings, the FDA says.

So if you’re looking to fill your pooch’s stocking with “bone treats” this holiday season, you might want to consider a different gift, the FDA says.

 

So if you’re planning to give your dog a stocking full of bone treats this holiday season, you may want to reconsider.

“Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet,” says Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Illnesses reported to FDA by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats have included:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
  • Choking
  • Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding from the rectum, and/or
  • Death. Approximately fifteen dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat.

The reports, sent in by pet owners and veterinarians, involved about 90 dogs (some reports included more than one dog).

In addition, the FDA received seven reports of product problems, such as moldy-appearing bones, or bone treats splintering when chewed by the pet.

Here are some tips from the FDA to keep your dog safe:

  • Chicken bones and other bones from the kitchen table can cause injury when chewed by pets, too. So be careful to keep platters out of reach when you’re cooking or the family is eating.
  • Be careful what you put in the trash can. Dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey carcass or steak bones disposed of there.
  • Talk with your veterinarian about other toys or treats that are most appropriate for your dog. There are many available products made with different materials for dogs to chew on.

“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” adds Stamper. “And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away.”