FDA Advises Dog Owners to Be Wary of Treat Bones This Holiday Season

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Though it’s tempting to scoop up some holiday bones for your dog’s stocking, the FDA says it’s received almost 70 reports of pet illnesses that are related to bone treats.

It’s the holiday season and no one wants to leave their pets out of the gift-giving, right? But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning pet owners against ‘treat bones’ that are frequently purchased at retail stores. The bones are ones described as smokey knuckle, pork femur, ham and rib bones, and they can be found at retailers all over the country.

Related: Expert Insight: Dr. Marty Becker and Winter Pet Wellness Tips

The FDA did not name any specific brands in the warning, but said that about 90 dogs have been involved in the reporting, with 15 of the dogs dying, allegedly after they ate a treat bone. Other reports of issues have been ones that claimed dogs’ digestive tracts were obstructed, and they suffered from mouth cuts, vomiting, diarrhea and rectal bleeding.

The warning also suggested owners not give dogs chicken bones because they are brittle, though many dog owners already know that, but to also be sure that turkey or steak bones in the trash are not accessible to dogs. More, the FDA says there is a risk when it comes to ‘bone treats’ at stores, which are not the same as an uncooked butcher-type bone because they are processed specifically for sale at stores.

The reports listed several various types of such packaged and processed treats, and the FDA says that they may be smoked or baked, but can contain other ingredients like preservatives, smoke flavoring and seasonings that may make dogs sick.

Related: FDA Alert: Pet Foods and Treats May Contain Hormones That Trigger Hyperthyroidism

Instead of giving such bones, the FDA advises you talk with your vet about toys or treats that will make great ‘stocking stuffers’, and supervising your dog with any treat or chew to ensure they do okay with it. As always, if your pet doesn’t seem to be acting right, be sure that you consult with your veterinarian right away.

And, if you feel you have an issue that needs to be reported, the FDA has a site for lodging pet food complaints, and you should to help ensure all pets stay safe this holiday season and beyond!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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