A good bone makes any dog’s day, but turns out the pupper pastime might not be safe for Fido.
After receiving around 68 reports of dogs getting sick and 15 dying after eating “bone treats,” the FDA has released a statement advising pet owners not to give their dogs these chews.
Bone treats, which the FDA defines as bones that are “processed and packaged for sale as dog treats,” include products described as “ham bones,” “pork femur bones,” “rib bones,” and smokey knuckle bones.” (No actual brand names were mentioned in the report.) According to the FDA, these treacherous treats have caused gastrointestinal blockages, choking, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding from the rectum, cuts in the mouth or on the tonsils, and death.
To be on the safe side, stick to hard rubber toys like Kongs and Nylabones, suggests the Humane Society. Even popular choices like tennis balls, rawhides and soft stuffed toys can present choking hazards because they break down easily.
As for real bones, the FDA warns against giving your dogs cooked poultry, pork or steak bones, too, because they tend to splinter and can cause choking and other digestive issues. The statement doesn’t address the safety of uncooked or raw bones, but according to PetMD, even those can lead to intestinal blockages.
Veterinarian Dr. Carmela Stamper, who works at the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA, recommends “supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” and calling your vet if you notice any signs of discomfort.