December 14, 2019

Why the FDA Doesn't Want You to Give Your Dog Bone Treats

Is your dog a good boy? Of course he isssss...Who’s a good boy? HE IS! Anyway, if your dog is a good boy, you probably love buying him treats. There’s something important you need to know, though.

The FDA says you need to stop giving your dog bone treats.

First of all, what the heck is a “bone treat?”

Great question. Bone treats are basically real bones that have been dried and sometimes flavored, then packaged to be sold in stores. You’ve seen them everywhere: grocery stores, pet stores...even gas stations.

Why the FDA crackdown?

The Food and Drug Administration has received over 68 complaints of dogs who’ve become ill from chewing on and/or ingesting bone treats over the last seven years. Fifteen of those dogs died. They’re issuing a public warning because they think the threat is now serious enough to cause concern.

How are bone treats making dogs sick?

Lots of ways, actually, and they’re all pretty awful. They’ve caused choking, mouth cuts, vomiting, diarrhea, and even blockages in the digestive tract. As dogs chew on the bones, chunks can break off and be swallowed, causing serious damage to the intestines.

That sounds...bad?

Yeah, it’s not worth the risk. Your dog may enjoy bones and feel fine eating them 99% of the time, but it’s that 1% you need to worry about. Also, packaged bones are pretty gross! They smell, they get slobbery and sticky, and they can even stain your carpets.

Okay, so what am I avoiding, exactly?

Any “treat” that looks like a bone that’s been shrinkwrapped, in essence. Sometimes they’re called “Femur Bones” or “Ham Bones” or even “Knuckle Bones.” Of course, you also want to avoid giving your dog any real bones from the table...rib bones, chicken legs, T-bones. Don’t give them to your pet! He can choke on them, or suffer serious consequences when they splinter, puncturing his intestines and/or rectum.

Buzzkill! What kind of treats can I give my dog then?

Stick with natural, minimally-processed treats, and watch the calorie count if you’re worried about your dog’s weight. You could also try a toy instead of a food treat.  

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