Many dog owners know not to toss a turkey or chicken bone to their dog, but the FDA says some "bone treats" sold in stores are even riskier.
According to a warning on their website, the FDA says it has received about 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 dog treats.
A variety of commercially-available bone treats for dogs-including treats described as "Ham Bones," "Pork Femur Bones," "Rib Bones," and "Smokey Knuckle Bones" were listed in the reports.
The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings.
Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA, said, "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."
Illnesses reported to FDA by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats have included:
- Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
- Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Death. Approximately 15 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, FDA received seven reports of product problems, such as moldy-appearing bones, or bone treats splintering when chewed by the pet.
To report a problem with a pet food or treat, visit the FDA's website.