FDA Warns ‘Bone Treats’ Could Harm Your Dog

The FDA is warning dog owners to think twice before giving their four-legged friend ‘bone treats’ after reports of illnesses and at least 15 deaths.

Per WCMH, the FDA describes ‘bone treats’ being different than the uncooked butcher-type bones because they are processed and packaged for sale as dog treats instead of bones. Commercially-available bone treats such as “Ham Bones,” Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones” were included in the reports causing illnesses and death.

The products listed are said to possibly contain ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavors and may be dried through a smoking process or by baking.

Majority of the illnesses in dogs that have eaten bone treats reported to the FDA by owners and veterinarians, include:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage of 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 of affected dogs consisted of about 90 dogs (some reports included more than one dog). The FDA also received seven reports of product problems, such as moldy-appearing bones, or bone treats splintering when chewed.

To prevent illness or death the FDA recommends the following, per WCMH:

  • Don’t give pets chicken bones or other bones from the kitchen table as they can cause injury when chewed as well. Be careful to keep platters our of reach when cooking or eating.
  • If throwing bones away in the kitchen trash can be careful dogs can’t get into the trash can. Pets can be greedy when it comes to helping themselves to our leftovers.
  • Consult with your veterinarian about toys or treats that are best suited for your dog.