FDA Says Don't Toss a Bone Treat to Fido
You might want to treat your dog for its good behavior this holiday season but the FDA is warning people not to give them one store-bought product.
In an update posted to the FDA website on Nov. 21, the agency warned consumers about "bone treats."
The FDA said these treats are different from uncooked butcher-type bones because they are processed and packaged for sale as dog treats. The agency has received about 68 reports involving about 90 pets becoming sick because of these treats. Fifteen dogs have died.
The treats include those described as “ham bones,” “pork femur bones,” “rib bones,” and “smokey knuckle bones” and are dried either through a smoking process or baking. The treats usually contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings.
Problems reported to the agency include moldy-appearing bones the treats splintering when they are being chewed.
“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,” said Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA, in a prepared statement.
Illnesses reported to the FDA by owners and veterinarians include:
- Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
- Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
- Bleeding from the rectum
The FDA offers the following tips to keep your pet safe:
- Keep platters out of reach when you’re cooking or the family is eating as other bones, like chicken bones, can make a pet sick.
- Be careful what you put in the trash can.
- Talk with your veterinarian about appropriate toys and treats.
“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” Stamper said. “And if she just isn’t acting right, call your veterinarian right away!”
Owners can report problems with pet foods or treats by clicking here.