Bones of any kind have long been a concern for dog owners. When I brought my first Great Dane home, the breeder told me to be sure to get her a “big ole knuckle bone” from the butcher. Years later, we learned that bones of any kind weren’t good for dogs because of the danger of splintering, but retailers continued to sell flavored bone treats. Now there is a new cause for concern with those.
The Food & Drug Administration has issued a warning about the “purchase and use of store-bought bone treats.” The agency claims the risk goes beyond the risk of regular bones.
The FDA has received reports of 68 cases of illness related to these treats.
Bone Treats that Could Cause Problems
Bone treats for dogs were listed in the warning as:
- Ham Bones”“Pork Femur Bones”
- “Rib Bones”
- “Smokey Knuckle Bones
No specific brands were named.
Watch for These Symptoms
Illnesses reported to the FDA by both pet owners and veterinarians include:
Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract
Cuts and wounds in the mouth or tonsils
Vomiting and/or diarrhea
15 dogs have reportedly died after eating a bone treat. Reports from owners and veterinarians show that problems with about 90 dogs and some reports included more than 1 dog. There were also reports of moldy appearing treats and treats that splintered when chewed by dogs.
Be careful when you choose treats for your dog. Avoid purchasing any kind of real bones for treats. Instead, look at the Nylabone brand of flavored bone treats. They don’t splinter and dogs enjoy them. But always watch your dog when he chews them. With any toy or treat, a chunk could break off and become a choking hazard.
A better idea for treats than any kind of bone is one you make yourself. You can find easy-to-follow recipes here. Homemade treats are cheaper, fresher and tastier than commercial treats, and you will be certain your pet is receiving a quality product.
If you purchased the bone treats, I suggest you return it to your place of purchase and ask for a refund.