FDA Warns Against Giving Dogs Bones and Bone Treats


PetMD Editorial

Published Nov. 29, 2017

By Aly Semigran

Give a dog a bone? You may want to think twice about that, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

In a recent release, the FDA said giving pets bones or bone treats to chew on can have major consequences.

The FDA 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." The reports, which were received between Nov. 10, 2010 and Sept. 12, 2017, involved about 90 dogs—15 of which reportedly died after eating a bone treat. 

The bone-related treats mentioned in the reports include "ham bones," pork femur bones," "rib bones," and "smokey knuckle bones." 

The possible consequences linked to these bones, which often contain preservatives and seasonings, include choking, blockage in the digestive tract, vomiting, diarrhea, cuts and wounds in the mouth or tonsils, bleeding from the rectum, and even death. 

"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 FDA veterinarian Dr. Carmela Stamper. 

In order to keep dogs safe during the holiday season, and throughout the year, the FDA suggests that pet parents keep bones from family meals out of reach of pets and properly maintain trash cans

If you want to give your dog a toy or treat to chew on, the FDA recommends consulting with your veterinarian first about the best and safest options. 

However, if your dog "isn't acting right" after chewing on any kind of toy or treat, seek immediate veterinary care, Stamper advised. 

Read more: Can Dogs Eat Bones? Raw & Cooked Bones for Dogs

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