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PSAs Safety Alerts

ALERT: 15 Dogs Dead, 90 Seriously Injured After Eating This Type of Dog Treat

dog treats



Many Americans cherish their dogs, and love spoiling them with all manner of treats—but after 15 dogs wound up dead recently, with even more being seriously injured, the FDA has been warning consumers about a popular Christmas gift that owners often give their puppies.

Most pet owners are aware that poultry bones—from turkeys and chickens—are far too brittle for Fido to enjoy. The FDA is warning against all types of bones however, after receiving numerous reports of processed and packaged dog bones leading to serious injuries.

The FDA reports:

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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 were received between November 1, 2010 and September 12, 2017. 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.

So if you’re planning to give your dog a stocking full of bone treats this holiday season, you may want to reconsider. According to Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the FDA, “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.”

According to the various reports submitted to the FDA by owners and veterinarians, dogs that have recently eaten these commercially-available bone treats such as “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones,” have exhibited some of the following symptoms:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in 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.

In order to keep your dogs safe, the FDA gives a series of tips. “We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” adds Carmela Stamper, a high ranking veterinarian at the FDA. “And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away.”

  • Chicken bones and other bones from the kitchen table can cause injury when chewed by pets, too. So be careful to keep platters out of reach when you’re cooking or the family is eating.
  • Be careful what you put in the trash can. Dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey carcass or steak bones disposed of there.
  • Talk with your veterinarian about other toys or treats that are most appropriate for your dog. There are many available products made with different materials for dogs to chew on.

Pictured are several different types of supposedly safe dog treats which the FDA is warning may have adverse consequences on your dog. It is highly recommended that you avoid feeding him brittle dog bones, such as those from turkey or chicken, and watch him very closely when giving him a new 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,” adds the FDA.

This is extremely important information about the safety of these dog treats and we urge you to share this with all of your friends and family on social media. Thank you and God bless!


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