US Government watchdog warns dog owners about health threat posed by ‘bone treats’ 2 years ago

US Government watchdog warns dog owners about health threat posed by ‘bone treats’

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received multiple reports of pet illnesses related to ‘bone treats’.

Dog owners have been warned of the health risks associated with ‘bone treats’ by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA reported receiving approximately 68 reports of pet illness related to bone treats, which are processed and packaged for sale as treats for dogs.

As many as 90 dogs (some reports involved more than one dog) were affected, while 15 dogs are believed to have died after eating a bone treat.

The ‘bone treats’ referred to in the reports are products that may be dried through a smoking process or by baking and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings and smoke flavourings.

A variety of illnesses relating to bone treats have been reported by the FDA, including the following:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
  • Choking
  • Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bleeding from the rectum, and/or...
  • Death. Approximately 15 dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat.

Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the FDA, said: “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.”

The FDA provided the following tips to keep your dog safe:

  • 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.
  • “We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” adds Stamper. “And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away.”