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No bones about it – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a consumer warning this week that innocently giving your dog a delectable bone to chew can potentially be a very dangerous thing to do. The agency has received reports of bone dog treats and its finds more than 90 dogs who have died after eating bone treats, and more than 15% of those reports involved dogs choking on the bones.
“Some people think it’s safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast,” Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA, said in the warning. “Bones are unsafe, no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery or even death.”Stamper added, “Make sure you throw out bones from your own meals in a way that your dog can’t get to them.”
She recommends immediately taking out the trash or placing the bones out of your dog’s reach until you can discard them. “And pay attention to where your dog’s nose is when you walk him around the neighborhood – steer him away from any objects lying in the grass.” Dog bones can splinter and cause internal injuries, blockages, or choking. Bacteria, or other noxious substances, can also be present.
Symptoms Signs of trouble
If your dog does eat bone treats, watch for signs of trouble, including choking, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding from the mouth or rectum, or difficulty walking. If you see any of these signs, take your dog to the vet immediately.
Bone treats for dogs
Bone treats are typically made from ham bones, large dog bones, or natural bones. That has been cut into small pieces. Bone treats can cause serious health risks in dogs. They are marketed as a healthy and fun way for dogs to enjoy a snack, but the FDA is warning that they can be dangerous.
Giving bone treats could kill your dog
The FDA is warning dog owners about the dangers of bone treats. FDA says these are the top 10 reasons why giving your dog a bone can be hazardous to his health:
1. Broken teeth, which may result in expensive veterinary dentistry.
2. Mouth or tongue injuries – These can be bloody and may require a trip to the veterinarian.
3. Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw – This can be frightening and painful for your dog, and expensive for you since it usually requires a visit to the vet.
4. Bone gets stuck in the esophagus – This is the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag or choke, trying to bring the bone back up.
5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe – This emergency may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small piece of bone. Take your dog to the vet or animal emergency hospital immediately.
Why You Shouldn’t Give Your Dog Bones
6. Bone gets stuck in stomach – Although the bone went down fine, it may still be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.
7. Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage – This may also require expensive surgery.
8. Constipation due to bone fragments – Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to the vet.
9. Severe bleeding from the rectum – This is messy and can be dangerous. You’ll need to take your dog to the vet.
10. Peritonitis – The bacteria that causes a difficult-to-treat intestinal condition originate from bone fragments that poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestine. It can kill your dog, so take him to the vet immediately.
Pet parents Should know about dog bones
The FDA warns that giving your dog bones can be dangerous and lead to tartar buildup. They recommend against giving your dog bones as a treat or chew toy.
Stamper suggests talking to your vet about alternatives to bones. “There are many bone-like products made with materials that are safe for dogs to chew on,” she said. “Always supervise your dog with any chew product, especially one your dog hasn’t had before. And always, if your dog ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!” If you are looking for a safe and healthy alternative to dog bone treats, consider giving your pup some healthy dog snacks instead! S
If you do choose to give your dog real bones, make sure that it is big enough so that your dog can’t swallow it whole. And never leave your dog unsupervised when he is chewing on a bone. A healthy alternative for dog bone treats in list.
Some safe and healthy options include:
- Dog food puzzle toys that require your pup to work for their food rewards.
- Elk antlers are a popular option for pet owners, as they are all-natural and provide a variety of nutrients that are essential for dogs.
- FDA recommends giving them rawhide or antlers instead. These products are less likely to break and cause harm to your pet. Pet chews like bully sticks or deer antlers.
- Dog treats that are made of fruits or vegetables.
- Options for away bone treats include: Kong Dog Toys, Nylabone Dog Chews, and Benebone Dog Chews.
- Yogurt drops
- Peanut butter balls
- Fruit snacks
- Soft dog biscuits
Did this blog post help you understand the dangers of feeding dog bones? So, what do you think? Will you be avoiding giving your dog bones from now on? Let us know in the comments below!