The holidays are here, and that means you might be thinking about buying the beloved pup in your life a present.
However, there is one gift you simply shouldn’t give a dog, according to the FDA.
Even though they are marketed to dogs, processed commercial dog bones should be avoided at all costs. Currently, the FDA has received almost 70 reports of illness related to these treats, and approximately 15 dogs have died.
No specific brands should be avoided, as the concern is about these bones in general.
WSBT notes that commercial treats including “ham bones, pork femur bones, rib bones, and smokey knuckle bones” should not be given to dogs at all.
Many believe these bones are safe because they are thicker than chicken bones, which pose a clear threat due to their small size and splintering.
The fact is, however, that even large bones pose a significant risk to a pooch.
As the dog chews, the bone splinters. While some say stomach acids will dissolve any shards, all too often these dangerous pieces can pierce a dog’s sensitive digestive tract.
The complications from these treats are many and can be deadly. The FDA has reported dogs suffering minor cuts and wounds as well as more severe consequences such digestive tract blockages, choking, internal bleeding, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The hazards of these treats outweigh any benefits they might have.
“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 Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.
WebMD agrees, noting that many dog treats currently on the market are simply dangerous to dogs. They offer a simple guideline: “If you push your thumbnail into a treat and it leaves a mark, that’s a safe treat. If it doesn’t, the treat is too hard for a dog to safely chew.”
Both the FDA and WebMD agree: supervision is always required whenever giving a dog a treat or toy.
If a dog begins acting oddly or shows signs of illness, call the veterinarian immediately.
Thankfully, there are many safe treats and toys out there for your dog to enjoy. WebMD notes that a treat is simply anything that makes a dog happy — and your love and attention make your pup happier than any bone could.
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