AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A new advisory from the FDA warns that bone dog treats may cause serious injury, or even death for your pet.
During the holidays many people will be getting their dog a gift, but now the FDA may make you want to rethink the stocking stuffer.
The FDA has issued the an advisory against owners purchasing any real bone treats.
Nearly 70 people have filed claims so far, saying their pets received serious injuries after eating the treats.
Of those reports, 15 of them specified the treats caused the death of their dog.
The problem with the treat is that the bones do not easily digest inside a dog's stomach.
That issue can lead to a serious of problems including:
- gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
- cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
- bleeding from the rectum and/or
Doctor of veterinary medicine Beau Schilling at Swann Animal Clinic said the new advisory was issued to fix a common misconception.
"The FDA stepped up and said: hey we need a general public advisory to clear the water, to make a formal statement," said Dr. Schilling. "Bones and bone products are not intended to be feed to dogs. They can do more harm, when unfortunately we think we are doing a good thing by sharing a prized bone with our pets."
Dr. Schilling said there numerous alternatives to keep your dog safe.
"Some of my favorites are artificial type bones such as Nylabone products or chew toys," said Dr. Schilling. "I also like firehose type material chew toys that are available at most pet stores."
Dr. Schilling said the root behind what treats dogs enjoy is driven by a primal instinct.
"Think back too, dogs world are driven mostly driven by scent. So if we can rub food or interesting smell on to these toys we can drive them to chew on appropriate things and be less interested in bones and our shoes," said Dr. Schilling.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council has listed a serious of items they say are better and less harmful for dogs as well.
Some recommended products even come with a secondary benefit, like cleaning their teeth or getting rid of dog breath.
For a current list of approved products, click here.
A good alternative Dr. Schilling said are rawhide bones that break down easier in the stomach.
Or, he recommends also sticking to a classic treat.
If you would like to read the FDA's full report click here.
No matter the type, always supervise your dog with any toy or treat.