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Why You Should Avoid Bone Treats for Your Dog

Dogs can be injured or sickened by bone treats.

While many people know that dogs shouldn't have chicken or turkey bones from the table, some may not know that bone treats specifically packaged and sold for dogs can also be dangerous.

In fact, the FDA has had 68 reports of dogs sickened or injured by these treats (No Bones (or Bone Treats) About It: Reasons Not to Give Your Dog Bones, 2017), which are packaged under many names and include "Ham Bones," "Pork Femur Bones," and "Smokey Knuckle Bones."

Why Are Bone Treats Dangerous for Dogs?

Packaged bones are usually smoked or baked and may include seasonings and other ingredients. They can be dangerous to dogs in numerous ways. Below are some of the conditions reported to the FDA as being caused by bone treats.

  • Intestinal blockage: this is an emergency condition that requires surgery to resolve.
  • Choking: bones can become lodged in a dog's throat, resulting in pain or even inability to breathe.
  • Wounds in the mouth: bones can slice or poke the delicate tissues in a dog's mouth or throat. They can also become lodged between the molars in the back of the mouth, and they can break teeth.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea: the bones or their added ingredients can cause gastrointestinal upset or even more serious pancreatitis.
  • Rectal bleeding: if the bone pieces make it through the rest of the intestinal tract without causing a blockage or other harm, they can cut the rectum or get stuck there.
  • Death: about 15 dogs have been reported to have died as a direct result of eating a bone treat.

For more information, take a look at this article: "Dogs and Bones."

For information on other foods that are not safe for dogs, check out this slideshow: "Foods Toxic to Dogs."

What Can Your Dog Chew Instead?

Nylon type chew toys such as the Kong blue or Hurley may be safe for your dog to chew on but only when you are able to directly supervise him. Some dogs can chew chunks of nylon off of these toys, and they can then become a choking or intestinal obstruction hazard, so don't leave your dog alone with any chew toys, and throw them out if they become damaged.


Works Cited

  1. No Bones (or Bone Treats) About It: Reasons Not to Give Your Dog Bones. (2017, Nov. 21). Retrieved from fda.gov.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Dogs and Bones

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?

Healthy Treats for Dogs

Foods Toxic to Dogs - Slideshow

Vomiting in Dogs

Dog Training Tips: Using Treats Properly

How to Make Canned Food into Treats for Your Dog

Food Allergies in Dogs


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