Federal authorities are warning dog owners against giving their pets packaged bones as treats or chew toys after receiving complaints of at least 15 deaths and dozens of illnesses.
The Food and Drug Administration says it has received 68 reports of pet illnesses related to “bone treats,” which are processed and packaged dog treats.
Products associated with the complaints include “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones,” the FDA said in a statement last week.
Bone treats were responsible for approximately 15 dog deaths with other reported illnesses being choking; cuts and wounds in the mouth; vomiting; diarrhea; bleeding from the rectum; and blockage of the digestive tract.
“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,” Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA, said in a statement.
Packaged and processed bones marketed as dog treats are often dried through smoking or baking and can contain ingredients like preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings, the FDA said, adding that at home, chicken and turkey bones should never be given to dogs because they are too brittle.
“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before,” Dr. Stamper added. “And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”