bone treats

Dogs love bones, but veterinarians usually warn people not to give their pets bones from the dinner table. Turkey, chicken and lamb bones may splinter when they are chewed and injure a dog that swallows them. Some folks may have tried to avoid these problems by offering their dogs “bone treats.” These processed tidbits are not safe either, however. The baking or smoking used to create them also makes the bones brittle.

What Is Wrong with Bone Treats?

The FDA is warning owners that bone treats can cause intestinal blockage, choking, internal cuts, vomiting, diarrhea, rectal bleeding or even death. The agency has 15 reports of dogs who died after consuming bone treats. The bottom line seems to be no bones or bone treats for your dog!

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  1. SARA

    Since the FDA warns that Dog Bone Treats are bad and cause all that stuff, and even death, why on Earth don’t they BAN it???? I think I read on The People’s site that a retired pharmacists said the FDA was bought and paid for. I believe it, as they like to tell us that generic medications are equal to the name brands. That is just not true according to too many pharmacists.

  2. Jane L
    Berkeley Springs, WV

    Sorry, I have a comment, not a question. I enjoyed your show this morning on West Virginia Public Radio. In your news at the beginning, you cautioned people who have pets to not feed bones from the dinner table to their pets. It’s true that those bones may cause life-threatening problems due to mechanical injury of splintered bones.

    I want to add that it is good for pets to chew on raw bones. Raw bones don’t splinter the way cooked bones do. I am a veterinarian who recommends raw bones as treats, as chew ‘toys’ for puppies (puppies MUST chew), and as part of a complete and balanced natural diet for both dogs and cats. I have been making this recommendation for more than 28 years and have had no problems with mechanical injuries due to feeding raw bones.

  3. Liz

    You need to be more specific in what you mean by “bone treats”. Does this include Rawhide Chewies?

  4. Joan

    For years we got big bones raw from the butcher in the supermarket. Paid a dollar for them. I would bring them home and boil them slowly for an hour or if I was using the oven put them on a piece of foil and cook them. They always had a good bit of meat on them, and our dogs loved them. The thing is that I don’t remember them splintering very much and what little they did we picked up. Eventually we just had the big knuckle left. Sadly, my girls passed away, and just after that I gave those knuckles to my daughter’s big lab. He still has them, and he is 8. The bones are at least 10 years old. My thought is that if these bones are cooked more, maybe at home, they may not splinter as much. I don’t trust the coating they put on them. The color comes off on the carpet. Maybe there are organic bones with no coating. If you have a butcher that cuts his own meat you may be able to get one from him and have him cut the two knuckles off and then cook well. Most of the dog food and treats on the market now are not good for your dog. I am not a quack but I have been feeding my dogs table scraps since before dog food was invented. The way they process dry dog food it gives your dog nothing. My dogs all lived till 15, 16, 17 years.

  5. Anne

    I’ve been getting smoked knee caps, and they do not splinter. I’ve also read that the really hard bones can break teeth, including the now popular elk horns. Recently I bought a lamb shank bone, and it splintered like crazy. My dogs were swallowing sharp pieces of bone! When I realized what was happening I took everything away and told the place I got them from.

  6. Kathy

    What do you mean by bone treats? Bone type cookies??

    Also, have there been any home remedies suggested to battle acneiform bacteria?

  7. Mischelle Briard
    Martinez, Ca

    I give my medium dog Bully Sticks. They last a long time, my dog loves them and they are not harmful and yes, I know what they are made from.

  8. Mike
    Pikeville, NC

    After the China baby food/formula disaster several years ago, I swore never to give any food or toys that were made in China to my children or pets. If they were willing to poison human babies, do you think they give a damn about your pets? (They were using additive chemicals designed to artificially improve the nutritional scores of the baby food.)

    In a momentary lapse, I accidentally bought some bones labeled Exerhides that were from China. After a bone and a half, our Boston terrier began throwing up, became lethargic, and didn’t defecate for several days. We immediately threw away the rest of the package, and our dog slowly returned to normal, even defecating after about a week. Looks like we dodged a bullet here. NOTHING to eat or play with from China! I mean it this time!

  9. Al
    Middlebourne WV

    Not sure what is meant by bone treats? I suppose in very active dogs, even finely ground bones can cause enough abrasive irritation in the gut to cause harm. I recall reading that husky sled dogs should not be fed corn meal-based products because the corn meal abrades the lining of their gut. They get only meat.

  10. Marilyn
    Lost Creek, WV

    When I was a child, in the late 50s- early 60s, I remember hearing a radio news item or commercial that table scraps were not good for your dog. You should buy dog food for it. When I mentioned it at dinner, my father quoted Matthew 15: 27, “Even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the master’s table.” We have always fed our dogs table scraps [we remove the brittle sharp chicken bones], and never lost one from choking or digestive problems! Now, it turns out, store bought dog food can be most harmful to your dog. High ash content, chemically created ingredients, artificial colors, etc., are causing digestive issues, yeast infections, and other health problems.

  11. Judy

    What about raw bones? I have read these are safe, since wild dogs and wolves would hardly pick the bones out of their prey.

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