FDA warns of risks of 'bone treats' after reports of illnesses, death

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Bone treats are genuine bones that have been dried, enhanced and bundled for puppies, the FDA says.

In an updated report published last week, the Food and Drug Administration says it has received around 68 reports (affecting 90 dogs) of pet illnesses related to "bone treats" - there have even been numerous deaths!

Pet owners should also not feed their pets real bones (such as leftover bones from their chicken or turkey), as these can also cause injury.

However, dogs have ended up at the vet with intestinal blockage, choking, cuts and wounds in the mouth or rectum, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death - approximately 15 dogs have reportedly died from bone treats.

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Examples of the types of potentially hazardous treats may be described as "Pork Femur Bones", "Rib Bones", "Smokey Knuckle Bones" or "Ham bones".

But the FDA is saying their are potential risks to giving your animals "bone treats" that you see at the store.

Owners are also encouraged to notify the FDA if their pets have experienced any symptoms due to tainted dog bone treats.

Dog owners may want to get their pets gifts this holiday season, but you probably don't want to literally "throw them a bone".

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Be careful about what your dog can access from the kitchen or the dinner table when you are cooking or eating.

The FDA recommends that consumers talk with their veterinarian about other chew toys or treats that are appropriate for their dogs.

Supervise your dog when it's chewing on a treat. There are many available products made with different materials for dogs to chew on.

To report a problem with a pet food or treat, please visit FDA's Web page on "How to Report a Pet Food Complaint".

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