Dog owners usually know they should not give turkey or chicken bones to their dog because the bones are too brittle, and splinter into sharp pieces when they are chewed up by a dog.
The problem is that many dog owners are not aware that “bone treats” sold at pet stores also pose serious health hazards for dogs. These treats are different from uncooked butcher-type bones because they are dried and usually contain preservatives, seasonings, or flavorings.
The FDA received 68 reports of pet illnesses related to bone treats with names like “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones” from November 2010 until September 2017.
Dr. Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) warns:
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. We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat.”
Here are some of the pet illnesses that have been reported by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats:
- Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
- Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
- Bleeding from the rectum, and/or
- Death — 15 dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat.
There have also been reports of moldy-appearing bones, or bone treats that splintered into sharp pieces when chewed by the pet.
To keep your dog safe, be careful what you put in the trash can. Dogs frequently will dig through the trash to eat a turkey carcass or steak bones. Chicken bones can seriously injure your dog, so be careful to keep the bones out of reach when you are cooking or eating.