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FDA Says Some Bone Treats Can Cause Illnesses and Even Death in Dogs

Photo courtesy of owner

With Dec. 25 less than a month away, we’re all making our gift lists and checking them twice. Dog owners are likely to buy for Rover when they shop—according to a Gallup poll, 76% of dog owners say they have given toys or presents to their pets on Christmas. If you’re among those generous pet parents, you might want to bear in mind new information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Related: Holiday Gift Ideas for Dogs, Cats (and Their Humans)

The FDA has received nearly 70 reports of pet illnesses related to commercially-prepared and packaged “bone treats,” which are different from butcher-type bones. Per the FDA, the treats might be labeled “Ham Bones,” Rib Bones” or similar. They would likely look charmingly Insta-worthy poking out the top of your dog’s (probably personalized) stocking, but could pose some risk of choking, intestinal blockage, vomiting or worse. “Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian,” warns Carmela Stamper, a vet in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the FDA. She advises talking to your vet about toys and treats that are most appropriate for your dog, and closely supervising your pooch whenever she tries a treat she hasn’t had before.

To report a problem with a pet food or treat, visit the FDA’s How to Report a Pet Food Complaint page.

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