FDA: Don’t Give Your Dog a Bone

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Dogs may love to chew bones, but the treats could cause dangerous health complications, government regulators warn.

“Bones are unsafe no matter what their size,” according to the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.“Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death,” the agency warns.

The list of possible health consequences is long. Broken teeth and other mouth injuries, choking, stomach or intestinal blockages, an abdominal bacterial infection called Peritonitis and rectal bleeding can all occur as a result of a dog getting its paws on a bone, the FDA says.

Some Web sites suggest that for big dogs, a raw or only slightly cooked beef leg bone might be fine and a real treat for your pooch. But the FDA says dog owners should talk to their vet about alternatives that are safer for their dogs and always supervise their pets when they’re playing with chew toys.

Some chew toys that are considered safe for dogs carry a special seal from the Veterinary Oral Health Council showing that the product will not break apart and lead to obstruction or perforation in the body or trauma to the mouth. Friskies Cheweez Beefhide Treats and Purina Veterinary Diets Dental Chews brand Canine Treats carry the seal, for example.

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