FDA Dog Bone Warning: Knick Knack Paddy Whack (Don’t) Give a Dog a Bone

A new FDA warning about giving dogs store-bought bones has dog owners confused about giving their canine friends bone treats.

According to the FDA, 15 dogs have died among a reported 70 that got sick from bone treats, which are typically dried, and contain preservatives and spices.

The agency did not specifically name any company, nor did it recall any product in relation to the warning.

As a dog owner, should you be worried?

Don’t be too worried, says Knoxville Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Stephen Skinner, but adds:

“Maybe if you’re thinking about a new treat, this might not be the thing to choose. If your dog has had over the course of their life, you’ve been giving them these cow femurs or pig femurs or whatever for years and they’ve done fine, I don’t think this report would be a reason to stop giving those.”

If you’re concerned, here’s what you should and shouldn’t do:

  • Try to avoid pig femurs, as not all dogs can handle pork products well.

  • Make sure the bone isn’t too hard; it could damage your dog’s teeth.

  • No chicken or turkey bones: too brittle when cooked, and salmonella possibility if undercooked.

  • Always supervise your pet when giving it a treat you haven’t tried before.

  • Make sure the bone is big enough so the dog can’t swallow it.

  • If you want to avoid bones altogether, there are plenty of alternatives.

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