Local News

Bad to the bone: Why you need to avoid bone treats for dogs this holiday season

SPOKANE, Wash. - For almost a decade, the FDA has been warning consumers about the dangers of bone treats for their dogs. After several more reports of illness and death, the alert has been reissued.

As many as 68 illnesses and 15 deaths have been associated with these dog treats, which differ from uncooked butcher-type bones as they are processed and packaged. Some of the bone names included in the report are “pork femur bones,” “rib bones,” and “ham bones.” 

When dogs ingest these bones the risks include them getting stuck, splintering, or a bacterial infection.

“We don't eat raw chicken because of the concern for salmonella and its no different for dogs,” said Dr. Brian Hunter with Hunter Veterinary Clinic.

When there is a report for a dangerous food, it usually leads to a recall. Bone treats however, still remain on shelves in pet stores across Spokane and online.

The Hunter Veterinary Clinic recommends skipping bones and treats altogether when shopping for your four-legged friend's stocking stuffers. 

“The problem with treats like any treat is overindulgence,” explained Dr. Hunter.

During the winter, dogs, like humans, get out less. This can lead to weight gain and health problems down the road. Instead, he recommends purchasing a different dog food with a different flavor.