Before you stuff Fido's stocking with edible treats this holiday season, you might want to check the Food and Drug Administration's latest announcement. Per Syracuse.com, the "bone treats" dog owners pick up in the supermarket or pet store could be a health hazard for our four-legged friends. This is based on reports submitted to the FDA that indicate about 90 dogs have been sickened, with at least 15 deaths, after gnawing on these commercially prepared items, which the agency didn't ID by brand. The reports, sent in by both pet owners and veterinarians, said some of the medical issues have included digestive blockages, choking, diarrhea, vomiting, and cuts and other injuries in the mouth. Seven reports focused on product issues: treats that splintered upon being chewed as well as "moldy-appearing bones."
"We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn't had before," an FDA veterinarian says in the agency's warning. The agency notes these types of treats differ from regular bones in that they're often baked or smoked to dry them out, and that they may contain seasonings, preservatives, and "smoke flavorings." But it's not just store-bought bone treats dog owners should be wary of. The FDA warning says it's also important to keep pups away from chicken bones and other bones you may have cooked with, as they can cause injury as well. The notice advises to keep food dishes out of reach of curious canines sniffing around the table, as well as to make sure they don't get into the trash to dig any bones out.