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FDA: Don't Give Your Dog Bones Of Any Size

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WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) — Many people believe it’s OK for dogs to chew on bones but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the practice can cause serious injury.

“Some people think it’s safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast,” said Dr. Carmela Stamper in the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “Bones are unsafe no matter what their size.”

Here are 10 reasons why Stamper says it’s a bad idea to give a dog a bone. Most of the reasons most require either a visit or an emergency trip to a veterinarian:

— Broken teeth.

— Mouth or tongue injuries.

— Bone becomes looped around the dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for the dog.

— Bone becomes stuck in the dog’s esophagus.

— Bone blocks dog’s breathing.

— Bone gets stuck in the dog’s stomach and might be too big to pass into the intestines.

— Bone becomes stuck in the intestines and causes a blockage. Such an event can require surgery.

— Constipation due to bone fragments. The fragments can be very sharp and can scrape the intestine or rectum, causing the dog much pain.

— Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous.

— Peritonitis, a difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen caused when bone fragments poke holes in a dog’s stomach or intestines. Peritonitis can kill the animal.

“Talk with your veterinarian about alternatives to giving bones to your dog,” Stamper said. “There are many bone-like products made with materials that are safe for dogs to chew on.

“Always supervise your dog with any chew product, especially one your dog hasn’t had before,” he added. “And always, if your dog ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”

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12 years ago

This is a bunch of crap. I have fed raw bones to eight dogs twice a day for the past six plus years. I have never had one single broken tooth, choked dog, or ANYTHING on the list above. Plus, my dogs all have fabulous white teeth and I have never paid for a dental. Or, I have to add had one health-related problem due to a dog having bad teeth. Seven of these dogs are small, between 8-14 pounds.

I think the big mistake in this article is not differentiating between raw and cooked bones: raw bones DO NOT splinter

10 years ago

Raw bones don’t splinter but the dog breaks them apart when they chew them and the shards go into their digestive system.  Your dogs are fortunate that nothing has happened to them and I hope it stays that way.  Please people, don’t take this guys word for it.  You can keep your dogs teeth clean by giving them dry food and hard biscuits. 

10 years ago

LSB2832, you might want to do some more research into RAW feeding before you dismiss it so cavalierly.  Raw meat and bones are what dogs have been eating for thousands of years and what their teeth and digestive systems were meant for.  I have 5th generation raw fed dogs, they are the picture of health with no tooth problems, digestive issues, skin or ear problems, etc.   Considering the hundreds, if not thousands of dogs who have been permanently injured and killed by all the contaminated kibble over the last few years,  kibble is absolutely a more dangerous diet than raw!

Gilda Farrell
10 years ago

I find it hard to believe that something dogs love so much could be bad for them.  Dogs go crazy over bones.  Bones are synonymous with dogs.  It’s the first image of food one associates with dogs. 

Kenn Bell
10 years ago
Reply to  Gilda Farrell

Yes, but originally they weren’t cooked.


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