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Thursday, April 22, 2010

No Bones About It

For quite a long time I have been against people feeding bones to their dogs.  I've simply seen too many problems with this practice, and have seen the pets suffer from it.  Unfortunately it's hard to get people to stop feeding these treats since it's such a traditional thing to give to dogs and is all-pervasive in the media and entertainment.

Well, lo and behold, the American Food and Drug Administration just issued a warning against people feeding bones to their dogs. Here are the reasons for the warning (quoted directly from the report)...
  • Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.
  • Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.
  • Bone gets looped around your dog's lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.
  • Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.
  • Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!
  • Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone's size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.
  • Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.
    Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they're very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.
  • Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It's time for a trip to see your veterinarian.
  • Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog's stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.
I completely agree with all of these points and have personally seen at least half of them.  So please take this as an official warning, and don't give bones to your dogs!


  1. Ha, I saw the same thing. Finally! I suggested my husband send the report to his mother. She probably still wouldn't listen though.

  2. I agree totally and I wish people would throw raw hide bones in the trash as well. One of my labs had an obstruction from a compressed raw hide bone. The kicker was I didn't give it to him, a friend did and I figured I would just take them away after she left so not to make her feel bad. Her words to me were, I know you don't like raw hide but these are the good kind.. famous last words.. He got a lot of small pieces off of it and voila an obstruction..


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