By Hilary Hanson
November 29, 2017
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a grim warning for dog lovers thinking of getting a special treat for their pups.
This week, an FDA statement on the dangers of “bone treats” — meaning bones for dogs that have been commercially processed by means like smoking or baking — has gone viral.
However, while most media outlets have been reporting on the anti-bone treat decree like it’s brand new, the FDA has had the warning up since at least 2010, based on archives from the Wayback Machine. The statement has been periodically updated over the years to factor in the number of reports of canine illnesses and deaths the FDA has received.
On Nov. 21, the statement was updated to reflect that the agency has received about 68 reports of dogs dying or falling ill in connection with bone treats. Some reports involved more than one dog, for a total of 90 dogs reported being adversely affected by the bones. An estimated 15 of those dogs have died.
Though the statement focuses on bone treats, it also mentions that turkey and chicken bones are dangerous for pets because of their tendency to splinter.
“We regularly update the numbers around this time of year because some pet owners cook poultry and toss the bones in the trash at holiday dinners, where their dogs can sometimes access them,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “Some pet owners also choose to give their dogs bone treats as stocking stuffers during the holiday season, so we update the article as a holiday reminder for pet owners.”
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