For years dog owners have been treating their pets with bones, but a leading veterinary charity has issued a warning telling them to stop.
“We don’t recommend bones as treats because unfortunately our vets and nurses regularly see dogs with digestive tract damage and blockages caused by splinters or larger pieces of bone being swallowed and becoming stuck,” PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman explained.
“Surgery is usually needed to remove any blockage and in some cases, the damage is so serious that it can be fatal.”
Ashman added that if dogs swallow a large piece of rawhide chew, a popular type of dog treat, this can also “become stuck and cause serious problems”.
“We would advise sticking to dog friendly chew toys (suitable for their size) that help keep your dog’s teeth clean and don’t present the same choking or blockage risks,” she said.
“Non-rawhide chews are also safe, but be sure to count the calories from these as part of your dog’s daily allowance, as eating too many of these treats can cause weight gain.”
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has echoed the charity’s warning that dog owners should avoid giving traditional bones as treats.
“Cooked bones are dangerous to cats and dogs and vets routinely see animals who have consumed them, whether through being fed the cooked bones directly or from finding them whilst scavenging through bins,” BVA junior vice president Gudrun Ravetz told The Telegraph.
“In many cases the animals will require surgery to remove bone shards, splinters and blockages, but it can also prove fatal.
“We ask owners to never feed their pets cooked bones, and to also dispose of any bones left over from their own meal safely and securely to avoid pets seeking them out again.”