SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The FDA has released a warning for pet owners to chew on.
The administration is warning against giving dogs bone treats.
The FDA says it has received more than 70 complaints since 2010, including reports of 15 dogs dying.
It might not be a good idea to throw a dog a bone.
The FDA has released reports on this issue before and likes to remind people about it this time of year.
The reports have specifically mentioned treats described as ham bones, pork femur bones, rib bones and smoky knuckle bones.
The crew at Mini-Critters in Sioux Falls takes product safety seriously and are well aware of the dangers of certain treats.
“This isn't a new thing. There has been lots of importing and lots of other companies that have gone through and had these problems in the past,” Mini-Critters General Manager Ryan Oaks said.
That’s why the store supplies a specific product line.
“We represent this brand that works on using animal body parts whether it's the tendons of the animal, or a lamb, or a heart,” Oaks said.
The American Pet Products Association predicts half of dog owners will purchase gifts for their pets this holiday season. Oaks says pet owners need remember three important facts when buying those treats.
“I think first and foremost, you have to understand your dog, you have to understand what it is you're giving your dog, and always be safe with what you're giving them,” Oaks said.
Over at All Animal Pet Hospital, Doctor Dayton Williams says seeing issues with bone treats is nothing new.
“We've had those bones stuck in the throat just before the stomach, we've had a lot of them stuck in the stomach that we've had to remove with an endoscope, we've also had them stuck down into the intestines,” Dr. Williams said.
According to the FDA, the list of illnesses related to eating bone treats includes chocking, cuts in the mouth, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Williams says chewing on a bone helps with dental health, but there are many other options available to pet owners.
“The specifically made dental treats most of them are made out of a corn starch so if they do swallow a big piece of it, it dissolves in the stomach and goes away so it doesn't cause any issue,” Dr. Williams said.
Dr. Williams says people should also be careful about giving their dogs rawhide.
It can cause blockages in the digestive system and even have to be surgically removed.
The FDA is also warning dog owners to not give their animals any leftover bones from the dinner table and recommend always supervising a dog when they are using a chew toy.