Are Dog Bone Treats Dangerous? Here’s What You Should Know
By Danny Prater
Are dog bone treats dangerous? A statement issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rippled across the internet, sparking discussions about the potential dangers of giving dogs processed bones to chew on and ingest as treats. According to reports, dozens of dogs are known to have fallen ill or been injured by bone treats, and at least 15 have died, but the actual number of unreported cases is likely much higher.
However, this warning is nothing new. In fact, the FDA only re-released an already-existing statement detailing the dangers of giving bone treats to dogs as a cautionary measure in advance of the holidays, as people are more likely to give the special dogs in their lives bone treats as gifts. According to the FDA, bone treats pose the following threats to dogs: oral wounds, choking, vomiting, intestinal blockage, diarrhea and even death. A dog experiencing symptoms may require an emergency visit to the vet and possibly even surgery.
What Can You Do to Keep Your Animal Companion Safe?
Don't give dogs unsafe treats like cooked bones, pig ears, cow hooves or jerky treats.
Dogs may think these items are special, but they can cause a lot of harm. Processed animal bones are often brittle with jagged edges and can result in a very sick dog. Dogs who ingest these types of products can develop conditions like gastroenteritis and pancreatitis, both of which can result in vomiting and may even require hospitalization for IV fluid support. Since 2007, at least 4,800 dogs and cats have fallen ill, and more than 1,000 dogs have died of kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding and Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disorder, after eating jerky-style treats. These are only the cases that were documented, and countless other dogs may have also been adversely affected.
Choose treats that are size-appropriate.
Offering a treat that is too small may cause dogs to swallow an object whole, while feeding them one that is too large could cause a fragment to get stuck in their throat. Treats should break into small pieces as the dog chews.
Try these bone-free treats and foods instead!
There is a wide variety of safe, fun dog treats to add to your holiday shopping list for the dogs and dog lovers in your life. Bone-free treats are available from vegan retailers like V-dog. And check out this Holiday Dog Treat Wreath, which is decorated with vegan treats from Threepaws Gourmet. All the brands and products listed in our Vegan Dog Food Guide are also worth checking out.
Keep an eye on your dog.
Recreational chewing can be a healthy way to keep your dogs' teeth clean, but remember that it's always important to keep a close eye on them. They can't always communicate their pain or discomfort clearly to their human guardians, so it's important to recognize what "normal" looks like—and to realize when they may be in trouble.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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