Christmas sees us indulge a little bit more than usual in treats but Aussie pet owners have been warned of the dangers of giving bone treats to their dogs.
Vet Carmela Stamper from the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is also encouraging dog owners to avoid giving their pooches turkey or chicken bones over the holiday season, which are known to be brittle.
"Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet," she said.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reports of illnesses in over 90 dogs who've eaten bone treats included symptoms such as gastrointestinal obstruction (a blockage in the digestive tract), choking, cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding and death.
In addition, FDA received seven reports of product problems, such as mouldy-appearing bones, or bone treats splintering when chewed by the pet.
The FDA recommends the following tips to keep your dog safe:
Avoid giving Chicken bones and other bones from the kitchen table that can cause injury when chewed by pets, too. So be careful to keep platters out of reach when you're cooking or the family is eating.
Be careful what you put in the rubbish can. Dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey carcass or steak bones disposed of there.
Talk with your veterinarian about other toys or treats that are most appropriate for your dog. There are many available products made with different materials for dogs to chew on.