Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Deadly Treats - 5 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe

The other day a client told me about her friend who had recently lost their dog. This dog was quite young and a much-loved part of the family, so their sudden passing was quite a shock. 

Although the vet was not sure quite what had happened…the family suspected that it was related to their dog's treats. Just before she got sick, they started giving her treats made of dried chicken jerky. They did some research after finding out that similar treats had led to illness and death in other dogs, they felt like her death may have been the treats. 

I'm not sure what happened to that dog but those owners really believed it was the treats. Geeze, who thinks that their dog's treats could be deadly?

A recent recall of chicken jerky treats made in China made the news across the world and encouraged many dog lovers to think very carefully about the snacks they give their dogs.  Treats, table scraps and human foods can all cause problems in dogs. I want to give you a few tips on how to keep your dog healthy.

1. Don't Give Bones. Dogs are notorious for chewing on things they shouldn't and items given to dogs as “treats” can have grave effects. In particular, many people think that giving their dogs chicken or turkey bones during the holidays is a safe option, but they soon end up in the emergency room after their dog swallows one of the bones. The sharp edges can lead to bleeding, internal injuries, and worse.

2. Don't Feed Table Scraps. Another problem is that human food can contain toxic ingredients that can seriously poison your dog. The tasty onion rings, grapes, raisons or other high fat meals that you love can make your dog sick to your pet, especially if your pet is very small.

3. Be Careful With Treats. The best way to keep your dog safe from toxicity or injury due to treats is to only feed them treats which are designed for canine consumption.

4. Check Recalls. Regularly check the FDA recall list and make sure that their food or treats are not anywhere on there. Monitor your dog closely for any signs of injury or illness and if something feels “off,” trust your instincts. Stop giving your dog the treat immediately and call your vet if symptoms occur.

5. Pick Treats for Your Dogs Size. Treats that are too big or too small can cause problems by getting caught in your dog's mouth or esophagus. Items that are too small for your large dog can be easily swallowed.

I don't mean to scare you…there are still lots of great ways for your dog to enjoy both treats and toys in a safe and healthy way. One of my favorite ways to do this is with Spinz; they're a treat and a toy all in one!

Spinz is a 100% edible snack is made in the USA and spins around as your dog chews for twisty, turny fun. Spinz also help clean your dog's teeth, strengthen their gums, and freshen their breath. It's so many wonderful things in a small package.  It's a very neat treat.


The best options are those like Spinz with a variety of sizes so your dog gets exactly what they need.

Keep your dog safe! If you have a question about a treat to feed your dog – talk to your vet first to make sure it is safe.
Until next time,

Dr. Jon

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