Thinking of getting your dog a few bones this holiday? You may want to think again. See the warnings from the FDA. Plus, a safer alternative!

No Bones About It: Why You Should Think Twice Before Tossing Your Dog A Bone (+ A Great Alternative)


The holidays are officially here and that means it’s the season to shop til you drop. As you, Santa’s Helper, begin crafting your gift list, don’t forget to grab a little something special for your canine kids. One popular holiday gift is bones. I can’t tell you how many commercials I’ve seen that shine a spotlight on big bones wrapped in a pretty red ribbon. The perfect Christmas gift? Think again! 

Before you hop in your car and head to the pet store to load up on dog bones, I want to share some important warnings and information that I recently received from the U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA).

Make No Bones About It 

According to Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian for the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the FDA:

“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.”

I know this may sound extreme to some. Especially for people who buy bones for their dog on the regular. But, the numbers are pretty eye-opening.

FDA officials say they’ve received reports of approximately 15 dogs who have died after eating a bone treat. That’s not to mention they’ve received reports from consumers and veterinarians concerning approximately 90 dogs who’ve consumed dog bone treats and have gotten sick. Additional complaints surround bones that appear moldy and bones that splinter when chewed.

The Potential Dangers Of Dog Bones: Fresh, Cooked, and Commercial

From The Kitchen – Since we’re talking bones, let’s start with the real thing in the kitchen. Never give your pooch cooked chicken, turkey, or even meat bones. Many of these cooked bones are brittle, making them unsafe for your dog. Some potential dangers include:

  • Splintering of the bones
  • Cuts and/or scrapes in your dog’s mouth
  • Choking hazard
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Gastrointestinal bleeds 

Be mindful of any bone hazards on the kitchen counter, table, or trash so your crafty little pooch doesn’t make his own help-yourself-buffet when you’re not looking.

From The Store – We’ve heard it for years—commercial dog bones and treats are overly processed with chemicals and preservatives that can pose a health risk. Some potential dangers surrounding store-bought bones include:

  • Salmonella exposure
  • Exposure to red-flag chemicals and preservatives 
  • Mouth cuts and lacerations
  • Tooth chips or fractures 
  • Choking hazard
  • Intestinal blockages
  • Gastrointestinal bleeds
  • In some cases even death

But The Nutrients In Real Bones Are Great For Dogs: Let’s Talk Alternatives

While whole bones have a lot of controversy stirring, one thing is for sure: The nutrients in real bones are great for dogs. So if you’re looking to offer up these nutrients without all of the hazards, then try bone broth.

I know what you’re thinking: But I’m not going to gift bone broth this holiday. It’s not like you can wrap it!

Well, now you kinda can.

Enter: iHeartDogs’ Bone Broth Powder. It’s made in the USA with only two ingredients—premium Grade-A naturally shed elk antler and free-range elk bone. Plus, according to iHeartDogs: 

“Our unique formula is naturally rich in many nutrients especially amino acids, such as arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline, and other nutrients, such as thiamine, potassium, zinc, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, phosphorus, trace minerals, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates.”

I’ve personally stocked up on this stuff and my dogs love it. So, instead of throwing a red ribbon on a bone this holiday, wrap it around a bottle of this bone broth

Other Alternatives

  • Frozen Carrots
  • Frozen apple slices
  • Stuffed and Frozen Classic Kong
  • Bully Sticks
  • Homemade Jerky