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List of treats, chews, food, etc., that could be dangerous

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List of treats, chews, food, etc., that could be dangerous Empty List of treats, chews, food, etc., that could be dangerous

Post by Admin Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:34 pm

The problem with blockages

Gastrointestinal obstructions or blockages are risks of most of the following toys, treats and chews. It refers to a partial or complete obstruction of the stomach and/or intestines, inhibiting the passage of nutrients and gastric juices. Blockages of the oesophagus may also occur, which is likely to cause choking.

When a part of the digestive tract is blocked, ingested food and water, as well as gastric juices, can collect above the blockage. This can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Regurgitation can sometimes shift the blockage, depending on where it has formed. If the blockage cannot be shifted by vomiting, fluids and electrolytes are lost from the body, causing dehydration. Further consumption of liquids will gather above the blockage again, preventing any water from being absorbed. If the blockage is not removed, the dog may starve or dehydrate to the point of death.

Sharp or large blockages can cause perforations in the lining of the intestines or stomach. If the blockage punctures the intestines or stomach, toxins can be released into the bloodstream. This is potentially fatal.


Made from the skin of a large animal, usually cows. Can also be made from horses or pigs. Any type of untanned animal skin is classed as rawhide, including pigs ears.

When swallowed, sharp bits of rawhide can become lodged in the digestive tract - anywhere from the throat to the intestines - and cause choking, tears and blockages. Rawhide is digested very slowly by dogs, so the gastric juices would not be able to break down the rawhide in time to prevent blockages. This also means that swallowed pieces of rawhide can cause upset stomachs, as the intestines cannot break it down properly.

People should also be aware that the health and safety standards for food preparation in other countries are different from ours. A lot of dog chews, including rawhide, are manufactured abroad. Certain dangerous chemicals are used in the making of these products, such as arsenic-based preservatives. It should also be noted that because these products are often from other countries, pesticides, antibiotics and even lead traces have also been found. During the preparation of rawhide, the material is often bleached as well to remove traces of treating solution.

Even without chemical additions, it can be very dangerous. It's a dried product, so once it comes into contact with a moist substance, such as the mouth, throat or stomach of your dog, it can start to swell to twice its dried size.

The Food and Drug Administration also released a warning some time ago about a Salmonella risk found in some pork and beef-based chews.


Designed to improve dogs' dental hygiene and provide a fun chew toy.

Many people believe that there is no harm in Nylabones, as any small pieces can be easily digested in the digestive tract. However, this is untrue. Nylabone pieces cannot be digested. If a dog manages to break off a piece from the chew, it can cause the same problems as a rawhide chew (minus the swelling). Sharp edges can perforate the lining of the oesophagus, stomach or intestines, and large pieces can cause obstructions. They can also become very sticky when chewed, causing pieces to become lodged in the back of a dog's throat, potentially causing choking.

One of the more dangerous types of Nylabone is the transparent one. It cannot be detected by x-rays. If it creates a blockage, there may be no way of knowing what has caused it until an exploratory has been done by a vet. By this time, serious damage could already have been done.

Cow Hooves

Not quite as common, but still can pose a threat. They are extremely hard and may potentially break a dog's tooth, at the very least. If a tooth can be broken, imagine what a small, sharp piece in the stomach or intestines could do. It could cause intestinal leakage, which is often fatal.

Cooked bones

It may be obvious to most, but some people still are unaware of the dangers of feeding a dog cooked bones. This includes boiled, baked, smoked, etc.. Any bone, once heat treated, becomes brittle and can easily splinter. These sharp splinters can cause choking, blockages and intestinal bleeding.

Raw Bones

May be dangerous when large raw bones are given unsupervised to a power chewer. Some dogs get them stuck in their teeth, which can require a trip to the vets to get the bone sawn away. However, this is usually only a problem if the dog is left unattended with the bone. As with all treats or food, accidents can happen, so it's best just to be aware.


Not quite as popular are some of the others listed. They are advertised as a dog treat to promote dental hygiene.

However, dogs tend to eat these treats very quickly, so large chunks often break off and cause blockages. If these treats are fed to your dog, it should be supervised.

Certain dogs, for some reason, are also incapable of properly digesting Greenies, resulting in an alarming number of deaths as a result of blockages.

Turkey skin

This is a high-fat treat and, as with most treats rich in fat, can cause acute Pancreatitis when fed excessively to a dog. Other foods which can potentially cause acute Pancreatitis are bacon and sausage.

Acute Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, an organ responsible for the production of many important hormones, including insulin. The pancreas is also responsible for the production of pancreatic juice for the breakdown and absorption of nutrients in the small intestines.

Symptoms of acute Pancreatitis include discomfort/pain in the stomach area, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhoea. Enzymes for digestion of nutrients are released into the pancreas, causing pain and damaging the organ and surrounding tissue.

Within hours of the first symptoms making themselves known, the dog may go into shock. It is an extremely severe illness and is usually fatal. In the case of survival, repeat attacks often happen afterwards.

Chicken jerky

No specific products were ever confirmed. However, recently, there was an increase in dogs being rushed to the vets for kidney failure after they had been fed chicken jerky. The treats had been manufactured in China, though they had been advertised as being manufactured in America. Apparently the risk was substantially higher for small dogs.

Fabric toys with squeakers

Not a food, but dogs don't seem to realise this. These are very common toys, available in most pet shops; floppy, furry, long toys often in the style of a ferret or similar.

Owners seem to think that, because they're soft and floppy, these toys won't cause a problem. However, this just makes them easier for a dog to swallow. They're not quite so easy to digest as they are to swallow and very often will become lodged in the stomach. Stomach juices are then absorbed by the fabric, making it heavier and very difficult to regurgitate.

Squeakers are also a problem. They're easily compressed in a dog's mouth and so are relatively easy to swallow. When a squeaker reaches the throat of a dog, though, it inflates again and regains its shape. This is very dangerous, as it can cause the dog to asphyxiate or choke.


They may seem harmless enough and a natural toy for your dog, but they can be extremely dangerous. Dogs are often brought into veterinary clinics due to injuries sustained from playing with a stick.

Throwing a stick can be a very enjoyable game for a dog. Nevertheless, the majority of stick-related injuries occur when playing this game. The stick can land upright. When the dog grabs the stick, the stick may remain stationary, while the momentum of the dog's run will keep him going. This can potentially cause the dog to impale himself on the stick. If the stick breaks the delicate skin inside the dog's mouth, infection can develop. There is also the huge risk of damaging the main blood vessel to the dog's head, which is located inside the mouth.

Dogs sometimes prefer to chew sticks, rather than chase them. This can also be dangerous. Splinters can break off and lodge themselves in the mouth and throat of the dog, causing pain and infection if not treated. The dog may also swallow bacteria from the stick, though this is less likely to cause problems, as dogs have strong digestive enzymes.

Wrong-sized balls

When purchasing a ball for your dog, try to make sure you choose the correct size. The ball should be big enough that it won't get lodged in the back of the dog's throat. This is particularly important for brachycephalic dogs, as their mouths tend to be smaller, so the ball may easily become stuck. It has been known for dogs to chase small balls and get it stuck at the back of the throat, causing asphyxiation.

The important thing to remember is that all toys, chews and treats should be given with your own dog in mind. Take into consideration his (or her) habits. Is he a power chewer? Does he tend to gulp down his food? Does he prefer to rip toys, rather than shake them about?

If in doubt, research the product before you give it to your dog. Although the packaging may say the product is 100% digestible, that does not account for the time taken to digest it. Rawhide, for instance, is labelled as 'digestible'. However, it takes a long time, so complications can arise before the matter can be broken down in the intestines.

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