Protect Your Pooch: The Hidden Dangers of Popular Dog Treats



Most every dog loves doggie treats-and as a good doggie owner, you like to indulge your pooch in an occasional treat. Treats can be great tools for training a dog and can be a way for you to tell your dog how much you care. If you have ever taken a few minutes to ponder what kind of dog treats to buy your four-legged friend, you might be overwhelmed by the selection. There are treats for every size, every breed and every finicky eater. You can buy treats for a little petite pooch, or a rawhide the size of your arm for the larger varieties.

However, as yummy as treats are for your dog, they are not always safe. It is always a good idea to know the type of dog treats that can cause problems and to supervise your dog during treat time. Dogs are not the most patient animals and when given a particularly delicious morsel, love to gobble it down quickly. Treats can easily become lodged in the throat causing choking.

Greenies: Greenies are dog treats that you can purchase anywhere that sells pet supplies. They are given to dogs to help improve their oral health. Dogs love them. However, young dogs can easily choke on these treats and dogs that eat too fast should be supervised when having these goodies. Greenies break off easily and are chewy. So that means your dog might ingest large chunks of the treat without actually taking the time to chew. In addition to choking, this can also lead to punctures in the intestines.

Rawhides: It is hard to find a dog that does not love the raw hide chews. These can be purchased in almost any size or any sized dog. Dogs just love these long-lasting treats. These are also great for decreasing tartar build up on your dog’s teeth and encouraging pups to chew toys instead of shoes. However, just as with Greenies, pieces of the raw hide could get lodged in your dog’s throat and cause choking. If you do give your dog a raw hide, make sure you are supervising your pet. In addition, some raw hides that are not made in the United States could be coated with dangerous arsenic chemicals. So, when you do get a raw hide, make sure it was made in the United States.

Bones: Your dog has a right to chewing on real bones, right? Well, it depends on the type of bone. While you can almost always give your dog a big beef bone (shin bones are the safest), you should avoid poultry bones from chicken and turkey. These bones are extremely small and brittle and can certainly cause choking and intestinal problems. If you notice coughing, hunching, or bleeding, your dog is having a serious problem and a trip to the vet is in order.

Chocolate: Almost every dog owner knows that chocolate is a big no-no for pooches. Chocolate can cause serious health problems and even death. The problem with chocolate lies in the substance called theobromine, which is much like caffeine. When your dog ingests this, your dog at best will become very hyper and at worst, can be fatal. If your dog has gotten into chocolate, you should watch out for shallow breathing, irregular heartbeat and vomiting. To avoid this, you should always keep any chocolate well out of reach from your dog.

Dogs love to eat and they love their treats. However, as a responsible pet owner, you should be aware of dangerous doggie treats that are lurking about.