scared nervous dog

Dangerous dog bones cause illness and death of dogs, BBB and FDA issue stern warnings

Five years after alerting pet owners to possible dangers associated with Dynamic Pet Products’ Real Ham Bone for Dogs, Better Business Bureau (BBB) is seeing an increasing number of complaints against the Missouri company that manufactures the products. And despite multiple complaints, Dynamic Pet Products’ Real Ham Bone for Dogs is still available at Walmart stores nationwide and on Walmart’s website.

BBB is advising consumers to exercise extreme caution when buying the bones, which are distributed under the Dynamic Pet Products label of Frick’s Quality Meats of Washington, Mo.


David S. Frick, the owner of Frick’s Quality Meats attributes the complaints as the result of a social media smear campaign, insisting:

“We don’t think we have a problem.” He likened the sale of the bones to the sales of toys “like bicycles, skateboards and Legos.”

The bones, like the toys, are safe when used properly, he said during a telephone interview with the BBB.

Meanwhile, the company said in an emailed statement, it was adding the word “WARNING” in a yellow box on the product label. The new label is expected to be in stores this summer. However, in a 2012 inspection report, an FDA investigator reported that Mr. Frick, the company president, said:

“due to complaints, he has looked into updating a label with more warnings and bolder statements.”

Evidently, his plan to include bolder warning statements in 2012 was ineffective in prevented dogs from becoming ill or dying as a result of being fed his products, so it is difficult to say how effective an even bolder warning statement would be.


Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was cleared Dynamic Pet Products of wrongdoing in two investigations – one in 2010; the other in 2012 – it prompted the FDA to issue two separate  stern warnings: No Bones About It: Bones Are Unsafe For Your Dog and “Knick-Knack Paddywhack”—DON’T Give Your Dog a Bone! The FDA advised consumers that feeding bones is a “dangerous practice and can cause serious injury to your pet.”

Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration:

“Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death.”


The FDA made a list of 10 reasons why it’s a really bad idea to give your dog a bone:

1. Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.

2. Mouth or tongue injuries
. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.

3. Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.

4. Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.

5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!

6. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.

7. Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.

8. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.

9. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.

10. Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.


It’s simple: Don’t buy them. Period.

Pet parents might assume that they are giving their dog a safer treat alternative than the infamous dehydrated poultry strips blamed for causing serious problems in dogs, but the safest bet would be to simply make your own treats.


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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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