What Dog Treats Are Dangerous For My Dog?

Written by: Tiffany White

March 29, 2019

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No one expects the things they buy at the pet store to be unsafe. After all, that’s what the Food and Drug Administration is for. But it often takes thousands of complaints before the FDA demands a recall for a product. Until then, harmful items remain on the shelves for unsuspecting dog owners. Here are some dog treats with a history of consumer complaints that you should avoid the next time you’re at the pet store.

Dynamic Pet Real Ham Bone


What dog doesn’t like a big, juicy bone? Unfortunately, this dog treat has been under fire for years from pet owners who say the bone is responsible for vet bills and even deaths. Hundreds of pet owners have shared their negative experiences with the bone, and even the Better Business Bureau has warned consumers for years, advising pet owners to exercise caution when buying the treats.


The bones, according to critics, come apart when bitten, creating sharp shards that can get stuck in the small intestine, which leads to vomiting, diarrhea, and, without treatment, eventual death. After years of complaints, the bones now come with a warning label advising owners to supervise their pet while consuming the bone. But an innocuous warning label isn’t enough for some dog lovers.

There’s currently a Facebook page, a class-action lawsuit, and an online petition that are all trying to get the bones pulled from shelves. However, the FDA concluded in an investigation that bones in general are “not good for dogs” and that the blame can’t be pinned on only one company. Despite all the controversy and backlash, these bones can still be purchased at any pet store.

Jerky Treats (various brands)


Back in 2012, the FDA issued a warning for chicken jerky dog treats made in China that were responsible for the death of more than 1,000 dogs. According to pet owners, the treats caused kidney failure and gastrointestinal illnesses. However, the most common side effect was FLS or Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disease. Both Petco and Petsmart stopped carrying the dog treats, which, at the time, seemed like a conclusive end to the problem. However, many of the treats are still being sold in pet stores and in online shops like Amazon.

Since then, many dog food brands have been reformulating their jerky treats and slapping “made in the USA” labels on their products. However, such labels can be misleading since some of the ingredients can be sourced from China and contain some of the same toxins. In an updated report, the FDA advises pet owners to stay away from jerky treats until they can pinpoint what ingredient is making dogs sick.

Pur Luv Dog Treats


Earlier this month, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the dog food manufacturer stating that its treats cause intestinal blockage due to indigestible rock-hard chunks that obstruct the dog’s bowels. On Amazon, pet owners have been posting pictures of the indigestible pieces their dogs have coughed up, and there’s currently an online petition to get the treats pulled from shelves. So far the FDA has not looked into the complaints, and the dog treats can still be purchased everywhere.

Rawhide Bones/Chews (Various Brands)


Rawhide chews are infamous among pet owners. Typically made from cow hide that has been stripped of hair, the chews are given a chemical bath for freshness before being patted down and dried. Although promoted as good for teeth and teething puppies, the popular chews contain tons of chemicals and have gone through several major recalls for salmonella poisoning over the past few years.

Many pet owners advise to only buy rawhides made in the U.S., but others don’t think the purchase is worth the risk. However, with rawhide chews still being sold across the country, the choice is ultimately up to dog owners.

The Best Dog Treats For Your Dog

Now that we’ve covered some dog treats to avoid, let’s talk about the alternatives—the treats you can give your dog that will keep them happy and healthy.

When shopping for dog treats, you should look for treats that are:

  • Grain-free
  • Full of nutritional value
  • Made from high-quality ingredients

So what, exactly, are the best treats to give your pup?

Soft-Baked Treats

Weiner dog eating treats

Jerky is great if your dog likes a rougher treat. But if your pup is on the market for something a little on the softer side, Soft-Baked Treats are a great option. Soft-baked treats (like Winner Winner Chicken Dinner) are a little easier on your pup’s chompers—but still have all the nutritional benefits (and yumminess!) you’d want in a treat.

Crunchy Biscuit Treats

Dog with treat

If your dog is head over paws for flavorful treats, Crunchy Biscuit Treats are a great option. Crunchy Biscuit Treats have everything your dog could want in a treat. They’re packed with both flavor and nutrition and are free from any of the “nasties” (like wheat, corn, and soy) you want to avoid when choosing dog treats.

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Written by: Tiffany White

March 29, 2019

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A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.