Festive pet treats unsafe for dogs

Photo by Sarah Spencer Hall

With Christmas around the corner, many stores are selling festive dog treats. But one Missoula-based pet trainer says dyed rawhide treats may make your dog sick.

Pet trainer and former veterinary technician Sarah Spencer Hall says testing on the colorful snacks have shown traces of arsenic, mercury and other toxic chemicals. Spencer Hall said she's seen many cases of the treats harming dogs. 

"If they’re swallowing big chunks of [the treats], that stuff isn’t going to digest. It’s going to sit there or get stuck somewhere in [a dog's] digestive track," Spencer Hall said. "When I worked at the veterinary clinic, I saw lots of dogs that had to have surgeries to remove that. They have to cut their stomach open and go in, find [the treat pieces] and bring it all out."

Spencer Hall adds the treats are often made from cattle or horse hides that are often washed with hydrogen peroxide to give a white "pure" look, and to remove the smells from it. 

She said hydrogen peroxide is commonly used to make dogs vomit up poisons. Repeatedly eating it can cause lasting damage to the intestines. 

In the past, the FDA has issued recalls on some types of bone treats. Last year, United Pet Group recalled some types of rawhide treats for possible contamination with cleaning chemicals.

Pet food maker Canidae recommends alternative chew toys like KONG toys or carrots.

ABC Fox Reporter

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