VERIFY: How accurate are claims about dangerous holiday dog treats?

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Christmas and pets are a match made in cute picture heaven, right?

Those precious moments are why one social media post is so freaky, and why it’s had more than a quarter-million shares on Facebook.

It says those Christmas-themed dog treats you see at stores are actually incredibly dangerous – possibly fatal – for your dogs.

It talks about dangerous chemicals used to clean the toys, then adds concerns of poisonous paint and glue and a claim that chemicals aside, they still cause intestinal blockages or worse.

Axel loves Christmas. Let’s see if this is true so he and all our furry friends can stay safe this holiday season.

Our sources are the American Veterinary Medical Association and the FDA.

AVMA President Dr. John Howe says there’s a lot to the post that just can’t be proved, and our research backs him up.

A 2007 Consumer Reports study found high levels of dangerous chemicals in popular dog toys.

The FDA has recalled some toys, and Healthy Stuff and other sites test popular pet products for chemicals.

BT dogs aren’t treated like humans in the U.S. There is no agency or oversight group doing mandated testing on dog treats or toys, so there aren’t any official studies or long-term testings available.

The question of chemicals? That’s just unverifiable.

But the part of the post that rawhide and other chew toys cause intestinal blockages? Dr. Howe says every year, veterinarians see bills in the thousands of dollars for pets who swallowed a large portion or had the bone or rawhide splinter.

A warning from the FDA says “giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet.”

The FDA advises avoiding them entirely.

Since there aren’t databases or records on this, it’s difficult to know how widespread these issues are. The FDA only had about 70 reports in the last 10 years.

The bottom line? The post in question can’t be verified, but does accurately point out that many chew toys are potentially dangerous, regardless of how they’re made.

Dr. Howe said if you’re looking to buy one of these treats this holiday season, take an extra minute to pull out your phone and look it up.

The AVMA and FDA both have recall lists on pet products. If your search turns up anything alarming, don’t buy it.

And if that doesn’t help enough, you can always ask your local vet.

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