The holiday treats you buy your dog could be deadly and a local veterinarian is warning pet owners to check their dog’s stocking stuffers. 

Nearly all dogs love treats and at Christmastime, many pet owners are looking for the best way to spoil their furry friend. 

“People like to buy their pets all these nice, cute little toys and treats,” Jessica Hodes, veterinarian at Rose Hill Vet Health Center said. “Some of these treats are not so good for them.”

Festive rawhides can fracture teeth and contain unsafe dyes and chemicals. 

“Rawhides we used to recommend years ago for dental hygiene and now, we’ve discovered that a lot of these products depending on where they’re manufactured and shipped from, can sometimes have harmful chemicals on them from pesticides to other treatments,” Hodes said. “There were reporters of formaldehyde on some.”

Dr. Hodes has seen pets come in after having these types of treats, some causing choking hazards and others leading to death.

“The owners were trying to include [the dog] in the festivities and unfortunately, these were very toxic treats,” Hodes said. “It caused a very severe gastroenteritis and pancreatitis in this pet.”

Rebecca Hertle is the owner of Petland West Wichita and she pays close attention to the types of products her store offers. 

Hertle said pet owners should focus on the nutrition label.

“The first thing I always look for is if it’s made in the USA,” Hertle said. “Then, I know they have to follow the FDA regulations to do that. The next thing I look for is are there any added ingredients.”

The best way to keep your pet safe is avoiding some of the treats altogether.

“Avoid rawhides, avoid chicken jerkies, the sweet potato and yam treats,” Hodes said. “Just all of them, avoid period.”

Hodes reminds pet owners this holiday season to not give their dogs any table scraps. She said foods like grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, chocolate and desserts baked with the sugar substitute, xylitol can be deadly to dogs. 

If you have any questions about whether or not the treats you are giving your dog are harmful, contact your local veterinarian.