An awful story has just appeared in my local paper about a dog who died on Christmas day after eating a cured ham bone from Bob Martin, bought from the local Tesco.
In the interests of fairness, and to spread awareness, Bob Martin is by no means the only brand to sell cured bones. They're processed by a company, then packed in the branding of whoever sells them; Pets at Home, Good Boy, Valuepets are just a few who sell them too.
Vets couldn't do anything to save him so the kindest thing to do was to let him go. Two other dog owners have come forward since, after their dogs became sick from eating the same ham bone dog treat, luckily they both recovered.
It's an incredibly sad story, and the only thing we can take away from it is to spread the news as far and wide as possible to avoid cooked or cured bones entirely. Raw bones are OK, especially chicken bones, as they're so soft.
There are plenty of excellent healthy dog treats out there but if you do want to give your dog a bone get a raw one from your butcher, avoid leg bones and make sure it's too big for the dog to get it in his or her mouth.
A good alternative to bones is a Stag Bar, which is deer horn, not bone so will not splinter, just wear down gradually.
Please pass this story on, especially to anyone you know who may not be aware about the dangers of cooked bones.