Potential Health Problems Caused by Milk Bones
Milk-bones are intended as a treat food only. Treat foods should never make up more than 10% of a dog’s total daily food intake. The other 90% of their diet should come from a nutritionally complete wet, dry, homemade or raw diet. Nutritionally complete means it contains the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs to stay healthy. If your dog enjoys too many Milk-Bones at the expense of eating complete foods, they could suffer some unpleasant consequences, including:
We were unable to substantiate claims that BHA, which is commonly used as a preservative in Milk-Bones (and many other dog treats), posed a risk to pets. Decades of research indicated that BHA was generally regarded as safe in both human and animal food products, and the only information cited by sites claiming otherwise was speculative and published in 1991. While data was insufficient to prove a link between BHA (a preservative) and cancer in dogs, it was worth bearing in mind that a lack of preservatives often posed a far greater immediate health risk due to potential growth of mold and bacteria.
The viral Facebook video wasnt the first claim that BHA was a danger to dogs due to its purported carcinogenic effects. A blog about dogs featured several posts claiming that the National Institutes of Health had pegged BHA as a canine carcinogen, but only linked back to its own posts rather than any documentation from the NIH. We located a 1991 report [PDF] from the NIH on possible carcinogenic effects of BHA, but the most conclusive part simply stated:
27-75 POUNDSMedium to large-sized dogs can handle bigger treats. Choose a size that matches your pup’s weight, or give smaller snacks for training.