The owners of two pet shops in Norwich have announced they will no longer sell a number of popular treats due to health and safety concerns.

Adrian and Ali Pettitt, who own Pettitt and Boo in Bowthorpe and Fido’s of Hellesdon, state they will not sell treats such as rawhide chews, cooked bones and chocolate doggy coins.

Mr Pettitt said: "Rawhide is manufactured with a broad range of nasty chemicals, including bleaches, glues and dyes, but not only this, a gooey over-chewed rawhide bone presents a considerable choking risk to pets.”

Eastern Daily Press: Pet owners are being warned about harmful treats.Pet owners are being warned about harmful treats. (Image: Getty Images)

Rawhide chews are made from animal skins such as deer, cows and horses. They are designed with dental hygiene in mind.

But Mr Pettitt said it can cause more problems than they are worth.

He added: “If a dog swallows a large piece of rawhide, it can get stuck in the oesophagus or further in the digestive tract. A vet may be able to remove these pieces through the throat.

Eastern Daily Press: Rawhide dog treats which are no longer be sold by Fido's and Pettitt and Boo pet shopsRawhide dog treats which are no longer be sold by Fido's and Pettitt and Boo pet shops (Image: Archant)

"If that is not possible, then abdominal surgery may be needed to remove the gooey rawhide from the stomach or intestines. If it isn’t resolved, the blockage can be fatal.”

Chocolate doggy coins should also be avoided because, as Mrs Pettitt explained, manufactures typically use a lot of palm oil for them.

This has raised environmental concerns in light of rainforests being destroyed, in addition to the sugar intake associated with these treats.

Cooked bones also run the risk of splintering and Mrs Pettitt said these could cause a fatal laceration.

She said there are plenty of healthy alternatives made from natural resources including Yakers, calf hoofs, bull pizzle and chicken feet.

The business is responding to the growing amount of evidence that shows a wide number of popular treats are actually very dangerous or unhealthy for pets.

Mrs Pettitt said: "It’s sometimes tough as a business owner to explain to customers that a really popular product in pet shops is not available on our shelves.

"We feel that our role in this industry is not only to sell pet products, but also to offer consultation and provide advice on the products we sell.

"Stocking rawhide or cooked bones – which pose a real risk to pets – would be an absolute contradiction to that dedication of offering thorough consultancy to pet owners.”

Another Norwich pet shop owner, who did not wish to be named, said there are still potentially harmful dog products being advertised on television.

He said his shop does stock rawhide, but he has turned down many products from suppliers in the past.

A lot of dog treats are manufactured in China and Vietnam, which Mrs Pettitt says can result in animal rights ethics being a factor to consider.