I would imagine a lot of you have already heard about the chicken jerky treats from China which have been sickening and killing animals. Maybe you haven’t. I’ve been hearing about it for months, but I am on Facebook daily, where there have been many pages posting warnings. I am also a news hound; I watch and read the news daily. Not everyone does, however, and since there has been no recall on these deadly treats, I am sure there are still people buying them who are completely unaware of the dangers. Perhaps some people believe that they are safe because the government has not issued a recall on them. Some of you may not be aware that even though the FDA is not issuing a recall, they have been issuing warnings.
I know the truth to all of this because my hairdresser’s dog was extremely ill a few months ago, and they linked it back to those treats. Luckily for her dog, when they stopped feeding them to her, she made a full recovery. You may also know someone who experienced this.
First of all, for those of you who don’t know the story: the items in question are mostly chicken jerky treats, made in China, and also being sold as chicken tenders, strips, or treats. Other possible products include sweet potato and duck jerky treats. Some of the brands named include Waggin’ Train or Canyon Creek Ranch, both made by Nestle Purina PetCare Co. Another was Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, made by the Del Monte Corporation. There may be other brands involved also.
The illnesses caused include kidney failure. So far over 2200 illnesses and 360 deaths have been reported. Symptoms include:
- decreased appetite;
- decreased activity;
- diarrhea, sometimes with blood;
- increased water consumption; and/or
- increased urination.*
My research turned up the fact that this has been going on since 2007! The FDA issued their first warning then. They apparently started looking into it at that time, but say that the number of complaints dropped off in late 2009, and through most of 2010, but increased again in 2011, when they again issued a “cautionary update” in November of that year.
Rest assured, the FDA has been looking into this. They have been testing products for numerous contaminants and toxins. They have also conducted inspections of several facilities in China. It is my understanding that unless they turn up something specific, they cannot or will not issue any recalls.
Obviously, since these products are still on the market, neither the manufacturers nor the retailers want to do anything about it either, unless the government forces them to! So, as usual, the responsibility falls to the consumer. We need to be proactive; we need to take responsibility for our own pets’ health. I will never, ever, again buy any treats (or pet food) made in China. I have felt that way since all this started….at some point I had some of those sweet potato treats in my house….thank goodness my dogs didn’t seem that nuts about them. I didn’t care for them because they were hard and chewy and my dogs aren’t always good about really chewing things up. I was afraid they would choke on them so I ultimately ended up throwing them out. Thank goodness. I guess that was before I started being more careful in choosing treats. There are plenty out there that are made in the USA, or you can always bake your own. I know of people who don’t even feed commercial dog food to their dogs at all.
I like to bake my own treats, but just don’t always have the time. One brand I like is Pampered Pet Treats. They are out of California, and you can find them on http://www.drsfostersmith.com/. I use that website a lot, and I also buy their brand of biscuits which are made in the USA. Since I have four dogs, being able to buy in bulk is a great advantage there, and I watch for when they go on sale also. However, I have to be careful what I pick, because not everything they carry is made in the USA. I will no longer buy it if I can’t confirm that.
The bottom line here is that at this point the government isn’t going to take care of this for us, and neither are the manufacturers or the retailers who are selling their products. At the least we could hope for some type of warning label on these products, but that isn’t happening yet either. We need to spread the word. The best way to make our point to big business is through our pocketbooks. They are all about the money, and we need to withhold ours from them.
There are several petitions you can sign on this subject. Please visit:
You may read the most recent update from the FDA here: