After the pet food recalls in 2007, I stopped buying any dog treats made in China because it became clear in the months following that the FDA just couldn’t ensure the safety of pet food or treats from China. (I was fortunate that the pet food I use wasn’t involved in any of the recalls.) I kept seeing recalls and intermittent reports of illnesses associated with chicken jerky from China. Now internal documents from the FDA reveal at least three brands may be connected to illnesses reported in dogs. For complete information on what the FDA is testing for, what you should do if you suspect your dog has been harmed, why there hasn’t been a recall, etc. be sure to read what the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association has to say. (Update: In light of these latest issues with pet food safety, lawmakers are demanding action from the FDA and a petition has been started by pet owners who believe their pets have been harmed by chicken jerky treats.)
The brands named are:
- Waggin’ Train chicken jerky treats or tenders made by Nestle Purina PetCare
- Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats or tenders made by Nestle Purina PetCare
- Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats made by the Del Monte Corp
I want to stress that this doesn’t mean other brands of chicken jerky from China are safe. There are reports of illness from single brands or with no brand listed. The FDA is urging owners and vets to report illness and samples of suspect chicken jerky.
Lab tests on your pup may show kidney failure, liver disease, or Fanconi-like syndrome. It’s possible for dogs to recover, but there have been deaths, so if you dog gets sick get her to the vet. The possible signs of illness that can appear hours or days after consuming chicken jerky are:
- decreased appetite
- decreased activity
- diarrhea, possibly with blood
- increased water consumption
- increased urination
If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. There have been multiple recalls and warnings about chicken jerky from China. So read those labels carefully! It’s not always obvious a product is made in China.