Since 2007 the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has become aware of an increasing number of illnesses in pets associated with the consumption of jerky pet treats. As of September 2013 they have received approximately 3,000 reports of pet illness which may be related to consumption of jerky treats.
“Most of the reports involve jerky products sourced from China. The majority of the complaints involve dogs, but cats also have been affected. The reports involve more than 3,600 dogs, 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths.”
What are the products involved? The majority of complaints involve chicken jerky (treats, tenders, and strips), but others include duck, sweet potato, and treats where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes, or yams. The illnesses have been linked to many brands of jerky treats. The one common factor the cases share is consumption of a chicken or duck jerky treat or jerky-wrapped treat, mostly imported from China.
But please note - Pet owners should be aware that manufacturers do NOT need to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products, so packages that do not state on the label that they are made in another country may still contain ingredients sourced from China.
“Currently, FDA continues to urge pet owners to use caution with regard to jerky pet treat products.”
Warning signs FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs jerky pet treats to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products:
- decreased appetite - decreased activity - vomiting - diarrhea, sometimes with blood - increased water consumption - increased urination.
If your dog shows any of these signs, immediately stop feeding the jerky pet treat and consult your vet if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi-like syndrome (increased glucose). FDA also asks that owners save the pet treat product for possible testing later on.
List of recalled dog jerky treats and chews from China Global Animal says “Pet food brands such as Purina, Publix, Del Monte, Costco and other brands of pet treats are voluntarily recalling their treats, though the FDA still doesn’t know why the dog treats are causing pets to get sick.”
They have produced a very informative list of recent jerky treat recalls and pet foods, by brand, recalled by the FDA in 2013. Click here.