Many dog owners have become leery of feeding their pets jerky treats due to all the illnesses and deaths that have been linked to the products recently. The issues have been with jerky treats that are made in China and many pet owners have stopped purchasing those brands. Now, new findings suggest jerky treats that are labeled “Made in the USA” may be equally as dangerous.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received nearly 5,000 reports of illness related to the ingestion of jerky treats since 2007, and many companies have recalled these products. A specific poison or toxin has yet to be identified, but the FDA does believe there is an association between many of the complaints they have received and jerky treats that were made in China.
Earlier this year both PetSmart and Petco pulled all China-made jerky treats from their shelves. Other smaller stores are doing the same thing. If the treats are bad for the dogs and the consumers won’t buy them, of course, the stores will stop carrying them.
Now, the FDA is also warning pet parents that even treats labeled as “Made in the USA” may be dangerous to animals. Although it is technically true that the products are made in the U.S., many of the ingredients are sourced in China.
Manufacturers are not required to list the country of origin for every ingredient in their products. Most experts are recommending that dog owners do not feed their dog any kind of jerky treats until the FDA can tell consumers exactly what is in them that is causing the illnesses.
The FDA has tested for:
- Metals or elements such as cadmium, arsenic, and lead.
- Markers of irradiation levels
- Mycotoxins (toxins from mold)
They have also tested for other chemicals and poisonous compounds with no positive results thus far. They are warning any consumer who has recently or still continues to feed their pet jerky treats that were made in China to watch their pet very closely for signs of illness.
The FDA is continuing to work with labs around the country to investigate the cause of the reported deaths and illnesses. They also caution people who do use the treats to adhere to the weight guidelines on the packaging and to report any symptoms to your veterinary and the FDA. They also need consumers to keep the packaging of the jerky treats so they can track the origins of the ingredients.