More Bad News

Since 2007 jerky pet treats made in China from chicken, duck and sweet potatoes were  determined to be responsible for large numbers of illness and death. It has been estimated that approximately 5,000 complaints were received related to the treats not being safe for pets and it is possible that over 1,000 deaths were the result. The majority of the illness was kidney, liver or urinary disease. The pets that consumed the tainted treats became sick within hours. Bleeding in the stomach and kidney failure were to blame for many of the pets’ deaths.

What Was Not Donesad-dog-331074-m

Warnings, not actual recalls, were issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration based on the complaints that they received to advise that the jerky treats may not be safe for pets. After 6 years of research, the FDA was no closer to determining what had caused the illness of these pets. The locations in China where the jerky treats were made were visited and volumes of tests performed, but these actions brought them no closer to an answer. The FDA eventually removed some products from store shelves and recalls were issued by some companies, after tests showed up to 6 drugs in certain jerky products. Consumers were cautioned to check the labels of the foods that were purchased for their pets, but unfortunately, made in the USA does not guarantee what countries the ingredients came from.

Of particular concern was chicken jerky products.  Australia joined in with possible illness in dogs after consuming chicken jerky treats in which a recall connected the products to China. If a pet owner choose to continue to give their pets chicken jerky treats, they were cautioned to do so sparingly and to watch for vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst or urination and decreased appetite or activity. These symptoms could occur within hours to days after the treats were consumed and if seen, to contact a veterinarian and the FDA.

I know for me, the jerky treat warnings opened my eyes to what is not safe for my pets. I have not purchased a jerky product for my dogs in many years, no matter where the label states that it was made.


10 comments on “Jerky Treats From China Are Not Safe For Your Pet

  • Hi Sophie,

    I work in the veterinary clinic and I couldn’t tell you how many times a sick pet would came in with a history of consuming some kind of treats.

    The owners always say “He’s been eating the whole week and there was nothing wrong.” The term “whole week” is a red flag. If the treat is the culprit, the toxin that accumulated over the week is almost always going to cause kidney or liver failure and eventually the irreversible death.

    I am very cautious with giving treats. In fact, we don’t advocate them in our clinic and I don’t even give them to my own pets. It’s just not worth the risk, no matter where they are from.

    • Hi Cathy,

      Thank you for your comments and I appreciate your insight as someone who often sees the victims of these tainted treats. I have trained my dogs that a baby carrot is a treat too. My little Boston Terrier goes a little nuts when I reach into the fridge and she sees that I have the bag of carrots. To her, it is just as rewarding as a little beefy nugget and to me, I do not have the concerns that a recall will be soon to follow.

  • Hi Erin. It’s unbelievable that after all these years, pet foods made from China are still not deem safe. I don’t think enough is being done to strongly warn pet owners to check the labels. And to avoid buying anything made in China… until the issue has been resolved or the FDA has determined the cause of illness.

    I think the same is true with buying people food made in China, because people do get sick, too.

    Thanks for sharing this article as a reminder to check ingredients before buying.

    • Hi Tina,

      I agree with your thoughts on food from China being a concern. I think the safety of many imported items need to be a top priority, so there are no questions or doubts about what we choose to purchase to consume or to use.

      Thanks for your visit and your comments,


  • I have a short story id like to share. About 10 years ago my two cats died at the young age of 3. They both died of kidney failure. Turns out it was because of their cat food. =( My family and I now have a dog and we make sure never to give him dog food or treats that are from china. We get all of our dog food locally from a lady who makes it herself. I love your article because there needs to be more awareness on this subject.

    • Nick,

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your cats. It is so important that all pet owners are aware that products, or simply the ingredients in those products, can harm or even kill your pets. You are smart to go with a local food for your dog. I am working on a new site that is about feeding raw food to dogs. I really think this is the future in nourishing our pets as it puts us in control of what they consume.

      Take Care,


  • Thanks for the heads up.

    I’ve got a cat although i dont’ usually feed him these i thought they were safe to eat for animals.

    It amazes me how long this has been going and still these jerky treats and other products haven’t been removed completely from the stores.
    Sadly China’s low quality ( and price ) products are invading every store these days

    • Hi Alan,

      I take what I have learned about jerky treats from China for dogs and apply it to my what I give my cat. I figure other ingredients or treats for cats that are produced in China can be just as harmful. I too am amazed that these items have not been banned. It makes me realize that as pet owners, we need to demand a safe supply to feed all of our pets.

      Take Care,


  • Hi Erin,

    I love the concept of your web site. Most people are pet owners and it the site would appeal to a large number of people. I personally had not heard anything about treats being unsafe. I do have 2 dogs, but really never buy treats. We give our dogs a different kind of dog food as a treat because both are older dogs and one has very bad teeth. The information is really good and I’ll pass it along to my mom who does actually buy treats for her dogs.

    • Hi Chastity,

      You do have to be very careful if you purchase treats for you pet. My dogs are both seniors now and we also have to consider if they are able to chew what we give them. You may want to consider giving your dogs fruits and vegetables. Here is a list of what is safe for you pet and what is not good for them:

      Take Care,


      P.S. My dogs just loved canned pumpkin! They both take medication so I use the pumpkin to give them their pills. Also, one of my dogs is prone to constipation and the pumpkin helps with that.

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