Warning: Made In China

China is again at the center of food safety concerns for their manufactured pet foods.  In 2007 more than 100 brands of dog food and cat food manufactured in China were recalled after countless pets died from ingesting a grain that was tainted with melamine, a chemical that can make products appear to have more protein. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued several "advisories" concerning dog treats manufactured in China after many dogs have either become very ill or died stating that they have not conclusively connected the treats to the illnesses but the agency will continue to investigate the situation. Veterinarians and consumers are asked to report suspected pet illnesses to the FDA Website. To date they have received more than 900 complaints.

According to the FDA, a urine test of canines sickened by eating the treats could indicate increased glucose (Fanconi syndrome), and blood tests could show indications of kidney failure. Some dogs have died, the FDA reports, but most seem to recover.

The most recent warning states that the “FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products 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 activity
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • increased water consumption and/or increased urination

If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours.

The suspected treats were limited to chicken jerky, strips and tenders, but now include duck and sweet potato jerky treats.

I believe these products should be banned! Loving but trusting pet parents across America are purchasing these yummy treats for their four legged family members.  I personally purchased a large bag of Waggin Train Chicken Jerky earlier this year since it was on sale at my local Wal-Mart and, honestly, there are times I am really too busy to bake some up for Kirby.  That very day I do believe God intervened because I saw a post on FaceBook about this very treat that made me want to look further. I discovered this American company had their treats manufactured in China.  I took the bag back to Wal-mart for a refund explaining what was going on.  These treats still sit and sell on their shelves! 

Kirby loves me, trusts me, and does his best to please me. It would destroy me to know I was the person rewarding that unconditional love I see in his eyes with coveted treats that were slowly causing his kidneys to fail sending him to an agonizing death.  

Apparently the Chinese government has now thrown up a stumbling block in the inspection of the treats.  Federal investigations will not agree to the conditions for inspection laid out by the Chinese, so the US has not yet inspected them on site.  So now the FDA has issued a warning about the treats but still hasn't issued any ban, hence, they are still on the market.  

The 900 plus complaints are mainly targeted at three brands which are all made in factories in China: Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch owned by Nestle Purina and Milo's Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats owned by Del Monte. 

These brands carry a variety of other treats which should all be avoided.

Other known brands (there are probably more) imported from China include Dingo, Cadet, Bestro's, Smokehouse Brand, and Kingdom Pets. 

Packaging has become very deceiving to the naive consumer, myself included.  If you aren't sure where a certain treat is made then contact the company making it.  Find out if any part of the process is done in China.  A little bit of time can mean all the difference to your dog's health not to mention your peace of mind.  

I began making most of Kirby's treats and meals, of which you can find many of the recipes under Kirby's Kitchen, mostly out of fear.  He means so much to me that the idea of poisoning him is simply not an option.  There have become very few edible products I feel comfortable purchasing but fortunately I have learned this necessary rule before any harm could come to him.  I beseech everyone to become more diligent when it comes to shopping for dog foods and treats.

My final plea: The FDA won't pull these tainted products.  The stores won't pull these tainted products. It is up to each of us to get the word out using our blogs, our Facebook profiles and pages, our Twitter accounts, Pinterest, every social media we utilize. So please spread the word - a dog somewhere may be is dying right now!!