Monday, February 08, 2016

Jerky Treats for Pets Continue to Cause Problems

Back to News Stories
Sleuth the Reporter Dog, Veterinary News Network mascot

Sleuth has seen many different reports about pets getting sick due to jerky type of treats.   These are generally thought to be very natural and dogs sure love them.  But, with all of the reported illnesses, Sleuth wanted to know what the deal is, so he went straight to his friends at the Veterinary News Network

1)    Since 2007, the Food and Drug Administration has made several announcements about concerns of a connection between sick pets and chicken jerky treats.  In 2012, duck treats and sweet potato treats were added to the list.

2)    As of July of 2012, more than 2200 cases have been reported and these include 361 deaths.  Symptoms of affected dogs include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. 

3)    Many different brands of treats have been affected and the only common thread in these cases is that the treats are all made in China.  Pet owners should avoid any of these treats that list China as the country of origin.

4)    The FDA has investigated many possible contaminants and has so far come up empty-handed.   Bacterial pollution, fungal problems, heavy metals and even adulterated ingredients have been ruled out as the cause.

5)    Without knowing what’s causing the problem, the FDA has no formal authority to mandate a recall.   So, the products continue to sit on store shelves and unsuspecting/uniformed pet owners still purchase them.

6)    Since the manufacturers won’t voluntarily recall their products, consumers have taken to social media to try and inform more people about the possible dangers.  At least two lawsuits have been filed and the situation has drawn the attention of members of the US Congress.

7)    As with any illness with your pets, please consult your veterinary team if your pet is showing any of the signs listed above.  They will have the latest information about this on-going situation and are well-equipped to deal with your pet’s sickness.

8)    Consider using alternate treats, such as green beans or carrots.  You can also find recipes for homemade jerky treats online.

9)    If you suspect your pet has been affected, you and your veterinarian should file a report at

10)    Trust a site like to provide you with accurate and unbiased pet health information.