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Why Are Dogs Getting Sick from Jerky Treats


I’ve been writing about dogs for more than a year now and have learned that pet food recalls happen eventually; I just want to see that the brands are being proactive when they’re faced with a recall.  With the chicken jerky treats, it seems like dog parents have been ignored and mislead for a long time and now the FDA has finally forced them to pull treats off the shelves.

Update: Turns out that the FDA didn’t force them to pull the treats; I thought this was the case based on social media posts, but some companies just pulled their products – I was at the store the other day and they’re are China made treats all over the place.  Sucks! ~ Thank you, George, for your comment on Dogswell, which prompted me to contact the company and check out the FDA site.

With so many dog illnesses and deaths blamed on chicken jerky from China, why did stores need to be forced to remove it from their shelves?  I never did find an answer that satisfied me, but I did get some great insight…

The Best Resource on Pet Food

The Truth About Pet Food, which is written by Susan Thixton, is my go to site when I have questions about pet food and treats.  Not only does Susan fill you in on the history, but she provides details that will blow your socks off.

Check out a recent post that describes the FDA’s neglect on this issue which led to a nightmare for many dog parents; looks like pet lovers need to count on each other for the truth, not the FDA or big businesses.

USA Isn’t the Only Way

The lesson I learned from the pet treat recall is that we should buy from manufacturers who source most, if not all, of their products locally (within the same country).  We should buy from manufacturers who are proactive when it comes to recalls; notify their customers of the change, speak openly to the media; and take appropriate actions to ensure that they don’t have the same mishap in the future.

Recalls happen.  Mistakes happen.  It’s how companies deal with those recalls that get my attention.

Alternatives to Chicken Jerky Treats

  • You can always make them yourself.  I’d love a food dehydrator, but I know a blogger who makes them in her oven.
  • We give our dogs jerky bars by Dogswell: Dogswell Vitality Jerky Bar Dog Treats; featured real meat as the first ingredient and there is no corn, no wheat, no soy, and no byproducts.
  • UPDATE: Please note that Dogswell’s chicken jerky treats (not jerky bars) are made and sourced in China.  From Dogswell 5/2/13: ” Just to clarify, the Jerky Bars are a completely new recipe and sourced in the US, as well as all other DOGSWELL  products except the Jerky Treats.”  I thought Dosgwell had switched all of their operations to US and I’m bummed to learn that this is only the case with some of their treats.  ~ Again, thank you, George, for your comment on Dogswell, which prompted me to contact the company and check out the FDA site.

A 5/4 Update Inspired by a Comment Exchange

I’ve been told that I’m victimizing pet families with this post where I ask questions about the chicken jerky treat recall; if you are a pet parent who lost a dog or cat to tainted treats, I’m sorry for your lost.  I know the pain of losing a dog.  We lost a puppy last year.  In fact this weekend is a bittersweet time, because it’s my birthday and the one year anniversary of finding out that the puppy I received for my birthday had canine parvo virus.  She died a week later.  So I know how hopeless one feels when we lose  puppy through no fault of our own in a circumstances that could have been prevented.


Have you been caught off guard by a pet food recall?  Did you change brands?

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