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How Safe Are The Treats You Offer Your Pet?

All dog owners like to offer their pets a treat especially when they have been very good or responded well to a new command. Positive reinforcement training and treats go tend to go hand-in-hand when teaching a young or older dog new tricks or commands and they really love it when you give them a favourite one. However, knowing the treats you give your dog are safe is essential with some rather disturbing news hitting the headlines a while back which involves Jerky treats imported from China to the USA.

Cats & Dogs Have Been Affected

Both cats and dogs that were given these Jerky Treats became seriously ill with some of them dying. It's estimated that in the United States 1000 dogs died as a direct result of being fed Jerky treats that were imported into the country from China with around 5,600 other dogs suffering some sort of serious illness. Cats too became sick and it's thought that three people fell ill after eating the treats one of which was on purpose and the other two were by mistake.

Seven Years of Investigation & Testing

After seven years of investigating why so many dogs died and why others became sick, it is still not known why this happened and as such the agency involved in the research has recommended that people keep well away from jerky treats that are imported from China which are not an essential part of a dog's diet anyway. The agency also encourages pet owners to contact their vets as a matter of urgency if pets show any signs of illness after having been given a Jerky Treat.

4,800 Complaints in America Since 2007

In the States, the agency that handles everything to do with pet food received 4,800 complaints from pet owners regarding Jerky Treats imported into the country from China. The complaints were of pets falling very ill after having eaten duck, chicken and sweet potato jerky treats.  Sixty percent of the cases affected more than just one pet in the household and the symptoms that were reported to the agency included the following:

  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Urinary disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Skin ailments

Two Toddlers Fell Sick After Accidentally Eating Jerky Treats

Among the three people who fell ill as a direct result of eating Jerky Treats were two toddlers both of whom ate some of the treat by sheer accident. It is thought the other person, an adult, ate the Jerky treat on purpose. One of the toddlers was diagnosed as suffering from a salmonella infection whilst the other child developed a serious fever and a gastrointestinal disorder which did in fact mirror the symptoms apparent in dogs they shared their home with. The adult suffered nausea it was reported by a spokesperson from the American FDA agency.

New Research is Planned to Find Out Why

The  FDA in American is now planning to team up with the CDC – Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, in order to carry out further research into why so many dogs died as a result of eating these Chinese made Jerky treats and why so many others became sick which includes cats and people too. The goal of the research is to find out why some pets are getting ill whereas others are not and if the dogs and cats that developed symptoms were being fed more of the treat than those that did not get sick or die.

The Results so Far of the FDA Report

Up till now, the report from the FDA showed that some of the Jerky Treats that are produced in China contained an antiviral drug called amantadine which is a medication used to treat flu as well as a condition called Parkinson's Disease. However, the report did not think this drug had anything to do with the illnesses and deaths seen in pets over the last few years as a result of them eating Jerky Treats.

With this said, the FDA has warned that the presence of this drug gives them grounds to ban the importation of Jerky Treats from China and to ban the sale of them in the USA.

The Popularity of Jerky Treats

Jerky treats have proved to be very popular, not only in the States but in the UK as well. In fact, they are so much in demand in America that these treats are produced in the States too but these are deemed safe as they only use US source ingredients.

Prevention Rather than Risk

It goes without saying that all pet owners should be worried by the news of so many dogs in America dying as a result of being fed Jerky Treats imported from China and as such it might be worthwhile checking where the treats you offer your pets are sourced from. If they are from China, leave them well alone and instead buy a good quality pet treat from a well known UK supplier who manufacturers their treats in the country rather than import them from abroad.


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