Toxic Dog and Cat Jerky Treat Alert

The Food and Drug Administration is asking pet owners and licensed veterinarians to help them track down information on why hundreds of dogs and cats have died since 2007 from eating poisonous jerky treats.

Image from
Image from

About 600 have died and 3,600 have been sickened, and the numbers have appeared to rise since January.

The affected jerky seems to be chicken, duck, sweet potato and fruit-flavored varieties. Most seems to have been made in China; however, pet food manufacturers are not required by U.S. law to state the country of origin for each ingredient in their products.

“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine Director Bernadette Dunham said in a statement on the agency’s website.

If you want more information on what to look for when buying treats, a list of symptoms, or to send information to the FDA, click here.

4 thoughts on “Toxic Dog and Cat Jerky Treat Alert”

  1. About a year ago, my husband and I learned about this due to a write-up circulating on the internet and Facebook. We had been giving our four dogs these jerky treats every day. Alarmed, we immediately stopped. We took the bags of jerky treats to Wal-Mart, where we had purchased them, and asked for a refund. We told management about the poison risk and giving him a printed copy of the article and website to check. Wal-Mart continued to sell these jerky treats despite the warnings. We watch what we feed our dogs and cats, and definitely read where the foods are processed and any fine print. Some pet food products are shipped in from China and processed and packaged at U.S.A. plants, and then distributed. It takes through watch and investigation.

    Firehorse, I am sorry for your loss.

    Thanks for posting this and passing it on.

  2. Earlier today I read that the air pollutions levels in Beijing reached a seriously unhealthy level today. Sadly China has chosen a path of industrialization without regard for the environment. In some way they make the US look like the paradigm of environmental protection, and while in some ways we have done very well, as Eric so insightfully points out many US companies have simply done a good job in hiding the insidious nature of the pollution they continually generate. As a species we are collectively shitting-the-bed.

  3. Thanks so much for all this information, Firehorse. It’s time consumers insisted, for both human and animal food, that EVERY ingredient in all food is listed and traced back to its country of origin, as well as chemicals used in its manufacturing process. Label, label, label and not just GMOs. Making Fido’s food (and your own) can’t hurt, either.

  4. I am a holistic veterinarian and have been warning my clients for 5 years now about jerky treats. I had a 10 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback die of autoimmune complications traced to them and a 2 yr old Papillon show up with dangerously elevated liver enzymes. She was on a 100% organic diet except for the chicken jerky strip she ate every day. I have called manufacturers, talked to managers and corporate headquarters of major chain pet food stores. The answer I got, no surprise,was “talk to corporate”. The brand Dogswell, sold at whole foods is particularly insidious as they advertise hormone- free and cage-free chicken yet the fine print on the back says “made in China”. I talked to a rep in LA that insisted everything was fine as they “sent inspectors to China twice a month”. Read the fine print and DON’T feed jerky treats. I suspect it is arsenic or another chemical used in the curing/tanning process. By the way, raw hides are no good either.

Leave a Comment