Dog with Treats

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still reportedly trying to pinpoint the cause of an illness outbreak affecting an increasing number of dogs all over the country. According to a recent warning issued by the FDA, dog owners need to be aware of the source of their pet treats. Many chicken jerky treats imported from China have been making dogs severely ill.

A few weeks ago, 70 dogs becoming severely ill or died from chicken jerky treats imported from China. But that number has spiked to more than 350 after the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine issued a new warning to pet owners to beware of the Chinese imported pet treats.

“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 appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea; increased water consumption and/or increased urination,” says the FDA warning.

At this point, regulators have been unable to identify a specific brand, or even a specific contaminant, that may be responsible for causing the illness. However, the warning follows several others dating back to 2007 and 2008 when the FDA issued similar warnings about chicken jerky treats that were making dogs ill, an anomaly that remains to be solved.

Many popular pet treats and pet food products are questionable to begin with, as the source of their ingredients are typically undisclosed. Even pet food products manufactured by domestic companies may contain ingredients sourced from other countries, and sometimes contaminants slip in undetected, as was the case in 2006 when Diamond Pet Foods recalled 19 varieties of dog food that was contaminated with aflatoxin.