Wednesday, September 26, 2007

FDA Warns Dog Owners on Chicken Treats

WASHINGTON -- Chicken jerky treats may have sickened dozens of dogs, federal health officials warned Wednesday despite failing to find any trace of contamination.

The Food and Drug Administration said it's fielded more than 70 complaints, involving more than 95 dogs, from owners who believe their animals fell sick after eating the products, sold variously as chicken tenders, strips or treats. While most dogs appear to have recovered, an unspecified number died.

I have personally read and much more than 70 complaints - if your dog ate these treats and got sick and you believe it is related, you MUST call the FDA.

The FDA said it's conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing on the treats but has not identified any contaminant. The agency continues to investigate.

Separately, the FDA reported it's received preliminary information from Banfield, The Pet Hospital that suggests a link between dogs that ate chicken jerky products and signs of gastrointestinal illness, including vomiting and diarrhea. Banfield is a large veterinary hospital chain that's able to collect and analyze data about the large number of pets it treats.

The FDA cautions pet owners who feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch the animals for signs of decreased appetite or activity, increased water consumption and urination, and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Owners should consult a veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours.

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pulled some chicken jerky dog treats from its shelves after company testing revealed the presence of the industrial chemical melamine. Subsequent FDA testing failed to find that or other contaminants.


Anonymous said...

First of all, I think this website is terrific, and thanks for having a place to come to regarding this very topical and national issue.

But as a dog owner, not affiliated with Wal-Mart or any dog treat manufacturer, who feeds his dog chicken jerky treats purchased at Wal-Mart I need to make something clear:

Wal-Mart sells at least two different brands of chicken jerky tenders. One is Waggin' Tail brand manufactured by ADI Pet (; the one other that I'm aware of is Bestro (or Shanghai Bestro), and another that has been mentioned is manufactured by a company named Pingyang.

I use the Waggin' Tail/ADI product, have been using it for the past year, and have NEVER had a problem. You go to the ADI Pet website, and not only do they assure that their products aren't tainted, and that they never have, and that they have strict processing guidelines and that they visit the factories on a regular basis, but their strips were just tested by the FDA and found the strips to be free of contamination. They list the most recent test as Sept. 12, 2007.

As I alluded to above, I have absolutely no connection whatsoever with ADI Pet, except that I purchase their Waggin' Tail Chicken Jerky Strips at Wal-Mart. But I think it is very unfair that they have been clumped together with two other companies who have, presumably or at least arguably, acted irresponsibly as far the processing of their dog treats is concerned (and Wal-Mart should take some culpability in that).

Actually, after this story came out a few weeks ago, I found one Wal-Mart still selling the Bestro strips. I notified that store manager immediately who was beyond horrified -- it seemed like an honest mistake, or perhaps negligence by whomever handles recalls.

This is the danger of how news is reported at times -- all the facts are not taken into account.

Based on all the information, I have full confidence in the Waggin' Tail product. I do not have the slightest in the Bestro product. But we need to get the correct information so that we're not running the responsible companies out of business -- right, folks?

Thanks for allowing me to help clarify this.

Anonymous said...

After I wrote the above, I noticed a link to another page on the blog about Waggin' Train (I called it Waggin' Tail by mistake). Several dog owners posted that they had indeed had problems with Waggin' Tail, not Bestro, leading to serious health consequences. Most of those dogs seemed to be small breeds.

I have been feeding my dog this product for a year and have not had any problem that I can remember -- I have a Lab mix.

That said, and because of all these posts, I'm going to have her blood checked tomorrow. I'll post again with the findings.

I can only be hopeful that I didn't happen to get the batch (or batches) that may have been contaminated -- and that is assuming that the folks who had problems with this indeed were not confusing Waggin' Train with Bestro.

I apologize if I may have prematurely given out what, in my opinion, was an 'ok' before being absolutely certain.

Unknown said...

PrivateDO -- my bad experience was that not every animal exposed to a "bad" lot will end up with renal failure or markedly ill. I had no problems until *one* of my cats went from "perfect" kidney bloodwork directly to having his numbers past the machine's max reading; he's in permanent chronic failure now. A Canadian friend lost one of her three cats similarly, and our vet hospital told me they had seen it with some other cases as well.

So I certainly agree with having your dog's bloodwork done, just to be safe. I hope the results turn out perfectly, or if nothing else, for you to catch it before it's a disaster.

SCGroomer said...

We just got back from the regular vet and the emergency vet and had to leave our lab mix for an unknown amount of time to treat pancreatitis ($568 so far). He and our smaller dog have the exact same diet except he gets one Waggin' Train chicken jerky a night and the she gets a rawhide stick. She's OK (so far) with the rawhide stick, but we won't know how he will do for a while. Coincidence? Maybe, but no more use of Chinese-based pet treats for us.

Anonymous said...

Stop buying anything from China, it will kill you, your family or your pets.
My name is Donna, and Gene and I just lost our 9 year old female Akita Meiko. She was murdered. Murdered by Wal-Mart who continued to sell the Bestro Chicken Jerky made in China even though they knew it was tainted with Melamine. She became ill June 15, 2007. She began vomiting everything we fed her. The vet came to the house to draw blood and take urine to see if he could determine what was causing her illness. She was in renal failure. Her creatine had gone from 3 to 14. We started an IV on her. We had IV poles and pumps on every floor in our home. We ran 54 liters of ringers through her in 72 hours. They retested her blood and her creatine had gone back down to 3, but her kidneys were permanently damaged and she would be on an expensive K-D diet the rest of her life. But we were still at a loss as to how Meiko came down with acute Kidney Failure. Within a couple of days of bringing her back to some level of normality a chief executive from Tyson Foods who spends a great deal of time at our home called to see if we were still feeding our pets chicken jerky from Wal-Mart. We said yes it is their favorite treat. He said to stop immediately that it was tainted with melamine and that was what was killing her. We thought we had her on the mend when she began vomiting again in September. The vet once again came and drew blood and took a urine sample. Her creatine was 15 this time. The damage that was done from continuing to feed her the chicken jerky was too great, we were not able to save her life, but we are still desperately trying to save the lives of our other 2 pets Yoshi and Chopper because they all ate the same damn jerky and the other two are both peeing whole blood. Had they pulled the jerky from the shelves and made a public recall, Meiko would still be alive today.

Our beautiful baby daughter is buried in our garden. Beware of what Wal-Mart sells and what they import and the country it is imported from. Not only do they import tainted pet food and pet treats, but they also sell the toys painted with lead paint and the baby bibs, etc. They do not care about you, your family or your pets, they only care about the almighty dollar and their bottom line. When we contacted Wal-Mart about Meiko, they sent us a letter stating that “Claims Management, Inc. manages claims on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and that they were very sorry to hear of the incident which involved chicken jerky. At this time we would like to share some information with you regarding the claims handling process. Upon reviewing your claim, CMI tendered the claim to the product supplier; Shanghai Bestro Trading. If you do not hear from the supplier in the next 10 days, please feel from to contact them directly 011-86-21-5848-6661. This is an overseas phone number.

This is your great Wal-Mart at its best, they don’t want to take responsibility for what they imported and sold at their stores. It may cost us more, but we no longer shop at Wal-Mart or any of its subsidiaries.

Chermom said...

Our puppy has been unable to have her spay performed due to elevated BUN & Creat. levels - she had been given the Bestro & Waggin Tail jerky for the past several months. We have spend lots of $$ in tests & vet appts. trying to figure out what is wrong with her. I read about the recall after a summer of giving her these tainted treats. Any ideas on if there is a class action suit against Walmart?

Anonymous said...

List of great online dog stores

Anonymous said...

Great list of dog stores online

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment on Canidae Life Stages Dog Food. My puppy vomited on October 28th, 2007. He also had runny stools. The Vet told me he had fever and put him on antibiotics. Nov 3rd, my puppy had a seizure while sleeping on my lap.
The batch # is 40461-01040. Please take precautions against this batch of Canidae Dog Food.

Anonymous said...

If Canidae owns up to the fact that their dog food is tainted, they should pay my vet bill, right??

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or are their other pet owners who think PetSmart sells basically poor quality dog food?

Anonymous said...

I heard that Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul is an excellent food for the price. I am going to buy a bag next weekend and check it out for my puppy.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody read the stuff posted outside of writer? Just curious. Let me know please.

Anonymous said...

By the way, does your puppy swallow his kibbles instead of chewing?? My puppy has some big teeth now, but continues to swallow his food instead of chewing. Somebody give me some insight over this situation! Please.

Anonymous said...

Can anybody tell me the best large breed dog to buy? Thanks

Anonymous said...

It's much safer to feed your dog homemade food. There are a lot of good recipes out there. I recently saw a report that said that feeding your dog the same commercial food brand all the time is bad for their health. Especially when this kind of stuff happens.


Rossi2009 said...

are you still working on this project? It would be GREAT to have all the current info in one place!

Anonymous said...

Just letting you know that on Sunday, we purchased some wet dog food from a Petco store in Yonkers, NY.

And because our dog is ill (not seriously, but she isn't her usual drama queen/dog diva self), this morning, I began to look at the dog food we started feeding her this week and discovered that the upc label peels back to reveal yet another upc label and it's the latter that shows as a list of recalled dog food.

The product(s) in question are
1. Nutro, natural choice, adult dog food, turkey and veggie casserole (chunks in gravy)

2. Nutro, Natural Choice, adult dog food, Savory Lamb Stew (slices in gravy)

I'd also like to make note that so far there is no evidence her (diarhea and vomiting) discharge is being caused from the Nutro dog food, but it's not helping

Unknown said...

My dog ate the Kingdom Brand Chicken Jerky and got violently ill with Pancreatitis. He recovered and my Vet went onto the Vet website and found other reports on this brand. I purchased it at Costco and it is still being sold.

Anonymous said...

To the poster just above who posted regarding the "Nutro" brand food---

PLEASE consider another product for your pet... I darn near lost my husky-cross to the Nutro "Lamb & Rice" food. If you doubt that Nutro cannot be trusted as a safe food, please go to the following FDA webpage---

Scroll down through the list and note how many Nutro products have been rejected as being "Unsafe" and/or "Poisonous".

Companies that are this inept and/or uncaring deserve to be run out of business, in my opinion.

We all need to contact our state senators & congressmen, and insist that better practices be implemented in the pet food industry. Granted, that may not change anything, but it's certain that things won't change if we don't at least try. Our furry kids depend on us to look out for them.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry folks, in my post just above warning about the "Nutro" foods, I put the wrong webpage link...

Here is the correct one---

hylly said...

My 5 year old standard poodle was murdered
Jan.3,2008 by Chicken Jerky treats sold at Costco.
The product is Healthy Dog Treats by
Kingdom Pets Originals.
And you guessed it-made in China.
I am, to say the least, horrified at the loss of one of the members of my family and hope that by you reading this will be enlightned and never have to have your dog have severe diaheria with excessive amounts of blood,then go through a series of seizures resulting from fatal levels of toxins in his body and then die in your arms right before your eyes,by simply and innocently eating some dog treats.
This an outrage, how many more animals have to suffer and die like this?

Anonymous said...

The goverment should hold these companies accountable our pets are family and we treat them as such, if a company was poisoning and killing humans there would be an outcry and lawsuits would be persued, but because these are animals it as if it is ok for a company to make a profit from killing them, I can understand why animal right extreemists target these companies and the people that own them, how would they feel if someone poisoned their children just to make money.

Anonymous said...

Nutro is having a lot of sad as I don't know what is really being done about it:

Anonymous said...

Looking for the best natural dog food? Here are 6 tips to help you find the best natural dog food for your pet.

1. READ the labels and especially pay attention to the first 5-7 ingredients on the list. These ingredients make up the majority of the the food. These ingredients need to be whole foods and preferably more protein than grains.

For more tips click on the above link

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there has been any problems with CADET dog treats. The dries chicken chips or duck wrapped yams. My puppy lovews them, but I don't want to endanger him.

Anonymous said...

I found this site looking for healthy dry dog food to add to my home-cooked meals and had to leave a comment. We had issues that are described by many here and on other blogs after feeding chicken strip treats recently. I was convinced that my dogs had Giardia after a camping trip, but the ‘ah ha’ moment came when I read about someone else’s dog with bloody diarrhea and incessant vomiting. This happened to both of my goldens, requiring hospitalization at an Emergency vet for one, and the regular vet for the other. After close to $1500 later…the vets had no idea what was wrong but I insisted on antibiotics to cover the Giardia just in case. After reading this I am positive it was from the Chicken treats. You see we stopped commercial dog food and jerky treats last year after the scare and I only recently tried these Chicken strips figuring that they would be easy on the gut and couldn’t be all that bad as they should just be chicken. Right? No more store bought dog treats…I hope I can trust the Innova dog food as traveling with a Chicken and rice diet just doesn’t work well.

Anonymous said...

we must give them a food like ours

Jiki said...

It has been more than 2 years since the whole thing started, am amazed that there are still recalls being done. I hope it's the tail end of this horrible series of pet food recalls. I have been fortunate to have followed a strict natural and safe regiment for my pets :) But my heart goes out to those pet owners who bought these products!

Anonymous said...

My beautiful Lab died on Monday and I truly think the kingdom treats sold at Costco is the reason. She was a very active dog and suddenly became very lathargic and no appetite. I feel so bad that I was so ignorant about this product.

Jade Brown said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

sallyanne said...

I purchased some dried chicken dog treats without knowing about the trouble they caused to dogs.
I have researched the product which is made in china and they (the company) says that they are safe.
The product is pet'n shape chik'n rings.
If anyone has any info on this brand and where I can find the info online i would appreciate it.
I hesitate to give them to my dogs Sam and Lucy.
Thank you. 8-7-09

Anonymous said...

Both of my dogs are currently hospitalized due to being poisoned by dog treats I purchased at Target...made in China. They have been deathly ill since New Year's Eve when I gave each dog three treats. They are called Pet Essentials Chicken Nugget Dumbbells. DO NOT FEED THESE TO YOUR PETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Volunteers Needed! Get food off shelves...,,,, and have joined together to ask for your help.
Update 6-10: Recalled food was purchased from a
California store on 5-29th – this stuff is still out there!
We need Volunteers to help get recalled food off store shelves. Read this post at Spocko’s Brain for instructions. Print a list (or two) on this site. Visit stores, then report safe stores here at

Printing Information:
1. Print the main FDA Pet Food Recall page – this will be handy to show retailers who haven’t heard anything about the recall. (3 pages)

2. Print the list of 14 Major National Brands - it includes flavors and date information where applicable so you can tell if specific products for these brands have been recalled. The brands are: Alpo Prime Cuts, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Doctors Foster and Smith, Eukanuba, Gravy Train, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, Jerky Treats, Lick Your Chops, Mighty Dog Pouches, Natural Balance, Nutro, Pounce, Royal Canin. (It’s 7 pages and includes FDA contact information.)

3. Print the List of All Brands – it will remind you what products have been recalled - but it does not give you date and flavor information, there is just too much to put in one document. (7 pages, but the 7th page is links to more detailed information so you don’t need to print it)

If you want, and are going to a store that you know has store brands that have been recalled (such as Walmart), go to that recall information at the links on the summary or at the FDA site and print it out. Some of the information is formatted in ways that make it difficult to read (one of the main reasons for this site), but it’s better than nothing.

Note: The FDA is the official source for all recall information and recalled products. This is an unofficial volunteer effort to help get the word out and get recalled foods off of shelves. We’re doing the best we can but can’t guarantee these lists are completely accurate. Again, here is the official recall site: