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It's been all over the news this week in the Hartford, Connecticut area regarding the safety of chicken jerky dog treats. I was at work when I read it and didn't recall having any at home but ripped out the article anyway. I've been extremely busy so I've been giving my dogs only Old Mother Hubbard buscuits. Today after seeing another article, I was reminded to finally search the dogs food stock and was shocked to find two bags of chicken jerky (one opened and half emptied) and one duck jerky. Two of three bags being sold by the American Kennel Club and the other by Smokehouse Pet Products. All three made in China.

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I was unaware that there had been complaints for years about the chicken jerky dog treats and the possibility that they can cause kidney problems and even death. It still remains debatable if the snacks are the cause. Though I'm not taking any chances.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued cautionary statements about chicken jerky, which is made by more than a dozen companies, at several points in the past 4.5 years. Last November, the FDA said chicken jerky products - sometimes marketed as chicken tenders, strips or treats - "may be associated with illness in dogs." Last year the FDA had received 70 reports of ill dogs, possibly related to chicken jerky, up until its November 18 advisory. The agency has received more than 530 reports since the November advisory - in less than four months.

"In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated wiith consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China," the FDAa said in November. "These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians."

A local CT veterinarian, Leyenda Harely, specializing in internal medicine at the New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine, tells her clients to avoid chicken jerky products no matter what the country of origin.

Symptons to look for after a dog has had the chicken jerky products are decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea - sometimes blood, increased water consumption and/or increased urination.

Yet even still, Samantha Gewertz, brand manager for Dogswell, maker of Vitality and Happy Hips chicken jerky treats, claims that she not only gives them to her dogs but eats one herself once in a while. Yes, you read that right - she eats them herself!!

For additional information -

Report cases to the FDA Consumer Complaint at

Also contact the Pet Food Institude at

In my own house, I found that someone who sometimes feeds my dogs had opened the bag of chicken jerky and been giving them as treats. My greyhound has been exhibiting some of the symptons above (loss of appetite and vomiting) this week while my pit has increased water consumption. It makes me wonder and I believe I'll go ahead to report it to the FDA. I threw not only the two bags of chicken jerky away but the duck jerky also. I'm not taking any more chances again with anything made in China. I'm very surprised to see the American Kennel Club selling these with this shadow over them. If the AKC is unaware then shame on them!

I apologize if someone else has already diaried about this but if I missed it then probably others did as well. We finally have a beautiful day in CT so I'll be in and out working on the yard. Thanks everyone.

UPDATE: Bugsby has an excellent point about being careful how you dispose of them. Please do not leave them where other animals can get into them ~ birds, cats, raccoons,etc. Mine are in large containers with lids and tomorrow is trash pickup day.

Originally posted to GUG on Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 12:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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