Vets are now reporting health problems linked to duck and sweet potato treats similar to those related to chicken jerky treats that are also made in China.
Blood tests are showing that sick dogs that have eaten these treats are showing kidney problems similar to the symptoms of Fanconi syndrome. Some dogs have recovered and there have been some deaths.
These symptoms can manifest within hours or days after eating a treat and includes decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and increased thirst and urination.
If you have fed your dog either chicken jerky treats, duck treats, or sweet potato treats made in China and your pet has fallen ill, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately, especially if the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours and/or are severe.
The brands currently implicated in the sweet potato treat problem are:
- Beefeaters Sweet Potato Snacks for Dogs (16 varieties of yam-related treats)
- Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Yam Good Dog Treats (Nestlé Purina)
- Drs. Foster and Smith (exact item not specified)
- Dogswell Veggie Life Vitality (4 varieties)
“Jerky” treats do include jerky, tenders, strips, chips, wraps, twists, and several others.
In 2010 the FDA found that a sweet potato dog treat made by a certain company in China was contaminated with phorate, a highly toxic pesticide.
Be vigilant about reading pet food labels, making phone calls to manufacturers, and really doing your homework on what you’re feeding your dog or cat.
PLEASE don’t buy any treats made in China. Buy only food and treats made in the U.S., but this won’t remove all risk of winding up with a tainted product, but it will certainly improve your chances of keeping your pet safe. While some dog foods proudly fly American flags on their packaging or tout that they are “made in America”, that doesn’t mean the ingredients are all sourced in the U.S. It means they are assembled in the U.S.
Companies like Life’s Abundance make food from higher grade ingredients and in small batches which significantly improves quality control. And having the food on autoship means if there ever is a problem, the batches can be tracked quickly to avoid serious problems. Providing fresh and untainted food is important for your dog’s health Life’s Abundance maintains that balance.
Try making your own dogs treats can be rewarding. Find organic sweet potatoes and yams clean them and slice them thin. Arrange on a baking sheet and back for in a 300º oven for about 45 minutes. Let the slices cool and store them in plastic bags. For homemade chicken jerky treats, buy the boneless chicken breasts, clean and slick long and thin. Place these on a greased sheet, non-stick not recommended it has its own toxins) and bake at least three hours at 180 degrees. Let the strips cool and these can be stores in plastic or air tight container and put into the freezer.
Joyce Rheal is Emergency Planning Committee chairwoman of the National Association Professional Pet Sitters and with Pets-life. Joyce is also a federally certified for FEMA’s “Animals in Disasters” program, and a certified pet care consultant based in Southern Illinois.