Pet Jerky Death Toll Update: 360 dogs, 1 Cat According to FDA

the daily dish More on PawNation: Chicken Jerky, China, Legal, Sad, Safety

You may recall that at the end of 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned dog owners that they should be aware of a "potential association between development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products also described as chicken tenders, strips or treats."

At the time the warning was issued, reports had come in citing that at least 95 dogs had become ill, possibly due to consumption of chicken jerky. However, after multiple tests the FDA was unable to identify any cause for the illnesses, so it is not surprising that (1) people kept feeding their dog's chicken jerky and (2) more dogs got sick.

Jerky-Related Deaths:

Then, in November of 2011, the FDA issued yet another warning stating that there was a potential connection between dogs that were falling ill and chicken jerky that was being imported from China. (I reported on this back in December.) Common symptoms included:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea – with or without blood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Kidney failure (increased thirst and urination are typical)

Some dogs that have ingested chicken jerky and develop these symptoms have recovered. Others have not been so lucky. To date, more than 2,200 dogs have become ill. According to, at least 360 dogs and one cat have reportedly died in the U.S. after eating chicken jerky pet treats made in China.

The FDA is still stumped as to the cause, but back in March, reported:

"A log of complaints collected from pet owners and veterinarians contains references to at least three popular brands of jerky treats that may be associated with kidney failure and other serious ailments, according to internal Food and Drug Administration documents obtained by"

Of 22 "Priority 1" cases listed by the FDA late last year, 13 cited Waggin' Train or Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats or tenders, both produced by Nestle Purina PetCare Co., the records show. Another three listed Milo's Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by the Del Monte Corp. The rest listed single brands or no brand.

Priority 1 cases are those in which the animal is aged 11 or younger and medical records that document illness are available, an FDA spokeswoman said. In many cases, samples of the suspect treats also are collected

The FDA is encouraging anyone who has a sick dog that has eaten chicken jerky to lodge a complaint and send in a sample of the product the dog ingested. The more complaints and samples they receive the better their chances are of making the connection and preventing future illnesses and deaths.

Pet owners are rightly up in arms about the situation. Multiple petitions have been started to demand a ban, recall, and warning labels on chicken jerky treats imported from China. Concerned lawmakers are also getting involved and encouraging the FDA to release the results of 153 tests on chicken jerky treats that are still pending. Hopefully the increased pressure will lead to a resolution of this situation in the not too distant future.

In the meantime, the FDA released a statement on September 14, 2012 which was a summary of the pet death reports. It linked the jerky treat-related deaths of the past 18 months and suggested owners avoid the products completely, saying they were unnecessary for a balanced diet. The FDA will also begin testing treats to find out whether irradiation of the products may be a contributing factor to illness and death.

--Dr. Jennifer Coates

Chicken Jerky Update originally appeared on


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Elaine McFadden

We started reporting this story over a year and a half ago on Smart Health Talk Radio Show. The numbers are in the thousands for all of the dogs that have died from chicken treats from China. Gov't finally admitted last month arsenic in our chickens and Maryland banned from their state almost immediately. Arsenic given because chickens kept in horrific conditions and arsenic keeps them alive along with daily antibiotics. Worse conditions in China. Not always on package. First three digits of UPC bar code tells country of origin. 690 - 695 are all MADE IN CHINA. 471 is Made in Taiwan. NEVER FEED YOUR PET ANY TREATS/FOOD FROM CHINA. NEVER. One story where dog died but owners did not tie to chicken treats as thought age reason, until new puppy brought in house and fed left over treats and got immediately sick. Buy organic treats instead. Recommendation for a low cost way to protect your dog from poisons, infections and harmful contaminants that can be in foods give them Nutramin 15 million year old minerals that are IONIC and can detox and kill bacteria, fungus, viruses, and parasites. On Amazon.

November 08 2013 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

my dog foxy began acting very different out of nowhere. She started to not eat her food and began to vomit. She then began having sever diarrhea to the point where she was bleeding and couldn't stop. This all happened within a day. I rushed her to the hospital to find out she was overly dehydrated and had swollen intestines. Not only did my poor dog have to stay overnight but she almost died. Seeing my hopeless dog and vet bill was so upsetting. I cannot imagine people who have lost their animals to something that they had no idea would cause such harm. I hope we can find a way to recall this product because Im sure there are people out there who had NO IDEA like me and are feeding their dogs treats to show them love :(

December 31 2012 at 6:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok, so it is obvious that the FDA isn't going to issue a recall because they deem the pet treats as "unnecessary for a balanced diet." Therefore, it is up to each of us to contact the manufacturers of these products and request that they voluntarily recall the products, or we will boycott ALL their products. If enough people call, email, and/or write them, they will be forced to pull the products. We need to start a grassroots movement and blog, tweet, email, and/or snail mail, everyone we know and ask them to boycott these products, AND contact the manufacturers. I also suggest that anytime you see these products in a store you ask for the manager, not some clerk, and ask them to remove the products. Please make sure you provide that manager with links or copies of the information to back up your request.

Not one of our beloved pets should be made to suffer over these tainted products from China. Together, we can make a difference!

Nestle/Purina, the makers of Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats or tenders, may be contacted at:

1) (click on contact us on the left of the page)
2) 1-800-778-7462 (1-800-7PURINA) (Mon. - Fri., 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT)

Milo's Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by the Del Monte Corp, may be reached at:

1) (click on contact us at the bottom of the page)
2) Del Monte Pet Products 1-800-252-7022

Please repost and/or copy this post and share it with everyone you know! Thank you!!

November 06 2012 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce Bearden

My oldest little female pug has been diagnosed with kidney failure, which means I probably won' t have her much longer. Don't know if I can handle that or not, for I've lost so many of my loved ones in the past 12 years. She is my baby and just don't it is fair for so many loved ones to leave me. I know all of you animal lovers can understand how I feel. That baby sleeps, eats and does everything with me. What do I do, other than say a lot of prayers? And boy, am I ever going to need a lot. Please pray for my baby and me to be able to handle this with dignity and for me to be able to go on with my life. The only thing different in her diet for at least a month was the Chicken jerky strips.

October 29 2012 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Investigate your Pet's Food & Snacks : The Red Flags Read the Ingredients that is on the Labels. Find out Where it's Made? "China" then I know I don't need to read the Ingredients!
If Then if Made in "USA" read the Ingredients, if any 1 part says "China" Find out the "Recipe" Research it like I did It is the Most Revolting,Disgusting & GUILT I Carry. Most of Information is on Web Sites Like "PawNation" My 3 Pets has had Poisonous Pet Snacks & Pet Food It just isn't Only the "JERKY" spent $200 & more on Just Snacks per Yr.Many $Vet Visits $ The Vet did ask Me what I was feeding My Pets. He wasn't Happy I will Not Name the Brand Names due to Infringement Laws Food. ToddP.

& Snacks that I have given My Pets.but all Name Brands that are Popular on any & All TV & Pkg; advertisements,Shelves are full of it! I went back to IAMS as of Mon.Oct. 22nd. Symptoms are Noticeable & some Not so Noticeable. I have 3 Dogs,1 losing hair,(not from Mange),Suffered W/ I & Vet Thought to be allergies & discomfort from licking paws .Scratching face up,rubbing Face,Chin,on carpet & Crying yelps ;by then Yeast Infections on several parts of my 2Dogs that led to Severe Ear Infections that almost cost her Ear being amputated off to her Head. on carpet & Crying yelps the Ingredient that is in some Snacks Peanut Butter the Recipe is in this particular Snack they are New Treat & carries Dog Food Line.( Yellow wht. Box claims Veggies Not! So much more to write & say. Please Pass This News on there is.

October 27 2012 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TriPom Chews

If you’re looking for a REAL ‘American Made’ chicken jerky for dogs or cats, we started making our own Chicken Jerky after we ran across the FDA warning of 2008 about Chinese chicken treats making dogs sick or killing them. It turned into a cottage "Mom & Pop" business and we now sell our TriPom Chews online and in 20 stores in the New England area. Our products are homemade, hand made, ‘Maine Made’, ‘American Made’ chicken jerky produced from whole, restaurant-quality chicken breasts containing NO Additives and NO Preservatives. Our 3 Pomeranians (our babies) taste test every batch for quality. We were recognized by DownEast Magazine, a national publication, in their 'Best of Maine' edition in July 2012.

September 20 2012 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you for the homemade Chicken Jerky recipe!!

September 20 2012 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A few years ago I began giving my dogs Waggin Train Chicken Jerky and they loved it, so naturally I always had a bag around. My beautiful poodle died from liver failure at a young age, and my mother lost her young whippet around the same time, from the same thing. I began reading online posts and realized it was the jerky. Now, almost three years later, it's everywhere and I am horrified. I will never buy anything made in China again.

September 19 2012 at 5:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nanci614's comment

So sorry for your loss nanci, I know how much you must miss your baby! I too used to buy the Waggin Train Chicken Jerky because my Shi Tzu loved them but she always got so sick from them and was throwing up so I quit giving them to her. I still have her thank goodness but I think I dodged a bullet.

September 20 2012 at 1:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

95% of cat and dog food coming from china was tainted of high volume of chemical known to kill of will cause a internal disfunction on your pet . did you know what kind of ingredients they put on pet food made in china. any kind of young fish, shell, dead animal, human waste. they grind and mized. a bucket of chemicals like food colorings, expired seasonings. i happen to be there on the factory and i see it with my own eyes. i am asian american and i love my adopted country. do not buy chinese made pet food it was tainted with chemicals , i spoke with chinese fisherman and told me they use illegal net and chemical to catch a fish on ocean, or river. they dont mind because they grind them and then dried in conveyors.

September 19 2012 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I work at a big chain pet store. A customer asked me why so few dog treats were made in America; why everything seemed to be made in China? That prompted me to investigate. I found over 75 different dog treats that we sell that are made right here in America. Granted, the jerkys and the rawhides were almost all made in China (with a few exceptions), but there are lots of American-made treats you can buy your dog. You just have to be willing to look for and, maybe, pay a bit more for them. And, please, don't be disgusted by the fact that we don't pull everything off our shelves the minute a rumor is started about tainted treats. Most of the time, a recall is only for a certain, say, lot # or those stamped with a certain date on them or those distributed in a certain part of the country. We all love our pets, but the level of panic that sets in when these stories come out is sometimes extreme and unnecessary. And please don't blame or go off on the clerk. Until we get instructions from the head office to pull products from our shelves, we can't do it. The company I work for, though, I find to be very conscientious. There have been several times when we have pulled things that have not been officially recalled, just to be on the safe side or until we received confirmation of their safety. Be a responsible pet owner, at whatever level you're comfortable with, and don't buy things you deem questionable. You might want to do your research first, though, and not just fly off the handle in a blind panic. And, please, leave the clerk alone!

September 19 2012 at 4:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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