Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chicken Jerky Anyone? Not When It's From China!

The warnings regarding chicken jerky products from China have been going around for quite some time now. What is going on?

The reason I bring attention to this issue again is that dogs are still getting ill!

Our vet has seen cases and my friends at Vets Toronto recently had a case also. Part of the problem is that as of this time no recalls were issued and no contaminant(s) identified.

Chicken Jerky

However, FDA continues to caution against feeding chicken jerky products (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) imported from China.

This problem, in fact, started in September 2007 when FDA issued first cautionary warning. The problems persists.

If you ask me, it's just not worth the risk.

I find it curious that no brands or products were mentioned or pulled. 

Chicken jerky products from China is rather vague for my taste.

I checked out the jerky treats selection at PetSmart to get a better picture. Their website features total of 6 chicken jerky products (those that are clearly identified as chicken jerky treats for dogs)

The following state on the package that they were made in USA

The following two chicken jerky products, while featuring wholesome American names, were in fact (as per product information) made in China:

I am not saying that these two products are those causing the problem. What I am saying is that you need to look at the small print on the back of the package to find out where was the product really made.

While it isn't clear what the problem is exactly, there clearly is one!

So please, exercise caution, and read the product information carefully. Consult your veterinarian if your dog develops any of the following symptoms after being fed chicken jerky product:
  • decreased appetite
  • decreased activity
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • increased water consumption and/or increased urination

Better yet, make your own jerky treats, we do.

Doggie Stylish published some recipes for home-made dog treats, such as How To Make Homemade Liver Jerky Dog Treats and How To Make Homemade Turkey Jerky Dog Treats.

We decided to equip ourselves with a meat slicer and a dehydrator and make our jerky that way. If you want to try that out, American Harvest dehydrator is a good way to start.

It's your dog's health!

Further reading:
FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products
Jerky treats for dogs still suspected in illness 
Even More FDA Reports of Illness due to Chicken Jerky Treats


  1. Glad you shared this Jana. I have been hearing whisperings about the chicken jerky treats for some time so I was not surprised when the whisperings became more pronounced warnings.

    We have a drug store here that sells a whole package of them for $10. I have no doubt these are from China too.

    I make my own jerky treats, so no worries here.

  2. ooooh, thanks for the linky love! I had fun making those treats. They are healthy and cheaper than buying them in the store. Still, I am jellus of your dehydrator. I really want to get one.

  3. Hi Karen, any time! :-)

    Yeah, the dehydrator sure is handy, the American Harvest isn't that expensive ... we got a huge stainless steel monster of a dehydrator now, got on ebay for next to nothing. (we kept going through the plastic ones too quickly LOL)

  4. We've been educating Pet Parents for 2 years about the dangers of Chinese chicken jerky treats by handing out the FDA warnings at events, speaking to whoever will listen, and sharing information on our website. 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 business and we now sell our TriPom Chews online and in 20 stores in the New England area. Our products are the only 'Maine Made', 'American Made', chicken jerky produced from whole, restaurant-quality chicken breasts containing NO Additives and NO Preservatives. Our products are so wholesome, being Additive and Preservative-Free, they need to be refrigerated. With the stores that carry our products, we are the only treat kept in their refrigerators or freezers, typically alongside raw food. You absolutely cannot get any more healthy and preservative-free than this. Our Pet Health Philosophy is: Feed Safe, Treat Safe, BE SAFE™.