Dog Treats Made in China Connected to 1,000+ Pet Deaths

Portrait of english bulldog wearing a scarfKeywordsanimal, best friend, bulldog, camera, canine, companion, dog, english bul
Buying consumer products made in China has long been an American tradition. It comes down to dollars and cents. If a Chinese-made product is selling for less than an American-made one, there's a good chance we'll buy it.

But when it comes to pet food, saving a few bucks upfront has cost a lot of Americans dearly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has documented more than 5,600 cases of dogs that got sick eating jerky treats, most of which were made in China. Of those dogs, more than 1,000 died, according to the FDA.

Of the dogs examined as part of the federal investigation into these Chinese pet treats, about six in 10 were found to have gastrointestinal or liver disease, and 30 percent suffered kidney or urinary disease. Dealing with those symptoms, particularly when the dog's condition is grave, can be incredibly expensive -- sometimes running into the thousands of dollars.

While this investigation into these imported dog treats has been going on for years, and it's still not clear what is making the dogs sick, they're still being widely sold. But consumers are rightly getting concerned. Yielding to the concerns, the national pet retailer Petco said it would end sales of the Chinese jerky treats by year's end and expects to ramp up the phaseout next month.

Reaction by Petco, Purina, Del Monte

"We've been following the FDA warnings and related customer concerns closely, and we've been actively reducing our China-made assortment and expanding our American-made offerings for several years now," Petco CEO Jim Myers said in a statement announcing the decision. "We know the FDA hasn't yet identified a direct cause for the reported illnesses, but we decided the uncertainty of the situation outweighs the lack of actual proof."

It can be hard to tell sometimes where products originate. Among the brands that have been using Chinese chicken products is Purina's Waggin' Train, which, along with Del Monte's Milo's Kitchen dog treats, were pulled from the shelves last year in a recall related to the investigation. Since then, both have tried to distance their products from the controversy with Milo's Kitchen reporting the brand now uses only domestic chicken products and Purina noting that its Chinese chicken comes from a U.S- owned company.

American pet treat/food brands include Blue Buffalo, Blue Ridge Naturals, Colorado Naturals, Merrick, Nature's Variety and Wellness.

Some symptoms to watch out if you have fed your dog some suspect treats include decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and increased urination.

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Mom and Dad

Ok so I feed my dog Foster Farms chicken but at least I get to cook it to death before feeding it to him.

August 07 2014 at 1:01 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Blue Buffallo is all that I buy. My dogs lives are worth more than the few dollars that you save buying rreats made in China. We all have Walmart to thank for all the garbage manufactured there.

August 06 2014 at 8:54 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Lets be more "Label Aware" and don't by anything made in china or any other 3rd world country.
WE must send a message. OBTW OMG

August 06 2014 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
carol lowery

It's hard to find a lot of things not made in China and it's time our govn get their act together. I always check where things are made and if it says China, I won't buy it unless I have no other choice. I'd rather pay a dollar more for something made here. Even if something says "Distributed by", you can bet your last dollar it was shipped here to a warehouse to be distributed & that's why I don't buy a lot of Kraft products anymore or even Hershseys. I will buy pet food made in Canada but not in China.

August 06 2014 at 4:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I just told my wife to check where our little dogs Dixie and Bandits dog food is made. If its from china don't buy it. If it says that it uses any ingredients from china don't buy it. My little dogs mean more to me than anything. The same goes for my six cats. I don't have to worry about get rats for my snake that may have been "made in china".....yet!

August 06 2014 at 3:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

F*** China. And F*** the American Pimp Corporations that conspire with them to cheat us.
Fight Back.

August 06 2014 at 1:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I stopped buying dog food and treats for my dog, I found its cheaper to cook for the dog and make my own treats for her, I know whats she eating and where it came from.

August 06 2014 at 10:06 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Well, duh....this is the same country that sold poisoned baby formula! Do you think the Chinese care about sick/dead dogs in the USA?!! People, stop buying anything made in China! It's all dangerous...

August 06 2014 at 8:42 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lioness2go's comment

I agree. So many reasons not to buy Communist China
made goods.

August 06 2014 at 12:20 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Start suing those selling them then sue yourself for buying them! Then go make sure some lowlife Vets in this country aint buying them, taking them out of the package, fixing them up so they can get some biz and putting them back in the package. Medical for Pets and Humans is completely getting beyond anyone but the Elites wallet. This treat and not cure crap is killing us! Obamacare is only going to make sure the docs get paid not help the masses out here in the end. Yeh I know it might look good now as Biz does cartwheels but in the end a Disaster.

August 06 2014 at 8:41 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to savannahswithgod's comment
Hello, WildBill

Better yet, live a life of wellness so you won't get sick and have to visit Big Pharma and Big Medicine.

August 06 2014 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why do we bother to buy their lethal products? Their products are not wroth the cheaper price since all their products do not last long. Their products also contribute to the rapidly increasing amount of Garbage being thrown into the Ocean.

August 06 2014 at 8:18 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply