DONTFDA originally issued a cautionary warning regarding Chinese origin chicken jerky products already back in 2007, and took no further action as the number of complaints started to drop. However in 2011 the number of complaints about dog illnesses associated with eating Chinese chicken jerky products begin to rise again, and FDA reissued its warnings. These dried chicken jerky products may also be sold as tenders, strips or treats for dogs. A few months ago, the warnings were expanded to cover also other jerky products containing duck as well as sweet potato. All of the products associated with dogs getting sick have been Chinese in origin (although product labeling does not always show this), but FDA has not been able to find a specific cause, thus there are no mandatory recalls, just a generic warning. Without being able to pin point the cause, all FDA can do is recommend pet owners to exercise caution with pet jerky products. The products have been allegedly associated with lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, seizures, blood in urine, liver failure and renal and kidney failure, some resulting in death of the pet. There is no black and white proof that these products are dangerous to your pet, only allegations of being associated with illness in dogs. But personally I rather err on the side of caution on something like this. Updated FDA warning from August 2012:

On the FDA website there is a list of all the complaints they have gotten through official channels (usually through vets), and the alleged products are listed in the complaints as well. Click here to view.

Most of the brands named are distributors, not manufacturers, and get their products from factories in China. There are so many brands involved it seems to be something at the source and thus the best action would be to avoid jerky treats altogether.

Here’s the products I could pick out from the long document, I noticed Milo’s and Waggin Train mentioned most often in individual complaints but they are also the best selling brands:

American Kennel Club Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

Beef Eaters All Natural Chicken Fillets Dog Treats

Beef Eaters Chicken Fillet Jerky Treats

Bestros Roasted Chicken Jerky Strips

Boots & Barkley Chicken Wrapped Rawhide Treats

Cadet Real Chicken Treats Gourmet Chicken Breast

Cadet Real Meat Snack Gourmet Dog Treats

Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Jerky Treats

Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Stix

Canyon Creek Ranch Crunchy and Delicious Poppers

Canyon Creek Ranch Duck Jerky Treats

PetCo Chicken Buddies Natural Chicken Strips

Dentley’s Chicken Wrapped Rawhide Sticks

Dingo Jerky Chewz and Chicken Chips

Dogswell Chicken Jerky Treats

Dogswell Happy Hips Clucosamine & Chondroitin

Dogswell Happy Hips Duck Breast

Dogswell Veggie Life Happy Hips with Chicken and Sweet Potato

Dogswell Vitality Chicken Breast Treats

Dream Bone Chicken Jerky Treats

Fosters & Smith 100% All Natural Chicken Fillets

Fosters & Smith Sweet Potato Fries Dog Treats

Kingdom Pets Chicken Jerky Treats

Kingdom Pets Jerky Treats

Meijers Chicken Jerky Treats

Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky Treats

Milo’s Kitchen Home Style Chicken Jerky Treats

Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Treat

Pet Center Inc 100% Natural Mini Chicken and Biscuits

PCI Chicken Breast Jerky Tenders

Pet Essentials Chicken Jerky Strips

Pet Essentials Lamb Jerky Strips

Pet Essentials White Twists with Chicken Wraps

Petshoppe Chicken Jerky

Smokehouse Chicken Jerky Treats

Vitalife Chicken Jerky Dog Snacks

Waggin Train Chicken Jerky Tenders

Waggin Train Chicken Jerky & Cowboy Steaks Treats for Dogs

Waggin Train Hip & Joint Formula Chicken Jerky Treats

Waggin Train Natural Chicken Fillet Jerky Tenders

Waggin Train Wholesome Chicken Jerky Bites and Tenders

Waggin Train Wholesome Duck Jerky Tenders

Waggin Train Wholesome Western Grill Mixed Favorites