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Christmas Warning to Pup Owners

Actually, this is an any time warning, but we especially want to remind dog owners in the giving season as many of us celebrate by giving our pups extra treats.

At the risk of the wrath of the Chinese government (see below), Petco (see below) and Nestles (Canyon Creek and Waggin' Train), Del Monte (Milo's Kitchen) and other companies who buy their ingredients from China, I will stand firm:


Hey, play it safe and fill pup's Christmas stocking with anything BUT chicken jerky. There are so many other great treats on the shelves.

Four companies whose treats we love and feed our own pups are Zukes, Charlee Bear, FreshPet and Kong. We absolutely trust anything from those guys.

The FDA recently posted its website.

"FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings."

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif wrote to the Chinese government asking to "consider halting production of these chicken jerky treats until the FDA can determine whether or not the products contain tainted material."

The response from China?

"From the perspective of the Chinese side, there might be something wrong with the FDA's investigation guidance."

Also on the defense is Petco, which issued a statement saying,

"Neither the FDA nor our suppliers have recommended any recalls of Chicken Jerky products."

A true statement, but not an ethical one, Petco. The FDA has issued a cautionary warning.

And Milo is also trading on the distinction between and FDA cautionary warning and a recall:

"no recalls have been issued for any chicken jerky dog treat product in the United States"

And Waggin' Train likewise:

"Our quality control group monitors the good manufacturing practices of our suppliers"

We spoil (only, please call it "training") our pups all year but now is the time many of us go a little bit good-crazy with Christmas stockings full of treats.

Great idea, but PLEASE nothing made with ingredients from China. As we blogged this past spring, the three big ones who use chicken from China are Milo's Kitchen by Del Monte, Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek from Nestles.

What happens? Do you want to know?

Chicken from China has been linked to a condition called Fanconi-like syndrome where the kidneys leak electolytes. Symptoms are loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting and the need to suddenly drink lots of water. Healthy dogs in their prime are sickened. Puppies, seniors and compromised dogs often die.

Don't chance it!

With so many great treats on the market steer clear of anything with ingredients from China. And scrutinize the package to be certain. This is not the kind of thing manufacturers print in bold or noticable type.

And may all your holidays be bright.

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