Don’t Be A Jerky – by Dawn Todd
Once again treats from China are making the news, and not in a good way. Last month the FDA issued another warning advising consumers who feed their dogs chicken jerky products made in China to watch their dogs closely for a range of symptoms- vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, increased water consumption and urination– some dogs have even died. The FDA has not issued a recall, because scientists have not been able to identify a specific contaminant that is making dogs ill. This is the third warning about these products from the FDA. Complaints about these products began surfacing in 2007. Click here to read the full warning.
I shopped the aisles of the Franklin Walmart and Kmart. Although you really have to read the fine print, every chicken treat they sell in these two stores is manufactured in China. They go by different names — Chicken Jerky, Chicken Bites, Chicken Chews, Chicken Chips– but although “American Owned Company” is prominently displayed on some of this packaging — bring your magnifying glass, because the fine print tells the whole story.
Let the price be your guide. A 3.3 oz bag of Milo Chicken Jerky costs $2.48 at Walmart. While the company boasts being based in San Francisco, these treats are manufactured in China. The ingredients are: Chicken breast, Glycerin, Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavors, mixed tocopherols.
These treats could be ½ sugar or more, since both glycerine and sugar are sweetners. I don’t know any dogs that need their chicken sweetened before they’ll eat it!
I’ve talked directly to the production manager at Bravo– our manufacturer of choice for “clean”, healthy treats. It takes approximately 1.5 pounds of chicken tenderloins to yield 4 oz. of their dry roasted chicken breast strips. Bravo Dry Roasted Chicken Breast Strips have exactly one ingredient: Chicken Breast Tenderloins. We retail them for $8.99, with a very small mark up. It’s expensive to take real meat, process it safely, package it, and ship it.
You all know the old saying: “If it seems too good to be true it probably isn’t.” I think we can adapt that to the arena of pet food and treats…. “If it seems to cheap to be healthy, it probably isn’t!”
Dr. Todd and I advise you to entirely avoid any type of treat manufactured in China.