Amid reports of hundreds of dog deaths believed to be linked to Chinese-made jerky treats, two major U.S. pet food retailers have announced that they will no longer be selling treats made in China.
Since 2007, almost 5,000 pet illnesses and more than 1,000 dog deaths have been reported. Each report has come after the dog or cat ate chicken, duck or sweet potato jerk treats imported from China.
The complaints include more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats and three people. Sixty percent of the cases report gastrointestinal/liver disease, 30 percent report kidney or urinary disease and 10 percent report various other health issues. Many of the reports came in from owners with multiple dogs. The FDA says they received almost 2,000 cases since last October.
The FDA has not definitively proven that it is the imported jerky treats that are making animals sick, but the pet food retailers are not taking any chances.
Petco plans to have Chinese-made treats off their shelves by the end of the year, while PetSmart is aiming for March of next year.