What You Need to Know About Chinese Chicken Pet Treats

Chinese made chicken jerky treats for our pets have made a resurgence in the news recently; most notably the deaths linked to brands like Waggin’ Train and Milos Kitchen. And there have been a number of official complaints made to the FDA over the past six years. It’s become such an issue that Nestle and Delmote have pulled products from the shelves; much to the relief of pet lovers. These deaths have spurred everything from an FDA investigation to numerous petitions. Plus, the stories have made national news, including NBC and National Public Radio.
As an Only Natural Pet customer, you probably haven’t been directly affected by this controversy. You, like us, understand the importance of quality in your pet’s diet. That’s why we have a huge variety of pet treats Made in the USA and pet products Made in the USA, including our Only Natural Pet Chicken Jerky Strips. But for those of you looking for answers and advice, let’s take a look at the facts:

• The FDA has been aware of illness associated with chicken jerky (as well as duck and sweet potato) originating in China since 2007.
• They have received 3,000 reports of illnesses, including 3,600 dogs & 10 cats, and 580 pet deaths related to the treats.
• Cases have been reported in every state.
• Chinese chicken treats have increased 85 fold from 2003 to 2013.

So as you can see, this problem is hugely expansive. And in the face of such a huge problem, it’s hard as a pet owner to know what to do to protect your furry friends. But with sound advice, extra planning, and informed decisions, you’ll be able to give your pet delicious treats without fear.
1. Look for signs of illness: Most of the illness associated with these treats has been gastrointestinal. This includes problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and blood and mucus in stool. More serious issues have arisen however, including pancreatic and GI bleeding and even kidney failure. If any of these issues arrive, seek veterinarian help immediately.
2. Stop buying treats made in China: Unfortunately, all too often, profits outweigh safety for big corporations. Chicken jerky brands like Only Natural Pet and BIXIBI are safely and proudly made in the USA.
3. Remember, chicken jerky is just a treat: Your pet doesn’t need treats to survive, so if you are at all concerned, stop feeding them treats. A balanced diet is essential for your pet’s health, treats are just the icing on the cake.
4. Share with your friends: Make sure every pet guardian you know is aware of what’s happening. Share on social media, like Facebook, talk to them at the dog park, whatever it takes! Get the word out to everyone that these treats are dangerous.
5. Make a statement: This one is easy and powerful. As consumers, we have the power to say to these big companies that our pets are more important than profits. Shop with smaller brands that produce in the USA. Let them know you appreciate their dedication to your pet’s health and happiness.

Navigating the world of pet food can be scary when dangers like Chinese treats and salmonella recalls are popping up so often. But these threats are easily neutralized when you’re a caring, informed pet parent. Together we can stand up for the rights of our pets.

30 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Chinese Chicken Pet Treats

  1. We were using these treats for morning departure time for months and now have completely switched to Made in the USA. Our dog had an increase in skin sists/growths that turned out to be non-cancerous and we are wondering if that has anything to do with these Chinese treats. What can we do to get those toxins out of his body that may have built up over time?

    1. I have 2 dogs severely affected by these treats. I recommend Denamarin – or any SamE and Milk Thistle supplement and a good Omega supplement. A full liver and kidney panel would be very advisable. I currently work with over 300 victims of Chinese jerky. We have a Facebook community and you are welcome to explore the resources on our page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Animal-Parents-Against-Pet-Treats-and-Food-Made-in-China/235390426550583

  2. I have 3 large dogs and have been feeding them chicken jerky for a few years. Last year we had an episode of very bad intestinal problems along with sever digestion problems. All Three had it. I took them to the vet and found out that it was the chicken jerkey “Waggin Train” specifically that I was giving them. I gave them the medication the doc provided and started to make my own jerky.. I bought a dehydrator and it was easy….the problem…When you have 3 dogs that do consume more than average it becomes a cost factor. I found here at the Natural Pet store I could get safe and good jerky (which they love) for the same price as making it myself.

  3. My Yorkie got very sick with pancreatitis and a blood clot in his spleen.I never attributed it to the jerky treats.I heard the rumors,but didnt think my dogs were effected.Thanks for this solid info.My dog is fine,by the way, after treatment.

    1. My Yorkie got very sick with an intestinal problem, vomiting pools of blood and bloody diarrhea at the same time. Vet said it was probably somehting she ate. Then I saw an alert she had posted on the bulletin board in her lobby about the chicken jerkys from China. That was what she had eaten. She almost died and over $500 later she came thru it, thank God. I will never give her anything that is not made in the USA again.

  4. Thank you so much for this important information. However it is to late for my baby of 13 years he just died of kidney failure. Jan 25, 2013. Thank you

    1. You have my condolences . . we lost our beloved Lasa Apso, Max, on Nov.14 . . not from jerky though, he went into liver failure . It’s a gut wrenching loss, like losing a kid. My heart goes out to you!

    2. How sad. Sorry for your loss, Terri.
      From a concerned anonymous person. What a heartbreak. Best wishes and hugs!

    3. Im so sorry to hear of your loss. My companion has kidney cancer and still has a quality of life yet. I don’t know if years past I fed my friend anything like this or not, but he has numerous conditions. Hope others will get the help they need before it gets too bad. Again so sorry for your loss. I know how you feel.


  5. I see that Only Natural Pet is still selling the Dogswell line of meat strips treats (Happy Hips and other varieties). All of these are made in China, and the company used to have that information plainly printed on the front of the bag. Now they have hidden the information in small type and sandwiched it among other small type on the bottom of the bag, and if you did not know it was there, you would not see it. I am disappointed that Only Natural Pet is among the many retail outlets who won’t stop selling these treats made in China because they are so profitable. One of my dogs developed serious inflammatory bowel disease while eating these treats routinely, and he got well when I stopped feeding them to any of my dogs. You should also know that, according to what the company told my local pet store, all the supplements like vitamin E are sprayed on the hot meat, which would render them ineffective (or, in the case of vitamin E, rancid). I hope that Only Natural Pet will stop selling this line of treats, or if you are not going to stop, then please inform your customers that these meat strip treats are made in China.

    1. Thank you for your comment. We appreciate how important this issue is and would like to take a moment to respond to your post. Only Natural Pet maintains very high standards with respect to the products we sell. Related to our decision to continue to offer Dogswell treats, please consider the following points:

      1. Dogswell has a long history of making natural jerky products and we have sold them since we started
      2. Their treats are made in audited and certified facilities and regularly tested for quality assurance
      3. Their products are not part of the FDA investigation and recalls
      4. More information can be found at http://www.dogswell.com/qualityassurance
      5. We tell people to avoid food products made in China because most companies do not have the level of quality assurance programs that Dogswell does. That does not mean that there are no safe food products made in China. We still believe Dogswell is one of the exceptions, but are continually monitoring the situation.

      We hope that addresses your concerns. Thank you for being committed to the healthful care of your pets.

      1. I too have been in touch with ONPS about items from China. I have asked that all items with Chinese ingredients be labeled… I was told you were working on it, but I have yet to see it implemented.
        As for DOGSWELL, let’s be FACTUAL. DW recalled a batch of Chinese treats for the same reason as Nestle Purina and Del Monte. The difference is that NP and DM are defendants in Class Action suits so they have not put the poison back on the shelves. The MOST IMPORTANT FACT is that DOGSWELL PRODUCT CONTINUES TO HAVE COMPLAINTS FILED WITH THE FDA. Their “quality assurance” is useless – it’s the same exact – and I mean exact- assurance that NP and DM offered up to us.
        By continuing to carry the DW product from China, ONPS is making a statement – and not a statement that gives me confidence as a consumer. DOGSWELL IS NOT AN EXCEPTION!!!!!! Their domestic product is a quality product; the Chinese crap is about one thing only – profit margins.

      2. I notified your site almost two years ago about the Dogswell chicken treats. My Westie almost died from eating them exclusively, no other brand was given to her. She developed Fanconi Syndrom (kidney failure) a syndrom not commonly found in Terriers, most often only in Basenjis. The sugar in her urine (not blood) was 1000. After spending $4,000.00 at a Specialty Vet Hospital for over many months of treatment she has stabiilized, but will never be 100%. Her urine in monitored weekly as the Dogswell Chicken damaged the tubercals in her kidneys. You are burying your head in the sand if you think there is no connection between Dogswell China Chicken and sever illness in pets. I filed a complaint with the FDA in 2011 about this product.

      3. I do not feed my pets anything made in China and your assurance of their safety does not change my mind. I do not mind paying more for quality and safety, I do not consume foods from China neither will my pets, ever.

    2. We had Happy Hips and my dog ate them a few times but then started getting immediately sick after ingesting them. I threw them away, but now she has the early stages of kidney failure. Holding her own but I am consumed with guilt.

  6. Thank you so much for the information but it is too late for therapy dog, my best friend of 12 yrs, a beautiful red cockapoo. He died on Jan 2, 2013. I have 6 other dogs but he was the only one who got the treats. I took him to the vet and it was misdiagnosed until it was too late and his kidneys failed.

  7. I don’t trust any pet or human food product coming out of China. The US needs to ban importing any food products for pets or humans from China. The high performace ceramics company I work for buys raw materials from China. We have to test everything because they can not be trusted to ship a quality product. Often our test results indicate the material is of lesser quality than their certificate of analysis does.

    I make my own jerky by boiling several soup chickens. Strip the meat from the bones and mix it with a little of the fat from the top of the water. You want to mash the meat into a paste then spread it about a 1/4 inch thick on cookie sheets or aluminum foil. Cut meat paste into strips. A pizza cutter works great for this. Dry the meat paste in your oven at 175 – 200 deg. until it feels dry to the touch and somewhat pliable. Leave the door open a little to allow the moisture to escape. Chill the jerky in the refrigerator then divide the strips up into several days worth of treats and package in zip lock bags, Keep a package in the refrigerator and freeze the rest for later. You can use ground chicken but it’s cheaper to use whole chickens. Also It’s safer to cook the chicken rather than dehydrating raw chicken.
    It might cost a little more and takes some prep time but the peace of mind is worth it.

  8. My dog started to have diarrhea about 10 days after I got him. I switched several vets, because nobody could find the reason. I still do not know what was wrong, but I remember giving him chicken jerky made in China (wich he loved). I cannot be sure tere the reason, but remember stop giving him the treats after I read pets are having different health problems. I started to give him raw food and dry(Flint river ranch). Now he is OK, still eating raw and dry -Orijen.

  9. We lost our special Frankie kitty to the canned cat food name special kitty 6 yrs. ago because of the melamine in it from China. Since then, I try to buy food made in the U.S. that does not use any thing from outside this country, and now I have discovered the horrible truths of what is in, and how big companies make even their dry food. It’s a startling eye-opener. Here is a link to a site that will tell you all you need to know. http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?more=1&p=359

    1. I lost my very beloved 2 yr old kitty Daisy to the same melamine ingredients. She was very healthy and well cared for. I was feeding her a well known high quality brand name wet food ( I still have a can of it with the deadly serial #’s on it). She went from extremely healthy to dead in 32 hrs. I kept telling the vets that it looks as though she had been poisoned, and they agreed, but they ran every test and nothing showed up. Because melamine wasn’t suppose to be used in pet food in the U.S., there was no test to detect it. I was told to bring her favorite food in to hand feed her and guess what I brought in & fed her. She was to get a donor blood transfusion the next morning, but she died an hour later. The next day, the news broke about the chinese connection & melamine. I looked at the serial #.s and sure enough, it was one of the cans being recalled for melamine. I signed the papers to let the Vets file a complaint and she was an official victim. It was a horrible death. She looked up at me for help and all I did was re-poisoned her. I have never purchased the brand name again. I can’t mention the name in print, but I can “eye to eye”.

  10. My dog, my friend’s dog and her neighbor’s dog were all suffering from diarrhea, my dog so badly that she had blood and mucous mixed with it. We were all using Waggin Train chicken jerky-made in China. Antibiotics were found in the chicken jerky. Turns out China suffers from bird flu, chickens are birds, they gave chickens antibiotics, antibiotics cause diarrhea, antibiotics in the jerky – no more Waggin Train, no more diarrhea in our dogs.

  11. We fed our 2 boys, a Siberian Husky and a 1/2 German Shepherd 1/2 Collie all of the above, ie. the Wagon Train chicken, duck and sweet potato jerkys and the Dogswell chicken jerkys before learning of this news and my Husky baby started having lots of stomach and bowel problems then had a lump on his side that tested as the most aggressive cancer there is. Took him to 3 different Dr’s and had lump removed but Dr. said she couldn’t get all of it. That was in Aug. 2013 and my baby passed in March 2014 at the age of 12. I will never stop feeling guilty that it was my fault. There will always be a pain in my heart for him. Got them both at 5 weeks old. My other baby (age 13) seems to be doing fine so far after getting his digestive issues under control. He was throwing up and had diarrhea for a while before getting under control.

  12. Please DO NOT feed your animals any food or treats or raw hide sticks that is not made in the USA. Please check the labels and see where it was made. Pet food from outside of the US is making our pets sick and killing our pets. My puppy was getting raw hide sticks from another country and she keep getting sick. She was throwing up,diarrhea,blood in her stools. She only gets made in the USA now and is doing ok. Please read the labels. USA only.

  13. I lost my beloved Son not even 6 year old Sheltie Shetland Sheepdog that I adopted as a pup he was literally my child he went everywhere with me kidney failure Chinese jerky made me sick to my stomach I wish I could get reimbursed for the thousands of dollars I lost in all the emotional grief of losing a pet so dear to me I also lost a child at 17 years old

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