Q&A: What’s the deal with jerky treats from China?

Since 2007, the FDA has been investigating cases of dogs who became ill after eating chicken jerky treats.


At the last report, the FDA had received over 4,800 reports of illness which could be attributed to consumption of these jerky treats.  But despite all the time and effort spent investigating, we still don’t know what is causing these pets’ illness.

Here is what we DO know:

Don't buy jerky treats made in China

Don’t buy jerky treats which are made in China.


This includes chicken, duck, sweet potato, dried fruit, and combinations of these ingredients.  While we don’t know what causes the illness, we do know that the majority of cases reported to the FDA have been associated with treats imported from China.  PetSmart and PetCo have even removed all treats from China from their shelves.

You can flip the bag over and look at the fine print to see if your treats came from China.  But be aware – manufacturers are not required to list the country of origin of every ingredient, so there could be an ingredient in your bag of treats that was purchased from China.

If you choose to feed your pets jerky treats from China, be on the look-out for the following symptoms:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (sometimes with blood)
  • Increased water consumption
  • Increased urination

If your pet is showing these signs, stop feeding the jerky treats and contact your veterinarian!  These types of treats have been associated with kidney failure and an illness called Fanconi syndrome, which is typically a rare genetic syndrome.  Although most dogs recover from their illness, there have been many who have died.

If you would like more information about this topic, visit the FDA’s jerky treat Q&A page.


And as always, Dr. D is here to help your pets!  If your pet needs to see a vet, you can go HERE to book an appointment!