When Doggy Treats Go Bad

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RosieI was adding Stetson’s profile to Dogster the other day and for those of you who know Dogster also know that when you first add a dog you usually receive several puppy pal requests. I took my time and read through each puppy pal request writing a little note and accepting each one at a time. While going through this process I cam across the profile for “In Loving Memory of Rosie”. Rosie is the little Chihuahua sitting in between the legs of the cocker spaniel in the image above.

Rosie’s Story

Straight from Rosie’s Dogster page:

In our hearts we know that our pet Rosie, a 3 year old Chihuahua was poisoned from Chinese made Bestro’s Jerky Chicken Strips #77849 00006 1 We have this contaminated bag. We have three Chihuahuas and one of them died July 21. Rosie started with vomiting and dehydration (she was drinking lots of water)and then we were told she may either have an obstruction or have been poisioned. Since our dogs are inside dogs and we are with them at all times outside we thought it was an obstruction. Finally the doctor at Elwood Animal Clinic in Glendora, California. said he was almost positive it was some kind of poisoning . They were going to scope her but before that could happen she died July 21, 2007 at VCA in Fountain Valley, California.

I don’t feed my dogs Bestro’s Jerky Chicken Strips, but I do feed them another kind of chicken jerky treat.

Poisonous Doggy Treats

I know, I’m a little late on the poisoned dog food and treats from China, but this little story got me thinking: Am I giving my dogs poisonous food or treats? I feed my dogs Canidae Maintenance Formula for All Life Stages (40-lb bag) and this brand of food never showed up on any poisoned dog food lists. However, I never really considered the treats I was feeding my dogs.

Check out my article about the food I feed give my dogs and also about puppy feeding schedules.

Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders

I give my dogs different treats depending on what I think they might like, but I’ve been feeding my dogs Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders Dog Treats (Dog Food) – 40 oz (That’s 2.5 Pounds of Natural Chicken Fillet) regularly for the past 3 years and they love them. I haven’t had any problems with these treats and thought…”hey, they’re chicken fillets…how can I go wrong with real chicken.”

Chicken Jerky TendersToday I started doing some research on the Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders and found several scary stories and threads about the treats. First of all click the Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders image which will bring you to the Amazon product page and take a look at the product reviews. Some of the review are very good, but there appears to be an equal number of reviews that claim this product poisoned their dog. This really scared me, so I decided to do a little more research.

Take a look at this Epinions forum: Found a great dog treat and it’s cheap! Don’t let the title of this article fool you. As you continue down the thread you will notice there are many unsatisfied people claiming that this product poisoned their dog. The forum thread is 21 pages long and there are many complaints stuffed in between those pages.

Are There Safe Dog Treats?

I still have about a third of my Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders left and I’m wondering if I should try giving my dogs different treats. I know they love these treats and I haven’t had any problems with them for three years. My concern is what regulations does this company and others have to keep these products safe? Was this an isolated incident with a bad batch of Waggin Train Chicken Treats or is this a regular occurrence?

Even humans will run the risk of eating poisoned foods. Food poisoning in humans is not uncommon and I know that human food can also be recalled.

My question to you is do you know of a safe dog treat?

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  1. Nice article and we know that food allergies and poisoning are becoming common in dog and it’s really horrifying. I only recently realize that milk, cheese, grapes, chocolates, caffeine, garlic, etc are some items you should never feed your dogs. To know that some of the food that we are giving as treats are dangerous to our dogs really come across a shock to me. Also we just bought treats from online and give to them. Most of them may be really dangerous to our beloved dogs. The truth about Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky is a real eye opener for us. Its always better if we could make for our own home made dog treats, Thank you for sharing it with us.

    1. Yes, keep an eye on the food that can be poisonous to your dogs. It’s also a good idea to keep track of what common plants might be poisonous to dogs as well.

  2. Make your own dog food. That is what I do. That way you will KNOW what your dog is eating. It is not so time consuming as people think. In fact, it is super easy. I make a doggie stew that my dog loves


    Cook any chicken meat (breasts, legs thighs etc) that you find on sale…or any beef or any pure meat form….boil it till it is cooked or microwave it in water.

    Reserve a portion of the water. Cook some quinoa in a rice cooker…just plain water…no salt or anything. I use the white quinoa. High in protein and a low glycemic grain.
    Cook some frozen veggies in the reserved water you cooked the meat in.
    Separate any meat bones and throw bones away.
    In a bowl mix cooked veggies, cooked quinoa, cooked meat and reserved water. Add two table spoons bone meal (from health food store), alfalfa powder (from health food store) Kelp powder (from health food store). Chopp up one apple (remove skin and all seeds). Add to mixture
    Put in freezer bags to make portions. Freeze.

    I give this daily to my dog. With 1/2 cup Acana or Orijen Kibble (best dry food on the market and made IN CANADA not CHINA)

    In addition, the best treats I give my dog to clean her teeth is a piece of carrot. She chews the carrot like a bone. Banana pieces or pinapple pieces (just two or three pieces at a time) are fantastice treats also.

    Stay away from treats made in China, or any dried meat treat like bully sticks, dried chicken, beef jerky etc. Rawhide is horrible for dogs.

    I make a similar version for my cat only I add everything in a food processor and make it into a paste. I don’t give my cat bananas pnapple or apples.

  3. I’m wary of feeding these products to my dogs now. I’m going to stick human grade jerky made in the US. Costco offers human grade turkey and beef jerky that seems to be of decent quality though it’s a little high in sodium.

    1. @Tennyson, I recently read that they’ve had more complaints on this product. I’m definitely keeping a close eye on what I feed my pups.

  4. After feeding my dog these treats for approimately 4 weeks she suffered massive kidney failure and had to be put to sleep. Can’t prove it was the treats but she had been in good health and was just 9 years old. The failure was sudden and in less than 3 days she was beyond help.

  5. It’s always a risk, isn’t it. Food we eat, food our peeps eat. We’re big Zukes fans around our house, and we always try and stick with companies that make their products in the US and purchase their ingredients from the US. There is a website that may be helpful. http://www.thepetfoodlist.com/ Managed by a friend of ours.

    Woofs, Johann

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