Monday, May 26, 2014

Why It's a Good Idea To Not Give Your Pet Treats From China

Sammy coming home from shelter
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing an update on its ongoing investigation into pet illnesses and deaths in animals that ate jerky pet treats. This update includes the latest information about complaints of illnesses, FDA’s collaboration with the CDC on a new case control study, and new findings revealed through the agency’s testing. Unfortunately, FDA has still not been able to identify a specific cause for the reported illnesses or deaths.

Case numbers: Since FDA’s last update on October 22, 2013, we have received approximately 1,800 additional case reports. As of May 1, 2014, we have received in total more than 4,800 complaints of illness in pets that ate chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. The reports involve more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, three people, and include more than 1,000 canine deaths. The breakdown of symptoms associated with the cases is similar to that of earlier reports: approximately 60 percent of the cases report gastrointestinal/liver disease, 30 percent kidney or urinary disease, with the remaining 10 percent of complaints including various other signs such as neurologic, dermatologic, and immunologic symptoms. About 15 percent of the kidney or urinary cases also tested positive for Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disease that has been associated with this investigation. FDA Report
Sammy getting to know Max

I check labels and buy products made in the USA, or I make my own. Most dogs love sweet potatoes.  It is simple to slice sweet potatoes in a food processor, which slices nice and thin, lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet, pop them in a 200 degree oven for an hour-1 1/2 hours, then I leave them in the oven with the light on for 24 hours. They are nice and crunchy, and the dogs love them. One of our little dogs especially loves veggies, so I give her a baby carrots cut in strips so she won't choke on them.  She sometimes gobbles treats instead of chewing.

My Writing Partners.
The little gobbler isn't possessed, she actually has pretty brown eyes.  We got these little sweeties when our old dog started having more problems and we worried he wouldn't be around much longer. That was on Mother's day five years ago.  The old timer turns at least 20 June 1st.

Trick or Deadly Treat, the tenth in the Fresh Baked Mystery series, is coning out October 7th, and has both dog and people treats.


  1. Happy birthday to your elder statesman, Livia! Twenty years is a remarkable age for any four-legged family member. :-)

    Our furry overlords love sweet potatoes and baby carrots, too. Like you, I don't buy prepared treats anymore. It's just too scary. If I could figure out a good, healthy recipe, I'd make all their food myself. For now, though, I buy certified organic chow made in the U.S. from U.S.-raised ingredients.

    If you decide to take on the challenge of creating a homemade dog diet, I'll be first in line to help you test it! :-)

  2. LIvia, I used to buy treats for Embry and never even think about where they came from. When all that started coming out about the jerky strips from China, and then I started seeing what they DO to their own animals in China (makes you sick, believe me) I stopped buying ANYTHING from China! Bedsheets, dishes, dog treats...whatever! I don't want to support their economy at all. Another thing that do that's tricky--and you really have to watch for this--lots of companies put DISTRIBUTED in SAN FRANCISCO (or wherever) but that doesn't mean they're MADE there. I would love to have some good homemade doggie treat recipes! BTW, I subscribe to Bark Box and those treats are all made in the good ol' USA.

  3. Here is a pumpkin dog biscuit recipe my dogs like.

    1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 cup oat flour*
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup canned pumpkin

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Mix together the flours, eggs, and pumpkin in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable like you would pie crust. The dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough flat a ½-inch-thick. Cut with cookie cutter.
    Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes.
    Makes 2 dozen biscuits.

    *Oat flour can be cheaply made. Place rolled or old-fashioned oats into the bowl of your food processor or in a blender. Pulse the oats until they are finely ground, about a minute. One mounded cup of rolled oats will yield approximately 1 cup of oat flour.

    1. My dogs would KILL for pumpkin. I'll have to try this recipe! Thanks, Livia. :-)

  4. Hello Ms. Washburn! I've been enjoying your "Fresh Baked" series very much, but I'm a little confused. I just finished #6 in the series...The Gingerbread to be read is The Wedding Cake Killer which is #7. Which ones am I missing that are numbered 8 & 9? I checked your website and found no books that correspond with those numbers. Like I said, I love your writings of this series and don't want to miss a thing! Thanks for giving me hours of reading pleasure...Sandy in So. Cali sxygrndma48(at)yahoo(dot)com