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Recalls that Affect Dogs

See Also:

Recent Recalls

Note that I don't post information about most salmonella recalls, since dogs are usually not affected by this bacteria. However, a recall in 2019 of all pig ears found multi-drug resistant salmonella, which is a much greater concern. See How Contaminated Pig Ears Will Change the Way We Think About Pet Food for a good overview of the problem.

April 2015: All medications sold by Prescription Pharmacy Center in North Carolina have been recalled, and the prescription center has been ordered to close due to concerns with quality control.

For more information on pet food recalls, see the following sites (you can sign up to get updates at the first three sites):

I'd avoid any food that uses corn at this point. Aflatoxin is more serious than the more typical salmonella recalls. No illnesses have been reported, but see this old notice for signs to watch for if you've fed these foods: Dogs keep dying: Too many owners remain unaware of toxic dog food.

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Jerky Treats (and more) Reportedly Causing Kidney Failure in Dogs

Please avoid all commercial jerky treats., even those made in the U.S. with U.S. ingredients. These products may also be called Chicken Tenders, Strips, or Treats. Avoid other imported treats as well. Chicken jerky and other dehydrated treats (duck, sweet potato) imported from China (and maybe Thailand, and now even some made in the United States) have been linked to kidney disease in dogs, though the cause has not yet been identified and no treats have been recalled.

Update December 2022: According to Veterinary Information Network (VIN) News, "Fifteen years since veterinarians began noticing a connection between jerky treats and kidney problems in dogs, cases continue to surface, while an explanation for the link remains elusive." They encourage pet owners and veterinarians to continue to report suspected cases to the FDA.

Update July 2020: See Cases of Fanconi-like syndrome still occurring in dogs: Mystery remains, following long FDA investigatoin into jerky treats

Update July 2017: Gambol Pet Products, one of the Chinese companies making jerky treats associated with pet illnesses and deaths, is opening a plant in California to make "made in USA” pet treats using U.S.-sourced natural ingredients. See Chinese Jerky Treat Manufacturer Opens Plant in US for more info.

Update March 2016: New warning from the UK. This article gives a good overview of the problem world-wide: Vets in the UK warn: Jerky treats from China are dangerous, cause kidney problems in dogs, including one possible cause (hypersensitivity to sulfonamides) and treatment (Gonto Protocol).

Update March 2015: Veterinarians are now seeing reports of the same Fanconi-like syndrome in dogs who have consumed jerky treats made in the United States with U.S. ingredients. See the following for more information:

Update February 2015: See Reports of jerky pet treat illness ebb in U.S. for a concise overview of what we currently know.

Update March 2014: After the recall last year (see below) due to illegal antibiotic residue, some companies have decided to change their strategies (see Manufacturers confident in revamped chicken jerky products for more info). Their new products will be introduced in March 2014. I would still advise avoiding these treats until the cause has been identified (e.g., both products below still contain glycerin, a possible culprit):

Petco also announced in May 2014 that it will stop selling any pet foods or treats from China by the end of the year. PetSmart followed a day later, promising to remove these items from their shelves by March 2015.

Avoid feeding chicken jerky strips (or any other treats) from China to dogs until we know conclusively that they are safe. Note that these products often appear to be made in the US, but if you search carefully, you'll often find "Made in China" in tiny print somewhere on the bag. If in doubt, call the company and ask not only where the treats are manufactured, but the source of their ingredients as well.

In September 2012, the FDA announced yet another warning about chicken jerky treats causing kidney failure in dogs. This has been going on since 2007. The cause remains unknown, but reports are increasing. See the following for more information from the FDA:

Signs to watch for include decreased appetite; decreased activity (lethargy); vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; and increased water consumption and/or increased urination. 

The type of kidney failure associated with chicken jerky strips is called acquired Fanconi syndrome, Fanconi-like syndrome, and acquired proximal renal tubulopathy. Urine test results consistently show glucose and granular casts. Blood tests may show hypokalemia (low potassium), mildly increased liver enzymes, and acidosis, along with increased creatinine and BUN (signs of kidney disease). Some dogs also have hypophosphatemia (low blood phosphorus) that may continue even after the dog has otherwise recovered (treatment involves electrolyte supplementation).

If your dog develops these signs and test results while being fed chicken (or other) jerky treats, contact your state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Consumer Complaint Coordinator. See How to Report a Pet Food Complaint for more information, and Consumer Complaint Coordinators for a state-by-state list of who to contact. Please provide as much information as possible, including the specific product name, lot numbers, veterinarian's report and diagnosis, etc.

Also ask your vet to report the incident. See Jerky Pet Treats - Veterinarians for information and instructions specifically for vets. Veterinarians may also submit samples to the University of Georgia for free testing. See UGA veterinary lab offers free testing for jerky-related illness and death for more info (vets only).

Veterinary Information Network (VIN) announced in January 2013 that they are joining the search for the cause of jerky-associated illness in dogs, but they want to hear only from veterinarians. If you believe your dog became sick or died as a result of eating jerky treats imported from China, ask your vet to contact VIN. Also let your vet know if you still have samples of the treats that you believed caused the illness. See VIN solicits jerky-associated illness reports for more information. 

If you're looking for safe jerky treats, I recommend making your own jerky using a dehydrator or a warm oven. See Super Simple Chicken Jerky for a recipe.

Class action lawsuits:


June 2014: Normerica Repackaged, Re-Dated Stale Dog Treats, Say Ex-Employees. Two ex-employees say that a Canadian warehouse routinely repackaged outdated, moldy, and bug-infested products from China for resale in stores, including Loblaw and Costco. Brands involved include VitaLife, Canyon Creek, and President's Choice.

October 2013: Study: Dog treats likely culprit in Australian outbreak. A report published in the September 2013 issue of the Australian Veterinary Journal concluded that chicken jerky treats causing Fanconi-like syndrome, also referred to as acquired proximal renal tubulopathy, probably contained a toxic substance. The study also found possible links to pig ears from pigs raised in Australia, and in a few cases to diet only (no treats), where dogs with these symptoms responded to a diet change.

October 2013: FDA calls on veterinarians to help solve jerky mystery

January 2013: Most companies importing chicken from China have recalled or withdrawn them from stores due to finding illegal antibiotic residue. It's unlikely that this antibiotic residue is the cause of the kidney failure that the chews have caused in some dogs, though it's possible that a sensitivity to sulfa antibiotics might explain why some dogs are affected and others are not. These treats are likely to return to the market once this issue is resolved. See the following for more information:

8/17/12: Pet treat investigation expands beyond chicken jerky. FDA is now investigating duck and sweet potato jerkies as well. Article also has additional details about chicken jerky, including, "In a sampling of about 270 complaints the FDA recently posted online, more than 20 brands are identified. The most cited is Waggin’ Train, referenced in about 75 complaints. Second is Kingdom Pets [Costco's brand] with 25 mentions, followed by Milo’s Kitchen, named in 15."

5/25/12: Veterinarians advise avoiding chicken jerky dog treats

4/12/12: It's not just chicken jerky -- now dried sweet potato treats imported from China appear to be making dogs ill as well. There is even speculation that the problems may extend to pig ears and cat treats from China as well. These are the brands that have been mentioned so far:

Read the whole story here: ALERT Vets warn of new treats from China poisoning dogs

3/17/12: Susan Thixton at Truth About Pet Food has uncovered some interesting information about melamine and a possible link to jerky treats that have been making dogs very ill: Is it Melamine Again?

3/13/12: MSNBC reports 3 brands of jerky treats have more "priority 1" cases reported to the FDA: Waggin’ Train, Canyon Creek Ranch, and Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats. See Nestle & DelMonte jerky treats may be to blame for pet illnesses on the PetSitUSA blog for more information.

2/11/12: Could diethylene glycol be the toxin in chicken jerky that is causing illness and death? See FDA Silence is Telling on Susan Thixton's Truth About Pet Food site for more information.

Nov/Dec 2011: Fanconi syndrome in four non-basenji dogs exposed to chicken jerky treats. Study published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association.

11/18/11: FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products.

7/8/11: Jerky treats for dogs still suspected in illness.

6/17/11: Canadian VMA Cautions About Chicken Jerky Treats.

9/24/09: Incidence of Fanconi-like kidney disease in dogs in Australia appears to have ended after two products were removed from the market. The products were Supa Naturals Chicken Breast Strips, made by KraMar in China, and VeggieDents dental treats, made by Virbac. See Following product recalls, Fanconi-like syndrome outbreak abates in Australia for more information. See Update October 2013 above for more information from Australia.

5/28/09: Researchers in Australia have discovered several cases of unexplained kidney disease that was not associated with chicken jerky strips, but which may be associated with dental chews instead. The chews are called Veggie Dents and are made by Virbac. If your dog develops kidney disease and has eaten these chews recently, you or your vet should contact the FDA to report it. See New mystery arises in cases of Fanconi-like syndrome for more information. These chews were recalled in Australia the week of 6/1/09. See VeggieDent Chews Recalled in Australia.

1/12/09: Mystery of illness associated with jerky treats persists.

12/19/08: FDA Continues To Receive Complaints about Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs and Cautions Consumers.

9/13/07: The AVMA issued a statement warning people of complaints that multiple brands of jerky treats imported from China have been causing kidney failure in dogs. The FDA is investigating these claims, and have ruled out melamine as a possible cause. Also see Potential New Threats: Updated Information for Veterinarians for the ACVIM's treatment recommendations.

9/28/07: FDA urges Caution in Feeding Dogs Chicken Jerky.

Here's the rest of the story: On August 20th, 2007 it was learned that Wal-Mart had quietly removed Chicken Jerky treats made by two Chinese companies from their shelves on July 26th, due to complaints about the treats making dogs ill. No recall has been issued. Wal-Mart is no longer selling the treats, but other stores, such as K-Mart, are still doing so. The brands that were removed are Bestro and Pingyang Pet Product Co. On September 14th, PetSmart removed various Smokehouse brand treats from their shelves due to reports of pets becoming ill. No recall has been issued. This product is reportedly being investigated by Cornell, but information is available only to vets, not to the public. Note that these companies have since returned to selling jerky products imported from China.

It is possible that other brands of chicken jerky may also be affected, such as the Kingdom Pets brand sold at Costco, and the Waggin' Train brand, which are also imported from China, as there are unconfirmed, anecdotal reports of dogs becoming ill after eating them, though no testing has been done. One person contacted me to say that her dog began having seizures after she started feeding Waggin' Train chicken jerky treats. The seizures continued once or twice a week for a year, until the owner eliminated all dried chicken treats, at which point the seizures stopped. See this article for another report on Bestro Chicken Jerky making dogs ill and leading to at least one death (read the comments at the bottom of these stories for even more information). The Pet Food Tracker site also has information on the many online reports of non-recalled dog treats suspected of causing illness/deaths (including Waggin Train which has not been pulled). 

I have heard one report of dogs becoming ill (vomiting, diarrhea, Inappetence) from two different brands of chicken jerky made in the US.

See these pages for additional information:

3/31/15: Infographic
3/30/15: American-made jerky tied to illness in dogs
5/16/12: Chicken Jerky Treats from China may be Associated with Kidney Issues
6/29/11 (updated 11/18/11): Chicken Jerky from China may be causing Fanconi syndrome in dogs (from a vet)
6/9/11: Canadian Vets Concern of Chicken Jerky Treats for Dogs
12/24/08: FDA Continues to Receive Complaints About Chicken Jerky Products (AVMA)
12/24/08: Caution to Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products (FDA, updated 7/17/12)
12/24/08: Caution in Feeding Chicken Jerky to Dogs (FDA)
12/18/08: Preliminary Animal Health Notification - Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs (FDA)
11/1/07: FDA cautions consumers about chicken jerky products for dogs (JAVMA)
10/15/07: Jerky treats from China could be causing illness in pets (JAVMA)
9/14/07: Update: AVMA warns of potential new threat to pets
11/14/07: Reports Of Dog Illnesses From Chicken Jerky Treats Continue
9/19/07: AVMA Issues FAQ's About Alert For Pet Jerky Treats
9/14/07: Smokehouse Brand Dog Treats Pulled From PetSmart Shelves
9/14/07: Indiana State Chemist Office Releases More Test Results For Chicken Jerky
8/23/07: No Melamine Found In Chicken Jerky Strips Dog Treats By Indiana State Chemist
8/22/07: Melamine Found In Wal-Mart Bestros Chicken Jerky Strips For Dogs
8/20/07: FDA Investigating Bestro Chicken Jerky Strips In Dogs' Deaths
8/17/07: Wal-Mart Removes Bestro Chicken Jerky Strips After Dog Death

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Rocky is a Yorkie-Poodle mix who had suffered from digestive problems his whole life. Click on his image to read about the diet his owner finally found to help him.
Pashoshe Fisher, a Chihuahua, was a wonderful, joyful companion to his owner for 19 & a half years. He was on a high quality raw diet for over half his life.
This is Ella, my Norwich Terrier.