For many people that don’t have children, their beloved pets become their fur babies. But, according to recent news, some of our doggies may be in trouble! As their favorite treats may be involved in a recent recall, leaving them desperate for some flavorful goodness.
Two makers of pet treats are pulling products from the market because they may contain traces of poultry antibiotics that aren’t approved in the U.S.
Nestle Purina PetCare is taking Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats off the market, while Milo’s Kitchen is recalling its Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats.
The chicken jerky products, which are made in China, have been said to contain small amounts of antibiotic residue, the companies have said. The antibiotics have been approved by Chinese and European Union regulators, but they are not approved in the U.S.
The companies said the treats don’t pose a safety risk to pets, but they are still pulling them off the market. The recall doesn’t cover other products the companies sell.
Milo’s Kitchen said there is no known health risk associated with the antibiotics, but their presence means the products don’t meet its standards. It said the chemicals “should not be present in the final food product.”
The recalls come after the New York State Department of Agriculture detected the antibiotics in samples of the companies’ products. Purina said that the regulator asked that its affected products be pulled from stores in New York.
U.S. federal regulators have also been looking into reports of pet illnesses stemming from their snacks.
The Food and Drug Administration says reports of sick pets connected to jerky treats, particularly chicken jerky made in China, have been increasing for years.
The FDA first issued a warning about chicken jerky products back in September 2007 and again in 2008. In 2009 and 2010, those cases started to drop off. But, in 2011 into 2012, the FDA saw a spike in cases. And then the agency announced in September that it had been notified of 360 dogs that died after eating jerky treats over the last 18 months and is conducting a broad investigation. No definitive cause for the dogs’ sicknesses has yet been identified.
Waggin’ Train and Milo’s Kitchen are mentioned often in consumer complaints made to the agency, and Canyon Creek is also named in a few complaints. Purina said that there is no indication the recall is linked to the problems the FDA is investigating.
Symptoms reported to the FDA include gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea, as well as kidney problems, which can cause dogs to drink and urinate more than usual.
The FDA says that commercially produced pet foods contain all the nutrients that pets need, so treats are not necessary for nutrition, and commercial pet food “is very safe.”
They also say that, “As FDA investigates consumer complaints and other reported adverse event data from the public concerning jerky pet treats, it is important to remember that these data must be carefully interpreted. In most cases, information from these reports cannot be further confirmed or verified. This information is not data obtained from a controlled clinical trial or as part of an observational epidemiologic study, but rather are a series of reports of events believed by the reporting party to be associated with the consumption of jerky-type product.”
Purina is a U.S. division of Swiss consumer products giant Nestle that is based in St. Louis. Milo’s is owned by Del Monte Foods and is based in San Francisco.