Blog Archives

FDA Issues Jerky Treat for Pets Update

This is NOT a recall on the treats, this is merely an update on the jerky treat situation.  As with anything, I would not trust buying ANY brand of jerky treats for your dog or cat.  Just make them at home with the recipe I posted in this entry:


Now onto the update:

October 23, 2013 — The US FDA has issued an update detailing its ongoing investigation of Chinese jerky pet treats. Readers are reminded this is not another recall — only a progress report.

The detailed update includes:
Chicken Jerky Pet Treats

A Brief Summary

The FDA has received about 3000 complaints of illness related to consumption of chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats. Most involve products imported from China.

The reports involve over 3600 dogs, 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths.

The FDA continues to investigate the cause of these illnesses and is working with its partners in the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network. The Vet-LIRN is a network of animal health laboratories affiliated with the FDA.

The complaints received this far by the FDA include adverse events involving different ages, sizes, and breeds of dogs.

About 60 percent of the reports are for gastrointestinal illness (with or without elevated liver enzymes) and about 30 percent relate to kidney or urinary signs.

The remaining 10 percent of jerky treat cases involve a variety of other signs including:

  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Hives
  • Skin irritation

Potentially Serious Kidney Condition

Of the kidney and urinary cases, about 135 of the case reports have been for a condition known as Fanconi syndrome. Fanconi syndrome is considered a type of kidney disease.

Part of the normal function of the kidney is to filter out waste while retaining nutrients such as glucose, bicarbonate, and amino acids.

With Fanconi syndrome, a part of the kidney called the proximal tubule doesn’t work properly, and these nutrients are lost into the urine instead of being reabsorbed.

Dogs with Fanconi Syndrome usually drink and urinate much more than normal. This can also be a sign of diabetes. Yet Fanconi dogs do not have the elevated blood sugar that is a hallmark of diabetes.

They can also be lethargic and uninterested in eating. Some dogs may have all of these symptoms while others show only some of them. The symptoms may also be mild or severe.

These dogs often improve when they are no longer fed the treats. However, a positive urine test for Fanconi syndrome can still be detected several weeks later.

Not Just Chicken

It’s important to note that the reported illnesses are not limited to jerky treats made from chicken.

The FDA has received complaints about duck and sweet potato jerky treats and related products such as jerky-wrapped rawhide.

It’s known that the reported illnesses and deaths are mostly linked to jerky pet treats sourced from China.

However, pet owners should be aware that manufacturers do not need to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products.

What to Do?

Keep in mind, treats are only treats. They’re not a necessary part of a fully balanced diet. So, eliminating them will not harm pets. All the nutrients your pet needs can be found in commercially produced pet food.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to

Get Critical Dog Food Recall Alerts
Delivered to You by Email

Get dog food recall alerts delivered right to your Inbox the moment we become aware of them. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s Dog Food Recall Alert email notification list now. There is no cost for this service.

Product Review – PetSafe Slimcat Treatholder Ball

If you want to keep your cat slim, yet give them something to do in order to get their treats, PetSafe Slimcat may be right for you.

The ball is made of durable plastic, with holes to add the treats into the ball.  Then roll the ball on the floor and watch your cat chase after it to get the treats out.  Your cat might grab it and roll it around on the floor, or they may get on their back and kick the treats out.  Either way this will provide your cat some mental stimulation and provide you hours of fun and laughter, watching the antics your cat will get into.

Chasing after this toy will help overweight cats to slim down.  For cats that are a healthy weight, having their treats in this ball will help keep them entertained and stimulated.  You can choose what types of treats to put in the ball.  I cooked up some chicken jerky, cutting the chicken into tiny, round pieces and then putting them in the ball when cooked. (Chicken jerky can be made by greasing a cookie sheet with olive oil, cutting up chicken into small bite size pieces, putting it in the oven at 200F, check after an hour, leave in oven until cooked, cool and then serve.  You can use this recipe for cats OR dogs).

Final verdict: I would recommend this toy, especially for those with overweight cats.  I recommend letting the cat sniff the ball and get interested in it, with treats already inside it, and then throwing it and letting them chase it around.  If your cat is into chasing objects, this should provide them some great play time.  Isis loves to chase things around, and she has loved this toy.  It is one of her favorites.  The chicken jerky is just an added touch that makes her even more excited for playtime.  I also sit there and throw it for her, interact with her, which helps to create a bond between pet and pet parent.  It is for sale for a very reasonable price on  I hope your cat enjoys it as much as mine does!

Making A Gift Basket For A Kitty

If you are anything like me, I like to start Christmas lists and shopping early so that I can avoid the mad rush as Christmas eve approaches.

If you are looking for a great gift idea for your kitty or their pet parents, here are some ideas that might be the perfect present.

For a new cat, make sure there are tons of great treats, food ideas, snacks, toys, blankets, anything that a new cat might need.  Another great idea is adding coupons for some good food brands, or lists of websites that have good deals on food, treats and toys for their new fur baby.

If the person has had their cat for some time, perhaps finding out their favorite food and treats and putting those in a basket.  Toys are another great idea as well as putting some organic catnip can always help to keep cats occupied and happy for quite some time.

If you want to be creative, make some of the chicken jerky treats I have listed from Recipe Friday. (grease a cookie sheet with olive oil, slice a chicken breast up in fairly thin slices, place them on the cookie sheet in an oven set on the lowest temperature for several hours.  Check them every half hour until they are cooked.  Then cut them up into bite size pieces and put them in a tin or a bag and in the basket).  Or any other treat recipe you have liked.  You can place them in a cookie tin and put them in the basket.

I am an avid reader, and placing some books about cats in the basket (if you know the fur guardian is a reader), is a great idea.  Here are more ideas to make a gift basket for a kitty.

Regardless of what you do, the cat will have something they love – most cats love a basket so if they don’t like anything else, the basket will be a huge hit!  So everyone wins!

Here is where you can find this gift basket.

Catswell Cat Treats Vitakitty Recall

While searching for something else, I came across this recall that I thought I should share:

Catswell has voluntarily recalled selected cat food and cat treats containing chicken breast.

The company has announced the recall of its Catswell brand of VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins from two affected lots after testing revealed the presence of limited amounts of propylene glycol, which is not recognized as an approved ingredient for cats by the FDA. The lot codes of the affected food are SEW12CH032701/03c with a “best before date” of 9/10/13 and SEW12CH032702/03c with a “best before date” of 9/11/13.

The company has also recalled the following chicken breast treats:

• Catswell Happy Hips Chicken Breast Treats with Glucosamine and Chondroitin (UPC 884244000565)

• Catswell VitaKitty Chicken Breast Treats With Flaxseed and Vitamins (UPC 884244000572)

• Catswell Breathies Chicken Breast Treats With Mint and Parsley (UPC 884244000589)

• Catswell Shape Up Chicken Breast Treats With L-Carnitine (UPC 884244141817)

If you have purchased the affected food, please return it to PSP or the retailer where it was purchased for a full refund. For questions, contact the company toll free at 1-888-559-8833.

Recipe Friday – Chicken Jerky For Dogs and Cats!

Since the recent recall of chicken jerky treats has caused panic in some pet parents, I am providing an incredibly easy chicken jerky recipe that you can make at home that will be all the rage with your fur babies. Sasha and Isis have both tried and gobbled these up, so they get eight paws up from these two!


  • Preheat oven to 200° F
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet. (I use olive oil)
  • Rinse off chicken breast and remove any fat.
  • Slice the chicken with the grain. This will help make the jerky even chewier for your dog. The slices should be very thin, about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thickness. (1/8 seems to be better since it cooks faster and makes it easier to cut into bite size pieces to be used as training treats).
  • Place the strips on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for approximately 2 hours
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack until completely cool.
  • Cut strips into bite sized pieces.

These go fast!  If you have left overs (make sure to remember to feed in moderation), they can be stored in a covered container (I use a Tupperware container) for up to three weeks.  If you still have some left over, prepare them for the freezer in an airtight container.  They can be stored in the freezer for up to eight months.

If you wish to make some that have a little seasoning on them, you can use parsley.  Just sprinkle a bit on the chicken before baking.

Points to remember:

Every oven is different, so it might take a longer amount of time or a shorter amount of time to cook the chicken.  The consistency should be just like jerky.  It should NOT be spongy or soft.  If it is, put it back in the oven for more time.

Once they are cool and you cut them, find a sharp knife, or I use scissors that are allocated just for these treats.

You don’t have to just use chicken, if you want to try these with turkey, the same directions apply.

Just remember: Low and slow cooking for these; that will cause them to turn out right and make for happy fur babies!