This is still another column about something to worry about.
We have talked about the dangers of some commercial pet treats before, but the problem has not gone away.
The Food and Drug Administration has been studying reported illnesses in pets associated with the consumption of jerky pet treats since 2007.
In a recent report, the FDA announced that, as of December 31, 2015, they have received 5,200 complaints of illnesses associated with the consumption of chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats.
These illnesses affected more than 6,200 dogs, 26 cats, and three people — and resulted in at least 1,140 canine deaths.
Most of the complaints the FDA received were for chicken treats, including jerky, tenders, and strips, but duck and sweet potato treats were also affected, as well as dried fruits, yams and rawhide treats that had chicken or duck jerky wrapped around them.
A majority of the reports of illness were related to products manufactured in China.
But, where the treat is reported to have been made on the package is not the whole story. Nothing requires a manufacturer to list the countries of origin for all of its product’s ingredients.
So, even if a product is made in the USA, it still could contain products from China or other countries whose pet food rules are not as strict as in the US.
Don’t necessarily trust the label.
Although no one can say for certain that the jerky treats were the direct cause of illness in every case, the FDA has found a connection between the illnesses and the consumption of jerky pet treats.
The FDA continues to study the issue in coordination with other agencies, but no specific contaminants have been identified.
Whatever the actual cause, warning signs for animals that have ingested problematic treats include increased water consumption and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and becoming lethargic and/or uninterested in eating.
If you see those symptoms in your pet call your vet right away and mention the treats.
The FDA also requests that all incidents of pet illness following ingestion of jerky treats be reported to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.
The New York toll-free number is 866-446-9055.
In the meantime, what can you as a responsible pet owner do to avoid problems?
First of all, remember that treats are only that, treats, not a substitute for a healthy diet.
Your pets may be annoyed if you stop the treats, but like toddlers denied sweet snacks, they’ll get over it.
If your pets like treats and you enjoy giving them treats, just know what you’re giving them.
Do your research and understand what’s in those treats and where they came from.
The best bet may be homemade treats for your pets.
You can find zillions of them on the internet.
You already spoil them anyway so why not go this one step further.
The Oswego County Humane Society has moved to a new location, 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego.
Watch for the announcement about our open house!
OCHS provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Now located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.
And speaking of animals in need, don’t forget to enter the 2016 Shop and Play in Oswego County Raffle.
Lots of cool prizes to win and your donation helps us help animals.
You can download tickets or buy them online at www.oswegohumane.org