It’s not common for most pet parents to imagine, while visiting a pet store, that what they are buying may be harmful to their dog. With widely propagated quality assurances, it gets even difficult to discern the bad from the good. Most dog treats are safe for your dog, even if they are not the healthiest options. But some dog treats are poisonous and should be simply avoided.
Jerky Treats – Back in 2012, the FDA issued a warning for chicken jerky dog treats made in China that were responsible for the death of more than 1,000 dogs. According to pet owners, the treats caused kidney failure and gastrointestinal illnesses. However, the most common side effect was FLS or Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disease. Both Petco and Petsmart stopped carrying the dog treats, which, at the time, seemed like a conclusive end to the problem. However, many of the treats are still being sold in pet stores and in online shops like Amazon.
Since then, many dog food brands have been reformulating their jerky treats and slapping “made in the USA” labels on their products. However, such labels can be misleading since some of the ingredients can be sourced from China and contain some of the same toxins. In an updated report, the FDA advises pet owners to stay away from jerky treats until they can pinpoint what ingredient is making dogs sick.
Rawhide chews are infamous among pet owners. Typically made from cow hide that has been stripped of hair, the chews are given a chemical bath for freshness before being patted down and dried. Although promoted as good for teeth and teething puppies, the popular chews contain tons of chemicals and have gone through several major recalls for salmonella poisoning over the past few years.
Many pet owners advise to only buy rawhides made in the U.S., but others don’t think the purchase is worth the risk. However, with rawhide chews still being sold across the country, the choice is ultimately up to dog owners.
Real Cow/Animal Bones, according to critics, come apart when bitten, creating sharp shards that can get stuck in the small intestine, which leads to vomiting, diarrhea, and, without treatment, eventual death. After years of complaints, the bones now come with a warning label advising owners to supervise their pet while consuming the bone. But an innocuous warning label isn’t enough for some dog lovers.
There’s currently a Facebook page, a class-action lawsuit, and an online petition that are all trying to get the bones pulled from shelves. However, the FDA concluded in an investigation that bones in general are “not good for dogs” and that the blame can’t be pinned on only one company. Despite all the controversy and backlash, these bones can still be purchased at any pet store.
By-products are unused parts of slaughtered animals. It can mean almost anything. Bones, teeth, nails, adipose tissue, brain, lungs, intestines, and other internal organs.
With this method, manufacturers can guarantee the minimum protein content that dogs need in the cheapest way possible.
I’m not saying there are no nutrients in these by-products. However, you should be aware that manufacturers are not obliged to indicate exactly what the source is and which part of the animal the by-product contains.
That is, you will not be able to control what your dog eats. Otherwise, in many dogs, these ingredients cause sensitization or allergies.
The meat of dying, sick, or diseased animals is called 4-D meats. Yes, I know it isn’t very good to think about, but there really are manufacturers who put ingredients like these into their products.
This is because these meats can certainly be bought cheaply, so the cost of producing their dog food will be much lower.
Not only is this unethical, but it also carries a lot of potential health risks. Avoid dog food and treats containing meat from 4-D animals.
Wheat, corn, and soy are ingredients included in pet foods and treats because of their cheapness. However, its nutritional value is not very outstanding. In ordinary language, this is why we call these ingredients fillers. Besides, many dogs are sensitive or allergic to these.
If the dog treats you are examining contain corn, soy, or wheat, you may rightly be wondering if the other ingredients are of good quality. Avoid fillers if you want good for your puppy.
Unfortunately, many dog food manufacturers still add artificial ingredients to their products. These are preservatives, colorants, flavor enhancers, and other additives.
Several preservatives (e.g., BHA and BHT) are carcinogenic to humans. Although there is not enough research on dogs’, we have reason to assume that the results would be similar. Not to mention that many dogs are sensitive or allergic to artificial ingredients anyway.
Natural materials can be used as preservatives. Examples include vitamin E, vitamin C, and some plant extracts.
I don’t think we need to talk much about dyes and flavor enhancers. I don’t think your dog cares about the color of the treats he eats.
There is no need for a flavor enhancer if the product you are buying contains real meat or a meat meal with some healthy animal fat. That would be the most delicious delicacy you can give your dog.
Like our Pup Corn Pop’n dog Spot, our pups are a part of our family. Thats why we do everything in our power to craft carefully designed treats to help you maintain your pets health and happiness for many years to come. Pup Corn Plus is proudly made in the U.S.A. by Sunshine Mills, Inc. Family owned and operated for more than 60 years, Sunshine Mills, Inc. proudly serves the worlds pets with a variety of amazing high quality foods and treats at the right price. We own and operate our manufacturing facilities in the U.S.A., so we control the quality of our products from start to finish. Each plant is certified SQF Level 3 for food safety to ensure that each and every batch we produce is perfect in every way.
FDA inspections were performed on various dates in 2021 and revealed violations of the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements for animal food, which caused the maker’s products to be adulterated.
FDA Investigators noted evidence of significant violations of its Current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements. A partial sampling of the inspector’s findings includes:
Other products may also be affected. That’s because Sunshine Mills “co-packs” food and treat products for a number of other (unspecified) brands.
The following brands are produced by Sunshine Mills. Due to the incomplete nature of the FDA’s report, there’s no way to know which brands are linked to this FDA warning.
However, since pet food makers are not required to disclose sub-contractor information to consumers, there’s no way to know what other brands may be affected.
Dr. Nicholas graduated with honors from The Royal Veterinary College in London, England and completed his Internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He currently lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Our mission is to help save dogs and cats’ lives through our educational content. To support our efforts, this page may contain affiliate links. We earn a commission for qualifying purchases – at no cost to you.
Dr. Nicholas spent many years as an emergency and general practice veterinarian obsessed with keeping pets safe and healthy. He is the author of Preventive Vet’s 101 Essential Tips book series.
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