by David Neuwirth
It seems like every so often there are multiple recalls for chicken jerky dog treats. In most cases the treats use chicken from China. Multiple companies use the same source of chicken for their treats, so it’s not surprising that the recalls will often involve several brands. Once the news coverage and social media buzz diminishes, many consumers go back to buying low quality chicken treats for their beloved pets.
I do not feed my dogs ANY treats (or foods) that have ingredients from China. Many deaths have been linked to treats from China, so it’s hard to imagine why would anyone ever feed their pet these low quality treats? My guess it’s probably a combination of ignorance and convenience. Aside from the time shortly after a series of recalls, many pet owners aren’t thinking about the potential risks involved with the use of Chinese ingredients.
Quite a few companies have also been using creative packaging to make the Made In China difficult to find on the package, so it’s crucial to read the packaging carefully. Some companies will put where the products are packaged or distributed (in the USA) in a larger font, but put the fact that the ingredients are from China in a less conspicuous location (in a small font) on the package, so it’s vital that you take the time to read the package carefully. The low quality treats are often the most easy to find; they are everywhere (chain pet stores, grocery stores and in wholesale stores), making it convenient for pet owners to grab a bag just about anywhere.
Good quality dog treats made with chicken raised in the USA with antibiotics or added hormones do exist. Primal makes Chicken Shredders, a dog treat with just one ingredient: 100% chicken breast meat from chickens raised in the USA. Bravo Bonus Bites Dry-Roasted Chicken Breast Treats are made with antibiotic-free poultry for a healthy, all-natural, grain-free dog treat. Of course both of these companies make other types of treats with USA meats, including turkey, lamb, venison and buffalo.
I try to support local business whenever possible. Recently I came across a dog treat that is made in Florida, using chickens that come from a farm in Florida, too. Chicken Chips are made with 100% USDA Grade A, all natural chicken breasts (they are made from human grade quality chicken). Chicken Chips are only 2 calories per chip so you don’t have to worry about too many calories with these treats.