I recently had a customer in my boutique looking for something to settle her dog’s stomach. The dog had been lethargic, vomiting and experiencing diarrhea for a few days. Since the dog was a small Chihuahua, I suggested she take the dog to her veterinarian. As we talked further, I discovered she had been feeding the dog Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Chicken Jerky treats. This particular brand of chicken jerky, as well as chicken jerky marketed by Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch, are the subject of a current FDA investigation into the possible link between these treats and numerous (i.e., hundreds) of complaints from pet owners whose dog’s fell ill after consuming these Chinese-made treats.
Why the products are still available on big box store shelves is beyond me. To make matters worse, this is not a new issue. The FDA became aware of a possible link between chicken jerky treats and illnesses in dogs back in 2007. After analyzing the treats for evidence of dangerous toxins, including heavy metals, melamine, melamine analogs and diethylene glycol (all chemicals used in plastics and resins), the FDA was not able to identify a causal link to the chicken jerky treats.
However, based on a resurgence of illness that seems to be connected with consumption of these jerky treats, the FDA is taking another look.
As a boutique owner, you need to be aware of current health warnings and/or recalls associated with pet consumables. When deciding what to offer as far as dog chews and/or treats go, I am guided by the simple adage "If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, then it shouldn’t be going into the dog’s system.” As with anything else, you can’t use a broad brush on these types of items. Not all chicken jerky treats are bad; if there are no additives, no preservatives and no coloring used to manufacture the treat, then you are probably getting only dehydrated chicken.
Working just about every day in the store, you really get to know, on a personal level, some your regular customers—they almost become family to you. When you decide on what consumables to carry in your boutique, just make sure you are asking the right questions and stocking the safest treats. Your four-legged nieces and nephews are counting on you.
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