Soulpup delivers the best pet info to help you and your dog enjoy a long and happy life together.
Why are jerky treats making dogs sick? The FDA needs your help finding an answer
The FDA issues alerts to notify pet lovers about mandatory and voluntary recalls. Although they have NOT recalled jerky treats for dogs, there is no shortage of sick pets continue and the FDA has not determined a cause. As of Sept. 24, 2013, the FDA has received approximately 3,000 reports of pet illnesses that may be related to consumption of the jerky treats. The reports involve more than 3,600 dogs, 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths. Here’s the latest FDA info about these treats, which affect consumers in multiple states.
Type of warning: Advisory
FDA Advisory Announcement Date: Oct. 22, 2013.
Products: Treats sold as jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit. In most cases, China is the origin of these products. MSNBC notes several consumer reports linked to three brands that have factories in China: Waggin’ Train (above) and Canyon Creek Ranch by Nestle Purina, as well as Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats by Del Monte. Check the label on your dog’s treat bag. Several U.S. companies purchase meat, vegetables or ingredients from China.
Reason for advisory: Potential contamination of Salmonella — bacteria that can affect animals eating the products. The FDA also is testing for contaminants such as metals, pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals and poisonous compounds.There also is risk to humans from handling contaminated products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any exposed surfaces.
Manufacture date: Ongoing. The FDA initially received reports of sick pets in 2007. They have not been able to determine the cause of these illnesses and deaths.
Distribution areas: Global. Jerky treats are sold by various pet specialty retailers, and online.
What to do:
>> Read the label: Discard any treats made in China.
>> Monitor your pets: According to the FDA, symptoms include decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption and/or increased urination. Severe cases are diagnosed with pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure or the resemblance of a rare kidney related illness called Fanconi syndrome.
>> Help the FDA investigate these illnesses: Visit the Safety Reporting Portal (www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov) or your local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator (www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/ConsumerComplaintCoordinators/default.htm). You can also contact the pet food/treats company (see packaging for contact).
Welcome the new puppy
Ready for your daily dose of cute? Say hello to Sunny, a 1-year-old new puppy addition to the Obama family. The White House announced her arrival on Monday night. This cute puppy will keep 5-year-old Bo, Sasha and Malia very busy. Story time with Mrs. Obama also will get a lot more interesting. (Watch Bo surprise Mrs. Obama.)
Check out Sunny and Bo in action. Also, kudos to the Obamas for donating money to the Washington Humane Society in honor of their new arrival. I doubt they will need any training advice, but SoulPup is filled with tips for those who need help with a furry new addition. Begin by establishing (White) house rules and monitoring interaction among pets during those early days. (More info.)
Protect your pet, enroll in free microchip registry
SoulPup.com offers quick, easy ideas to help homeless pets in your community. Here’s the latest SoulPup Solution.
Did you know that more pets go missing around the Fourth of July than any other holiday? If your pet gets skittish around loud noises, avoid overexposing it to crowds, friends and bombs bursting in air on our loudest of holiday. Lulu and have tried quite a few products designed to calm anxious pets. (Check out our review of the Thundershirt.)
If your pet does get away from you on the Fourth or any other day, there are new tools that may increase your chance for a reunion.
Dogs need an ID collar and updated tags at all times
Take a minute to check your dog’s ID tags. All that jingling can actually wear away the engraved information. Make a point of checking the tag every few months. That’s where the calendar tool on your smartphone comes in handy. Also, dogs should wear their collars anytime they are outside. It only takes one loud noise or an open fence to create an opportunity for them to get away. Last week, my fiance hosted a 75-pound pit bull that had been found wandering around Clayton County here in metro Atlanta. He got along well with my Lulu, had fun around the kids and made full use of the nearest toilet when he needed a refreshing beverage. It was clear the dog had been well-loved, except for the absence of a collar — or a microchip.
Fortunately, signs posted around the area led to a happy reunion. The owner said her kids accidentally left the fence gate open. Her pooch gets away quite often, which is not surprising since unaltered males tend to roam for a girlfriend. Asked if she wanted a microchip, she declined. Unfortunately, I fear that sweet pooch will be lost again in the future.
Invest in a microchip
Microchips are an inexpensive form of insurance in case your pet ever gets away. No bigger than a grain of rice, the chip is implanted under the dog’s skin and typically stays in place for years. Each chip has an ID number — consider it a doggie Social Security number — that can be read with a scanner. If your dog is lost, veterinary clinics and animal shelters can scan for a chip and use the number to locate your contact information. Now that the weather is warm, start looking for a pet festival in your area. Many offer shot clinics or low-cost microchips. I’ve found chips for as low as $10 and as much as $75.
Here’s the challenge: Most people neglect to register their information or or fail to provide updates when they move. Without that updated information, your dog may languish at a shelter … or worse.
How you can help
Ask your vet to scan your microchip. As long as they have a universal scanner, vets will be able to detect the ID number from various manufactured microchip models. Armed with that ID, you can register your pet with the Found Animals Microchip Registry. If your pet ever gets lost, shelters can use the Found Animals Microchip Registry to send alerts via phone, text and email. That’s where up-to-date info is vital. Even if you move or the give to dog to someone else, the information can be updated at any time…and it’s FREE!
Help homeless pets: Start by registering your dog’s chip on the website. Then, spread the word. Please share this info with anyone who had a pet. It could help them recover lost animals faster, making space for pets that truly need help in our local shelters.
Together, we can pay it forward for pets.