FDA Report Reveals 3 Worst Offenders in Chicken Jerky Poisoning Cases

Concerned by an outbreak of illnesses in at least 600 dogs, government health officials are asking for public feedback to assist in the investigation of poisoning caused by chicken jerky dog treats imported from China, and have for the first time made their findings available to the public.

Obtained by MSNBC through a public records request, the FDA report is the first to name specific brands most commonly cited in poisoning cases. Kidney failure and a variety of ailments have been tied to the contaminated treats, according to data collected from both consumers and veterinarians. The three brands named are:

  • Waggin’ Train (Nestle Purina)
  • Canyon Creek Ranch (Nestle Purina)
  • Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats (Del Monte)

The complaints were collected from October to December 2011,  and were submitted by consumers in cities from California to New York. Given the large number of incidents in a relatively short time frame, the FDA intends to continue collecting and analyzing data regarding the poisonings.

“We still invite owners and veterinarians to submit complaints and samples,” said Siobhan DeLancey, an FDA spokeswoman. “The more information we have, the more likely we can find a link.”

Consumers who suspect that their pets have been poisoned by contaminated treats are encouraged to report illnesses to the FDA’s pet food complaint site.


  1. Thanks so much for the info!! =] ♥

  2. Stephanie says on  03/14/2012 at 12:12 pm

    Or just make your own.

  3. I always leave “Made in China” behind.

  4. do not give my dog jerky treats she gets milk bone shared

  5. I bought a dehydrator and now make my own chicken jerky for my pups. They all lay under the dehydrator waiting for the chicken to be completed. It is not too bad if you freeze the chicken before slicing it, and do a lot at one time.

    • Marco says on  04/12/2012 at 1:30 pm

      Wendy Jo;
      would you share the procedure/recipe etc. with us? I thought about doing the same but have not don it yet. I have two dogs and they would love something like this.
      Thank you,


  6. I choose to stay away from chicken jerky altogether. But I’m very picky about what treats my dogs can have. No by-products, ect.

  7. important to know folks…..Waggin trains is one of them…

  8. Kristen says on  03/14/2012 at 12:15 pm

    or Look for Treats that have ”Veterinarian Approved’ on them !

    • We make and ship the same day fresh Beef, Chicken and Turkey Jerky with Parsley, Celery, Carrots, Zucchini and Broccoli. Truly NO preservatives. Needs to be refrigerated.

  9. Do we have to worry about cat treats??

    • I would worry about anything being imported. Whether it’s for pets or yourself.
      It isn’t worth it to take a chance. Especially if you have to regret it later.

  10. Heather says on  03/14/2012 at 12:16 pm

    We don’t do the chicken jerky’s at all my dog only eats Happy Hips Duck Breast

  11. Little Sparrow says on  03/14/2012 at 12:16 pm
  12. It’s always a good policy to look at where your dog’s treats are made. This includes rawhide, for those who give it to your dogs. You wouldn’t give your child toys from China so watch out for your dogs too.

  13. VERY easy to make your OWN home made SAFE jerky.

  14. Little Sparrow says on  03/14/2012 at 12:19 pm

    Some of the companies just started putting made in China on the packages.

  15. Marlies says on  03/14/2012 at 12:19 pm


  16. Guadalupe says on  03/14/2012 at 12:20 pm

    I agree with Odie’s Place. I have my own dehydrator, and after 2 years I can honestly say it’s been cheaper and safer to do my own dog treats. It’s a GOOD investment.

  17. Fernanda says on  03/14/2012 at 12:20 pm

    shared i stopped buying Milos kitchen a while back but i had no idea was one the bad treats out there…

  18. Michele says on  03/14/2012 at 12:21 pm

    I follow the same policy for my cat treats. Don’t be fooled by places that specialize in dog treats and claim all of their treats are made in in the US, sometimes just the cat treats aren’t. It’s important to always read labels for all pet treats. Watch out for in store brands that are cheaper, a lot of them are made in China, even at Petstores.

  19. The Waggin’ Train chicken jerkey was on a HUGE endcap at Walmart last night. They were trying to get them sold and off their shelves! Horrible!

  20. guadalupe – it’s cheaper to make it? hmm

  21. Kathy says on  03/14/2012 at 12:21 pm

    Let me guess…the main ingredients are all from China?!

  22. Our boy’s favorite treats were the duck strips, but NONE of them are made any place but China… even the ones our vet sells. We’ve just had to find something else he likes. :(

  23. Stay away from China.

  24. The problem seems to lie with the stuff made in China.

  25. Anonymous says on  03/14/2012 at 12:22 pm

    Stop outsourcing production of food items to China! WTH is wrong with these companies?!?!??!

  26. I am wondering why Dogswell brand is not on this list…the product may be pkg in US but they also source their chicken from China and it says it right on the back of the bag……@Cyndi I worry about anything from China.

    • Anonymous says on  10/22/2012 at 4:55 pm

      Dogswell Happy Hips Duck and Chicken Jerky are from China and list on
      Toxic Dog Treats from Dogswell

  27. Not surprised Stephanie.

  28. @Kristen don’t go by Vet approved…they approve greenies and Science Diet just to name two

    • You are so right Anna. Vets get paid and make $$$$ are all they sell and rec. I only trust Holistic Vets. I was rec. Science Diet by my Vet years ago and loss my Golden to cancer. I have also heard the same horror stories from numerous people. And then found out it was on the top 5 of the recall list. I was furious. And have never been back to a vet unless they are Holistic. I was so happy to find a safe and healthy pet food and other pet products that I now represent them. Couldn’t believe how reasonable it is to feed such a high quality food. http://www.lifeshealthypetfood.com.

  29. Kirsten says on  03/14/2012 at 12:25 pm

    Make your own, make your own, make your own. If you do buy them make sure the treats are not made in China or that the chicken is not sourced from China.

  30. Jackie says on  03/14/2012 at 12:25 pm

    Heather Munnerlyn-Prosser ARE HAPPY HIPS MADE IN THE USA?

  31. I have stopped feeding any jerky to my dogs.

  32. Watch out for that stuff; or you are going to pay big bucks in surgery for your dog….. jerky will tighten up in your pets intestines so bad that sometimes it will kill them…. don’t do it !

  33. Thank you! I’ve reposted.

  34. Patty says on  03/14/2012 at 12:30 pm

    please repost this!

  35. Laurie says on  03/14/2012 at 12:31 pm

    I’ve never even heard of these brands…

  36. Another reason why I raw feed my 3 dogs wild game & make my own treats. I know exactly what they are eating

  37. Buffy says on  03/14/2012 at 12:31 pm

    What r the symptoms the dogs are presenting with? My dog loves chicken Jerky. For some reason Waggin’ Train is sticking in my head, and I am totally scared!! I called the company of the product I have at home about 2 weeks ago when I first heard of the scare and they said none of their products have giving problems, but why is Waggin’ Train sticking in my head???

  38. Shows that the big corporations that advertise how great their products are really don’t care what they sell. It’s all about money. Not nutrition.

  39. shared. if people really loved their pet, they would READ THE LABELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. I just left a message on the FB wall for Waggin Train. They are aware of the problem, but refuse to take responsibility for their actions. I do not feel looking for “Veterinarian Approved” treats is enough. Anyone can slap a sticker on a bag. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I will be going through my pantry again today to make sure there is nothing I missed. I am considering throwing out anything made by these companies at all, because I am uneasy now. I don’t want to feed my dogs poison.

  41. Tracie says on  03/14/2012 at 12:37 pm

    Best thing to do is make your own at home, easy to do :)

  42. Lisa says on  03/14/2012 at 12:37 pm

    Never feed anything ‘Made in China’ to your dog – whether it’s jerky or any other kind of treat.

  43. My hounds love jerky treats, but I avoid them because of the choking hazard. One of my greys almost choked to death on a piece of jerky.

  44. @Heather Munnerlyn…I could be wrong but think Happy Hips is a made or sourced from China product, check the label.

  45. Thanks for reporting Buggers! I had purchased treats by one of these manufacturers for our Pack, but happened to read one of your previous posts about a woman who unintentionally poisoned her dogs with tainted treats from China before I opened the bag. I noted the country of origin on the bag and promptly threw it out.
    You’re saving lives Buggy-boy. Thanks from the McKay Pack.

  46. This is SO TRUE!! I found out the hard way. I had a tiny pekegnese mixed girl who was my joy and throughly loved her daily wagon train chicken treat. Only 2 days after her 4th birthday her kidneys stopped working the vets tried everything to save her and was shocked by this at such a young age. We made the decision to end her misery and broke my heart. I later learned of this poison from these treats, I wrote the company and of course they denied everything ! But I knew that’s what happened. If I had only knew. That was 6 yrs ago and I think of my little lovable Lace everyday. I tried to tell all my friends not to feed these to their pets. So glad it is finally getting the attention it needs.

  47. Boy, that link was hard to read. Black type on a dark gray background…

  48. Stuart says on  03/14/2012 at 12:47 pm

    damn i fed my dog ths waggin train alot hope shes ok..

  49. Elysa says on  03/14/2012 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks for posting so I can share…..I absolutely NEVER feed my pups anything from China.

  50. Cathy says on  03/14/2012 at 12:48 pm

    Buy nothing that was outsourced from China for your pets.

  51. Leslie says on  03/14/2012 at 12:48 pm

    It’s about time they started naming names. Now, when will they start holding these companies accountable?

  52. Holly says on  03/14/2012 at 12:52 pm

    Why isn’t there a recall???

  53. Tim says on  03/14/2012 at 12:53 pm

    I still know people with blinders on who refuse to heed my warnings. My wife thought I was being paranoid – I told her it’s not worth the risk. Why don’t people listen??

  54. am usually quite picky about the treats my pups get but was out and figured Waggin Train’s jerky would be okay to get ’em through till I got thier normal treats in the mail. Thankfully I didn’t feed them to the 12 week old puppy. My older dog got terrible diarrhea, ran a fever and was lethargic for a few days. I suspected these treats were the cause and threw them out. He hadn’t even eaten more than 1/4 of the bag. Now I wish I had kept the package so I could report his symptoms. Lesson learned the hard way, thankfully there doesn’t appear to be any lasting damage.

  55. Dennis feed Sadie to many beggin strips..sae vomited and had dierrha in my bed.next morning she had blood shooting out of her butt like a fire hose…She is better now after 2 days in the vet..I keep telling him not to but he does anyway..hopefully he will listen to me now she got yery sick.I don”t give them table foood and he does..

  56. Linda says on  03/14/2012 at 12:59 pm

    They are super easy to make yourself. Spend 30 bucks on Amazon for a dehydrator.. and slice fresh chicken breasts paper thin… put them in the dehydrator for 1 1/2 days.. .and your dog will LOVE them!

  57. June says on  03/14/2012 at 1:07 pm

    ****just check the labels for anything made in china, or make your own dog treats****

  58. Treats should be kept to a minimun, anyway. Why make your dogs fat & shorten their lives — could it be because you are doing it to yourself?

  59. also be careful of wording on packages – made in the USA vs packaged in the USA vs product of the USA vs produced in the USA – not all mean the item (meat) is from the USA

  60. Lynda says on  03/14/2012 at 1:12 pm

    I have tried to just feed my dog fresh chicken that I have prepared for him. NO BEEF because if its not good for me, then I suspect it’s not good for my 7lb dog.

  61. David says on  03/14/2012 at 1:13 pm

    Stephanie: So WalMart, in order to turn a lot quick buck, decided to risk poisoning even more dogs, knowing full well that these things were dangerous? Sounds like a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen.

  62. Not too long ago I saw Canyon Creek listed as one of the bad brands. I can’t tell how much of this stuff we have given our dogs over the last 4 years…chicken, chicken/banana, sweet potato & the duck/sweet potato treats. It really angers me that all along we were potentially putting our dogs in danger. A couple weeks ago I saw that PetsMart, which is where we’ve always bought this stuff, is still carrying all their products. WTF!

  63. Do you think this also goes for ham jerky? I have been buying the ham jerky made by wagging tail since this whole chicken jerky thing started.

  64. You should check your apple juice, too. Some big name juices contain apple juice from places like Poland and China and i thin they have to say on the label.

  65. Petra says on  03/14/2012 at 1:18 pm

    This makes me sick. We shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of food products for our pets

  66. Laurie says on  03/14/2012 at 1:18 pm

    What I don’t understand is why aren’t they putting a formal recall out on these products? They’ve named the manufacturer and the product, there have been over 600 dogs affected in only 3 months (and those are just the ones who were reported) and yet they are allowing these products to remain on store shelves. Are they waiting for the majority of the dog population to get sick and die before they take action? This is mind boggling!

    • Anonymous says on  04/10/2012 at 3:21 pm

      They won’t do a recall because non of the powers that be will say specifically that these brands are the cause of the illnesses.

  67. Susan says on  03/14/2012 at 1:26 pm

    My girls loved Milo’s Kitchen…that’s too bad! : -(

  68. Went through all our dog’s treats… We have Yam treats from Canyon Creek (not Chicken Jerkey, but I know it’s one of the brands). Also have milkbone treats- parent company is Del Monte. Are those ok, or is it just the actual chicken jerkey?

  69. THANK YOU for posting this!

  70. Heck I am going to grill them up and put them in a salad for people that stay too long at my home. JUST KIDDING!

  71. get it? Like bacon bits!

  72. $60 for a dehydrator… I’m just saying… it’s the best peace of mind I’ve ever purchased. It’s tooo easy to make jerky treats. Slice and dry.

  73. Not to mention the fact that “jerky” in and of itsself is dangerous to a dog’s internal organs. It’s like feeding them razor blades! Be careful folks!

  74. Ruth says on  03/14/2012 at 2:13 pm

    These companies need to stop getting thier treats from China. American made products only. Stop the imports and put Americans back to work. We won’t poison our pets. China doesn’t give a crap about dogs. They eat them so why should they care if they die. Our country needs to stop getting from other countries and only get from the good old USA.

  75. Jana says on  03/14/2012 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks for the info — had no idea!

  76. Very scary!! My dogs love the Wagon Train ones. :(

  77. Lisa says on  03/14/2012 at 2:33 pm

    I stopped feeding treats from china a few years back.

  78. It’s very simple, if the package does not proudly display a “Made In The USA” stamp, don’t buy it and feed it to your dogs. Every place I find these things for sale, I take a bag to the store manager and ask “why would you risk poisoning even one customers dog?” I know they don’t have the authority to pull the crap off he shelves, but hopefully some of them are getting my complaint to upper management. The more people who complain loudly in public, the more attention it will bring to getting this toxic product off store shelves.

  79. I’m even afraid to feed my cats out of dishes from China! Hence, paper plates…

  80. thanks.

  81. I never ever ever ever get treats from China. And I’m switching dog food brands as well!

  82. Ambulance-chasing lawyers are all over my TV screen and none of them has the stones to file a class-action lawsuit against companies who fail to properly control the quality of imported pet food? WTH?

  83. Melanie says on  03/14/2012 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I have slowly been incorporating more & more ‘made in USA’ products into my families lifestyle & this is another one I will immediately start paying more attention to.

  84. We had a couple of bags of Waggin’ Treats from Costco that we just tossed. Don’t want to take any chances with the kids’ health!

  85. I stopped buying them especially from China

  86. I will def be looking at labels from now on.

  87. Better Yet……Just dont feed your beloved dog any of these, in case the label is wrong. !!!

  88. Shannon says on  03/14/2012 at 3:38 pm

    They do not care about our health or the health of our pets. Companies and big business only care about making as much money as they can. Since it’s cheaper to produce things in Chinese factories that is what they do. They’d rather poison us, use the cheapest products, and not create jobs in America since that would make them “lose” money.

  89. China doesn’t respect it’s people – we shouldn’t be surprised that they don’t respect our pets. I try not to buy anything from China, and you have no idea how hard that is to do.

  90. PRISCILLA says on  03/14/2012 at 3:56 pm

    I only trust american products. Stop sending things to China. I recently purchase the Apple & Chicken Wraps from Waggin’ Train. So far my doggies are fine but I will stop buying this product.

  91. Laura says on  03/14/2012 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing. We were feeding our dog one of the brands because it said…California on the packaging. In fine print, we later found the China origen. Thankfully, our girl did not suffer the fate of so many other dogs. My heart goes out to the people who lost one of their furry family. What really makes me mad, one of the brands was still being sold in a nationwide chain recently. I need to stop to restock this week, and I’m going to check to see if it is still on the shelves. If it is, I’m going to the manager. It’s unfair to sell something to people who may not see the small print on these packages. Every one of these brands should be off the shelf.

  92. Michelle says on  03/14/2012 at 4:49 pm

    I’ve given 2 of the 3 to my beloved katy. Thank goodness we stopped awhile ago. i check everything now to see where it’s actually made. Just say not to China!

  93. Michelle says on  03/14/2012 at 4:49 pm


  94. ***shared***…been warning all dog-friends for some time now!…as of last week Costco still had Waggin’ Train on their shelves!!!

  95. Kathy says on  03/14/2012 at 4:58 pm

    Petsmart and Murdochs sells these brands as well…walmart isn’t the only one guilty of putting profit before safety.

  96. Judy says on  03/14/2012 at 5:43 pm

    Costco in Canada still sells Waggin Train Jerky. There is a very deceiving label on the front that makes it look like it is made in the USA (N. or S. Carolina I think). On the back in very small lettering is MADE IN CHINA!! The only reason I know this is because I was traveling to the USA and the border guard saw it on the front seat and asked me what it was and where I bought it. When I told him it was made in America and purchased in Canada. He flipped the bag around and showed me the MADE IN CHINA label. I was horrifeid that I had been feeding my dogs a product from China. With all the other issues and problems with imports from there, there was no way I would have ever knowingly given my dogs anything from China. He proceeded to tell me the dangers of the product and disposed of it into the contraband bin. Upon returning to Canada I took the 5 bags I had at home back to Costco for a refund. Everytime I am in Costco, I go down the pet food aisle and tell anyone who will listen which products are MADE IN CHINA. I can’t believe they still sell it knowing the risk.

  97. Veronica says on  03/14/2012 at 5:45 pm

    When I am in the pet aisle at ANY store and I see these products on the shelves I will say something to anyone standing/shopping there. I think these products should be pulled off the shelves and then I think we should S T O P importing things from China.

  98. Don’t buy treats or food made in China.

  99. Anonymous says on  03/14/2012 at 6:14 pm

    so anyone know of a company that uses only USA chicken in their treats?

  100. Anonymous says on  03/14/2012 at 8:33 pm

    I have been given these to my dogs. And I had a dog to die in Aug.2011 from kidney failure.

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