On Friday September 28th, the CBC program Marketplace aired an episode “Fighting for Fido” which exposed a serious problem with Dog treats available in Canada. Specifically, chicken jerky Dog treats that were manufactured in China and distributed in North America by some trusted Dog food brands like Nestle Purina.

What the program found was that the Chicken Jerky treats distributed under brand names like “Waggin’ Train, Milos Kitchen, Canyon Ranch, and Chew Masters” caused alarming illnesses in dogs. Dogs fed these treats were developing a rare, and often fatal kidney disease. Since 2007, there have been 2206 reported cases of the kidney disease and at least 350 deaths related to the illness reported in North America. Red flags were raised by Veterinarians and pet owners when they noticed a link between dogs eating the jerky treats and the kidney disease.

Vets and owners in the States contacted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct further testing on the treats, to establish  a medical reason for the illness. Unfortunately, testing did not yield any results that could force the treats to be recalled. What’s scarier still, is that here in Canada, dog treats/ food is not a regulated commodity, and there is no governing body responsible for testing the safety of treats for your pet. The treats have not been voluntarily recalled by their distributors and are still available for purchase all over North America!

What can we do to ensure we are giving our Dogs the safest treats?

  1. Research- Check for product advisories from the U.S. FDA and Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. Read all labels- check all ingredients, and remember distributed in Canada does not mean made in Canada
  2. Talk to your Vet- They have some of the most up to date knowledge on problem foods, and can give the best advice on the healthiest way to treat your Dog

Personally, I think its a crime that there is no governing body in Canada responsible for overseeing the safety of the food we give our pets. Currently, the only standards in place for pet foods is that the label be in English and French. Which is completely unacceptable!

Thanks to shows like Marketplace, and pet owners who raised concerns, hopefully a few dogs will be saved!

Get more info at cbc.ca/marketplace

Our very own Winnie makes an appearance in this as her mom was the producer.