Petco to stop selling treats from China, after 1,000 dog deaths

Hallelujah. Pet store giant Petco has announced that it will stop selling pet treats from China by the end of this year, after thousands of reports of dogs and cats falling ill, and 1,000 dogs dying.

While the US Food and Drug Administration has been unable to track the exact cause for the illnesses, all signs keep pointing to chicken, duck and sweet potato treats imported from China.

As I’ve written before, check the labels — I no longer buy any pet foods from China.


The FDA reports that it has received 4,800 complaints of pets becoming ill after eating Chinese imported treats, and an additional 1,000 dogs dying.  Only 24 of the reported illnesses were cats.

The FDA says the following symptoms have been observed:

Approximately 60 percent of the cases report gastrointestinal/liver disease, 30 percent kidney or urinary disease, with the remaining 10 percent of complaints including various other signs such as neurologic, dermatologic, and immunologic symptoms. About 15 percent of the kidney or urinary cases also tested positive for Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disease that has been associated with this investigation.

I was surprised recently to see that one brand of jerky treats, Happy Hips, is made in China. I threw that bag out and stopped buying it months ago.

happy-hips-12 happy-hips-2

I’ve found the country-of-origin labeling on other treats to be almost impossible to read.

Of course, it’s not just pets.  Guess who else is eating chicken processed in China? You and me, baby.

Now, keep in mind that other Chinese products for humans aren’t much better.  As I’ve noted before, consumers have been plagued with Chinese poisonous toothpaste, dangerous tires that leave out a special safety featuretainted baby milk, tainted pork, toxic rice, kidney-damaging cookies, cake and candies, bird-flu infected chicken, dying pigs, the cooking oil made from sewer sludge, or the 89% of Chinese herbs tested that contained pesticides, and then there’s toxic fish.

Mmm… toxic fish.

Perhaps my favorite Chinese quality-control disaster was the exploding watermelons (which brings back memories of the old exploding Soviet television sets).  I have to admit, an exploding watermelon could be kind of fun.

AP reports that PetSmart didn’t respond to their request for comment.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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