11 Safe and Healthy Treat Options You Can Find at PETCO

With all the recent talk of contaminated jerky treats, you may be wondering which treats are safe for your dog. We at Yellow Dog Blog have got you covered! We filled our shopping cart with 11 safe and healthy treat options that are easy to find (we found all but one at PETCO). You’ll notice almost every package overtly says if the product was made and/or sourced in the United States. Please note we have not been paid for this article; all the treats selected are ones we feed Yellow Dog and Sundown, and they love ’em!

1. PureBites

pure bites freeze dried treats

Freeze-dried treats are the motherlode of treats for your dog. They are as simple as it gets; one meat ingredient with water content removed.

There are several brands on the market but most major retailers carry PureBites. They are sourced 100 percent in the U.S. and have a very high protein content, as you might imagine. PureBites are about as healthy and natural as you can get!

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FDA Moves to Regulate Pet-Food Production

The Food and Drug Administraton announced Friday it is proposing new regulations for the pet food industry. The announcement comes after thousands of pets have been sickened and hundreds have died from contaminated chicken jerky treats originating in China.

You may find it shocking this is the first time the FDA is taking steps to protect pet food from disease-causing bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants. But we at YDB have provided some sobering facts about the commercial pet food industry, and are glad to hear the FDA is now taking a stand to protect pets.

The proposed rule would create regulations for commercial food sold in stores as well as the feed given to livestock that will eventually be used in commercial food. The entire process would be regulated, from manufacturing and processing to packaging and holding of animal food. 

“Unlike safeguards already in place to protect human foods, there are currently no regulations governing the safe production of most animal foods,” Dr. Daniel McChesney, an FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine official, says. “There is no type of hazard analysis. This rule would change all that.”

The proposed rule will also hold pet foods exported to the United States to the same FDA safety standards as foods produced in the U.S. It would require facilities to have a food safety plan, analyze potential hazards and take steps to minimize those hazards. 

However, the new rule will not address the make-up of pet food; things like allergens in pet food will not be regulated, which can be an issue for many dogs, including Yellow Dog. Common allergens found in commercial dog food are beef, corn, soy, wheat and fillers such as dried beet pulp.

The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register, with a 120-day public comment period. Three public meetings will be held on the proposed rule in College Park, Maryland, Chicago and Sacramento, California.

FDA Warns of Deadly Jerky Treats

Hundreds of dogs have died and thousands more have been sickened after eating jerky treats made in China. Now the Food and Drug Administration is issuing an alert warning dog owners about the potential hazard of these jerky treats, which are packaged as jerky tenders or strips made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, or dried fruit, or any combination thereof.

Pet owners and vets have reported illnesses and deaths to the FDA since 2007, with roughly 580 deaths from approximately 3600 illnesses, including cats. The FDA has conducted more than 1200 tests for things like Salmonella, metals, pesticides and antibiotics, but still does not know exactly what about the jerky treats is making pets sick.

“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’a Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement.

Symptoms include vomitting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, decreased activity, and increased water intake. About 60 percent of the cases involved gastrointestinal illness and 30 pecent involved kidney and urinary systems. The symptoms can appear within hours of eating the treats. If you think your dog has eaten tainted treats, be sure to see your vet immediately. The FDA notes that although 580 dogs have died, many more have recovered.

The easiest way to keep your dog safe is to eliminate jerky treats from their diet. You can also check the packaging to make sure the treats were not made in China, where most of the tainted jerky treats have come from. The FDA has compiled a fact sheet for dog owners with additional tips on how to keep your dog safe.