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Warning over imported jerky treats linked to illness in dogs

  • Cases reported in UK of kidney illness in dogs being linked to jerky-style treats
  • Most of the products have originated from China
  • Dog owners are warned to exercise caution when buying treats for dogs online
  • The Veterinary Poisons Information Service is currently investigating further

There have been a small number of cases in the UK of illness in dogs being linked to the consumption of dry jerky-type treats. In most cases the treats have originated from China and the pets that have fallen ill have suffered Fanconi syndrome, a type of kidney condition.

The cause, however, remains unknown and the Veterinary Poisons Information Service is currently monitoring the situation and collecting information relating to the various brands involved. There have been far more reported cases in the US, Canada and Australia over the past two years, where there have also been a small number of reports of cats falling ill after consuming jerky-style feline treats. The illnesses have been linked to many different brands of jerky treats, but the majority involve chicken products. Others include duck, sweet potato and other treats where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits or sweet potatoes.

Dog owners are advised to take great care when buying food products for their pets online and to ensure they only purchase treats from reputable websites adhering to UK rules and regulations. Be aware that not all products will list the country of origin for each ingredient used.

If your dog shows any of the following symptoms after eating a pet treat you fear might have made them ill then contact your vet straight away for advice:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Increased drinking or urination

Your vet will examine your pet and perform tests in order to establish a cause of your pet’s illness and determine the best course of treatment. Always take along the packaging of the treat, where possible.

— Page last updated 26/05/2023