Newsflash: Chicken Jerky and Sweet Potato Treats are NOT Dangerous

Serioulsy.  I’ve had it up to here with the misleading headlines, stories and FB comments about chicken jerky and sweet potato treats for dogs.  Neither food is dangerous to your dog.  Neither food will kill your dog. Dogs have been eating chicken and sweet potatoes for years.  They are not toxic.

Yes, there are many dogs who have gotten sick and died due to eating treats that happened to have these ingredients, but if you read the actual facts you will find the trouble lies in ingredients from China and manufacturing practices in China.  In fact, no one is really sure what the real problem is, as some have found traces of chemicals and plastic residue in some of these treats. 

What they do know is that there have been no cases of dogs getting sick or dying from treats with these ingredients that are made from American (or any other country besides China) ingredients and manufactured in America (or any other country besides China).

So why don’t we try for some accuracy in reporting this issue with headlines that say “Treats made in China are Dangerous” or “Treats with Ingredients from China are Dangerous.”  To say otherwise is an outright lie.  In fact, not saying it this way poses an even greater threat to dogs as it suggests that treats made in China that don't contain chicken jerky or sweet potatoes are safe.  While there haven't been cases yet to suggest otherwise, it would seem the smart thing to do is to avoid ALL treats containing ingredients from China or made in China, since that is the real problem.

There are fantastic, local dog treat producers in most areas of the county who use quality ingredients and safe, small scale production practices.  It is unfair to them to include their products in this issue.  Their treats have not made dogs sick and no dogs have died from eating them.

Many of us have become aware of the dangers of factory farming, genetically modified foods and mass produced highly processed foods full of high fructose corn syrup.  We have learned that buying local from organic farmers and being conscious of where our food comes from is safer and has huge health benefits. 

We don’t go around saying that spinach is bad for us when one farm sends out spinach that is tainted with e-coli.  While genetically modified soy beans may be questionable, we can’t say that soy beans themselves are a health risk.  We easily understand the difference between factory farmed meat and local, grass-fed meat.

So let’s be as sensible and honest about the dog treat threat and stop the sensationalism, shall we?  Let’s inform consumers that chicken jerky and sweet potatoes are not dangerous, but that we all must be sure to avoid any treats containing ingredients from China or manufactured in China.  If you can’t confidently get this information from the maker of your dog treats, you need to look elsewhere.  Buy local or make your own.  It’s that simple.