All importers of dog jerky treats are making similar statements, the treats are safe if fed as directed. I was puzzled what they knew and what they would tell me about this ‘safe if fed as directed’ statement. Here’s what they said, and the facts that show their feeding directions mean nothing towards the safety of the treats.
“Our chicken jerky treats are safe to feed as directed,” said Keith Schopp director of communications for Nestle Purina to MSNBC.com.
From the Waggin Train website: “Our Chicken Jerky Tenders are safe to feed as directed.”
From Milo’s Kitchen website: “We’ve placed feeding guidelines on each package, based on your dog’s weight and the average treat size. We strongly advise against exceeding these guidelines.”
From the Dogswell website: “High protein treats (like chicken jerky) are to be used in moderation and should not replace a complete and balanced meal. We advise you adhere to the recommended feeding instructions on the back of our DOGSWELL® treats for the best intended use.”
Though I have a somewhat biased outlook (not in favor) of Chinese imported jerky treats, their uniform statement the treats are safe to feed as directed has seemed puzzling. Why would a treat only be ‘safe’ if fed as directed? What do these importers know about the risk to a dog if more than the directed number of treats was fed? How could a treat be deadly or cause kidney damage if more than one (or two or three depending on the size of the dog) were consumed in a day? It just didn’t make sense.
As well, the ‘safe if fed as directed’ seem to switch blame for sick pets from the importers of the jerky treats to the pet owner. As if it was a pet owners fault their dog died or their dog has permanent kidney damage – they must have fed more than the directions stated. This seemed so unfair (to push blame on the pet owner) and again it still didn’t make sense.
So, I went to the source and asked. A phone call to Waggin Train (Purina) Consumer Line went like this…(paraphrasing)
I’m calling about your feeding instructions for the jerky treats. I don’t understand. Your statements in response to problems surrounding the treats have been they are safe if fed as directed. This sounds like you know something about their safety – or their risk if a pet eats more than they should. So my question is, what do you know? Why is that statement that the treats are safe if fed as directed being brought up so much?
Those are very good questions, and I can certainly help you with that. The treats are safe. Because they are 100% chicken meat, they are high in protein. Dogs shouldn’t have too much protein, it can cause kidney damage.
So, that’s why you are saying to feed only a certain amount of the treats per day, because an excess of protein in the diet can cause kidney damage?
A phone call to the Waggin Train media line has yet to be returned. I posed the same question to the Media representative and was told someone would return the call. No call yet.
Does that excuse hold up? No it doesn’t.
For starters, neither AAFCO nor the National Research Council has ever established a maximum level of protein intake for dogs (or cats). Pet food regulations state an adult maintenance dog food must have a minimum of 18% protein but some dog foods contain 50% or more protein. Do high protein dog foods pose a kidney damage risk to healthy dogs that consume that food…No.
Is there science to prove high intake of protein can cause kidney damage? No, there isn’t.
Quoting the paper ‘Dietary protein intake and renal function’ published in 2005 finds there is no scientific evidence linking high protein food intake in healthy animals to kidney damage or kidney disease. In fact, this paper states…(bold added) “In summary, studies documenting high protein intake as a cause of renal disease in any animal model have not been done. Rather, studies have typically focused on the interaction between protein intake and renal function in the diseased state.”
This paper discusses the fact that humans who have been on a high protein diets such as Adkins – have never suffered kidney damage. The paper also discusses athletes who consume high protein diets for years, with no kidney damage.
No – according to existing science, there is no connection to high protein intake and kidney disease in healthy animals (or humans).
Chinese imported chicken for human consumption is not allowed to enter the U.S. The FDA does not allow/has not approved Chinese imported chicken for human consumption; though they allow it to be fed to our dogs.
So we wait. While more dogs are getting sick and dying believed to be directly related to consuming the Chinese imported jerky treats…we wait for the FDA to find the issue.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
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