Here’s to consumer pressure working for the greater good!
Both Petco and Petsmart, the largest pet store retail chains in America, have said that they will end all sales of dog treats that were made in China. This move was made due to increasing pressure from consumers who have been demanding answers since the problem began in 2007.
The FDA has said that since 2007 they have received almost 5,000 complaints of dogs becoming sick after eating treats from China and there are more than 1,000 cases where a dog died after consuming them. The actual reason for the illnesses and deaths has yet to be determined. Consumers that are concerned for the health and well being of their canine family members have been pressuring the retail giants to do the right thing and remove products from their shelves that are made in China. Petco plans to have the items removed from all stores and online by the end of the year, and Petsmart has made plans for total removal by March 2015.
Petco made the move first, quickly followed by Petsmart. Petco’s CEO Jim Myers said “We’ve been following the FDA warnings and related customer concerns closely, and we’ve been actively reducing our China-made assortment and expanding our American-made offerings for several years now,” said Myers. “We know the FDA hasn’t yet identified a direct cause for the reported illnesses, but we decided the uncertainty of the situation outweighs the lack of actual proof. It has taken some time and careful thought to get to this point, but we’re proud to make the change and we believe our customers will be pleased with it as well.” You can read the entire statement from Petco here.
The FDA keeps a page on their site dedicated to news and information regarding jerky pet treats that is a wealth of information into what exactly is going on here. As we have been encouraging our readers for quite some time, the best course of action for concerned dog parents is to READ THE LABELS of everything you give your dog. Somewhere on the label (and it could be hidden or hard to find), it will tell you if a product is made in China. Be wary of products that say “Packaged in the USA” or contain other words that may make a consumer think the entire product is from the USA. It is our recomendation to avoid any and all food and treat products for your dog that come from China. Make sure you know exactly what goes into your dog’s system, just as you would for yourself and your family.
Better yet, make your OWN dog treats! You can purchase a dehydrator for under $100.00 and make your own organic chicken jerky or dehydrated vegetable treats so that you know exactly where your treats come from. We have a whole section on our site of recipes we have created and tested in our own kitchens, too. Find them all here.
If you see products from China on the shelves at your neighborhood pet store or grocer, don’t be afraid to ask them to please stop selling them—or you will not patronize them. The proof is here today… consumer pressure works!
This article was written by LIFE+DOG publisher Brett Chisholm.
To read more from Brett, visit his blog on our site.