If you’re a pet owner, by now you may have heard of the jerky treats that have caused over 600 dogs and cats to mysteriously die. Since 2007, 3,600 dogs and 10 cats in the United States have fallen ill after eating jerky. The United States Food and Drug Administration has been researching the situation and are unable to come up with a conclusion. While little information is available, researchers do know that the animals have died from eating chicken, duck, sweet potato, and fruit-flavored jerky treats imported from China.
The FDA is working hard to find what is causing these mysterious animal deaths, but they have not been able to determine why exactly so many animals are getting sick. According to a statement issued on the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine site, this has been one of the most elusive outbreaks the agency has encountered.
Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Milo’s Kitchen withdrew a few of their dog treats since the outbreak. Other brands mentioned on the FDA’s site that have received complaints are: Waggin Train, Canyon Creek Ranch, Milo’s Kitchen, American Kennel Club, Dingo’s, Beefeaters, Cadet Sargents, Kingdom’s Pets, Smokehouse, and Bestro’s Enterprises.
If you are still feeding your pet jerky treats, the FDA recommends pet owners be on the lookout for signs of decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased activity, and increased urination in their animals. Call your veterinarian immediately if any of these signs last for more than 24 hours.
With all of these mysterious illnesses going around, what does a girl have to do to give her dog a treat without having to worry? And I won’t mention the mile-long list of foreign ingredients on the back of most pre-packaged treats; what is all of that stuff any way? Skip the store-bought treats and do yourself a favor: go homemade. You can find so many recipes online for dog treats.
Here’s a recipe I found on cesarsway.com that’s perfect for this time of year. Healthy Pumpkin Balls are filled with fiber, vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and iron.
Healthy Pumpkin Balls
½ cup canned pumpkin
4 tbsp molasses
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking power
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil and water together in a bowl.
Add the whole wheat flower, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon to the mixture and stir until dough softens.
Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough and roll into balls.
Place balls of dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.
Bake about 25 minutes, let cool, and voila!