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This week, the FDA released a “progress report” on its investigation into jerky treats. The update is essentially that there is no progress and it’s still a “buyer beware” situation for anyone who feeds chicken, duck, turkey or sweet potato treats made from China to their pets.

You can read the full report here, but as of September 24, 2013, FDA has received more than 3000 complaints of illness related to consumption of chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. The reports involve more than 3600 dogs, 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths. And that’s just what has been reported...

This is why it’s so important to know where your pets treats are not only manufactured, but where the ingredients are sourced. We want to tell you about some safe treats for your pets that can be shared with either species and contains only ingredients guaranteed sourced from reputable suppliers, and manufactured in the good ole U S of A. Here are a few of our dogs and cats favorite treats from the top sources you can rely on.

The Honest Kitchen

We’ve long been a fan of The Honest Kitchen because they have clear transparency on how they source ingredients and they use only human-grade ingredients. Our pets love all their treats, but the favorites are the Beams. They’re made from pure, wild-caught Atlantic Catfish* skins, from the clean ocean waters of Iceland, dried into savory, chewy sticks. They’re guaranteed to satisfy the pickiest of pups and are the perfect treat alternative to dried chicken snacks or bully sticks! Beams are an excellent source of lean protein, they’re also lower fat and are a good source of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids.

Our dogs also love Pecks (see video of our new treat dispensing system/game). Pecks™ dog treats are made with buffalo and blueberries, with a little barley flour, molasses, eggs, coconut oil thrown in for good measure. Since they are only ½ calorie per treat, our pets can have a lot…

Stella & Chewy's

All Stella & Chewy’s products are produced, from start to finish, at our own federally-inspected plant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All of their farmers and suppliers provide Letters of Guaranty stating that their meats and produce are fresh, are unadulterated and in full compliance with all applicable federal regulations. They strictly follow Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Guidelines, a prevention-based food safety system established by the FDA and USDA, and they test every batch before shipping by independent laboratory.

Our pets favorites are the Carnivore Kisses – despite the name, our cats and dogs equally love them and we can buy one canister for the entire pack. The Carnivore Kisses are diced, all-meat treats are available in 100% Angus Beef, 100% Chicken, 100% Duck, and 100% Wild Alaskan Salmon. Each is freeze-dried to lock in freshness and flavor.

Whole Life Treats

Whole Life Treats operates on the concept that "Farm to Friend" is the best policy and it shows in their high-quality food and treats. Each treat is made from 100% human-quality, hormone-free, free range and organic meat — with no chemicals, preservatives, additives or artificial fillers.  They are low in fat, low in calorie, low in carbohydrates and high in flavor – which makes them perfect for pets with allergy, weight and digestive problems.

They operate with 100% transparency and that is another reason we love them. You can meet each of their suppliers on their pages, learn about testing requirements that Whole Life Pet Products adheres too, and know that everything is manufactured in the US. Their "original" line is made from pure meat, fish or cheese and contain only one ingredient - with nothing artificial to get in the way of perfection. Their treats are great for both cats and dogs, so only one package will do you for both! Their original line is available in 11 flavors, making it a great way to select a protein everyone can agree on... They offer: Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Venison, Cod, Salmon, Beef Liver, Chicken Liver, Lamb Liver and Pure Cheddar Cheese.

Omaha Steaks

Did you know that Omaha Steaks make dog treats? We didn't either! But, the truth is – they do. And they aren't just normal treats. We were able to try out the Pet Steak Treats which are made from delicious cuts of their very popular round steak. The steak is dried and sprinkled with an all-natural preservative (sodium lactate) to keep them fresh and our dogs absolutely adored these treats! They are a little big for cats (although The Cog found a few small pieces she enjoyed). If you're missing the "jerky" form of treats, these are a perfect substitute.

We also checked out their Canine Cookies, which are a delicious combination of Omaha steak USDA meat, peanut butter, cheddar cheese, oats, milk and a vitamin E supplement. Their steak treats are manufactured exclusively for Omaha steaks at a plant in Michigan, and their Canine Cookies are sourced and manufactured in Omaha, Nebraska.

Zukes

Located in Durango, Colo. Zuke's focus is on pets' health and they take great care in sourcing and manufacturing their pet products. Zuke's jerky treats are made in the United States; and their meat, fruits and veggies are also sourced from the USA (with the exception of the wild rabbit and venison which come from New Zealand - another safe source).

Zuke's has been making natural dog and cat treats since 1995 and has never been recalled. They are proud of their track record and maintain strict testing standards, both during and after manufacturing. Meat is their #1 ingredient, making them ideal for dogs on limited-ingredient or grain-free diets. They also offer alternative proteins like lamb & turkey, which are excellent for dogs that are sensitive to more common proteins. Their dry treats contain carrots, apples, and blueberries - all of which are powerful sources of antioxidants; and they only use whole food ingredients - and never contain artificial colors, flavors or added animal fat.

Loving Pets

Every ingredient in Loving Pets' Made in the USA treats are all sourced in the USA from US farms and US suppliers.  Loving Pets Gourmet Meat Treats are 100% All-natural which means they are additive, filler, and preservative-free.  The only ingredients added to Loving Pets Chicken Jerky are Glucosamine & Chondroitin which have been proven to improve joint health.  Many other products on the market contain vegetable glycerine and although it may not be listed under their ingredients, they believe that vegetable glycerine is a filler and unhealthy for your dog. Loving Pets' made in the USA treat collections include: Barksters™ (9 varieties), Grill-icious™ (3 varieties), and It's Purely Natural™ (8 varieties) for Dogs, and Purrfectly Natural™ (Beef Lung and Chicken) for Cats.

If you look around, you'll find that many manufacturers are changing their sources to USA based manufacturing and local food sources. There is no need to purchase from companies who manufacture overseas and it just may be that your pets life depend on not doing so. Take the time to ask questions and keep a close eye on that FDA recall list!


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stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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